A roundup of what's happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – If five blocked kicks was "unacceptable" to Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum, imagine where his frustration level is now that they've had two more rejected.
"Extremely high," Slocum said Monday, one day after the Packers had their seventh kick blocked this season.
"Our left wing needs to do a better job there," Slocum said.
"It’s disappointing," Slocum added. "We've spent a lot of time, because we've had some problems this season in our placement protection. We've devoted the necessary time in practice. We were very good in the previous game. We were good inside in that ball game. That was a critical play in the game and our accountability needs to pick up there."
It was the third time Crosby has had a field goal blocked this season to go along with two blocked extra points. Tim Masthay also had two punts blocked this season. And the issues haven't been with the kicks.
The problems earlier in the season were mostly on the interior of the protection unit, where the special teams played without starting guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang for part of the season. The Packers took them off the field goal/extra point team after their Week 8 injuries even though they remained in their regular roles on offense. Only Lang has returned to special teams.
"We've gotten exposed, obviously," long snapper Brett Goode said. "We'd solved it on the inside, and now it's trickled to the outside. We've just got to get it together. Everybody's got to do their job."
It wasn't all rotten on special teams against the Lions. Micah Hyde returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown. It was his second one of the season and third of his two-year career, tying Desmond Howard and Will Blackmon for the team’s career record.
In case you missed it from ESPN.com:
Unlike last season, when the Packers had trouble selling out their wild-card game, tickets for the divisional playoff game on Jan. 11 are already gone.
Here's the playing time breakdown from the Detroit game.
Best of the rest:
At ESPNWisconsin.com, Jason Wilde wrote that Masthay is looking to bounce back in the playoffs after an uncharacteristically poor second half of the season.
At PackerReport.com, Bill Huber wrote that the Packers rank last among the playoff teams in an average of five key special teams categories.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette had a story about the man that TV cameras caught getting his beard tugged on by Rodgers before returning from his calf injury. Many called it Rodgers' good luck charm, although Rodgers has been doing most of the season, apparently.
In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tom Silverstein broke down how the Packers defense improved in the second half of the season.