Rapid Reaction: Green Bay Packers
November, 28, 2013
By Rob Demovsky | ESPN.com
DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers’ 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thursday at Ford Field:
What it means: The Packers’ playoff chances are not officially dead, but they might as well be. At 5-6-1, they fell 1½ games behind the NFC North-leading Lions (7-5) with four games remaining. The Chicago Bears (6-5) also stand between the Packers and the top of the division. The Packers fell under the .500 mark for the first time since they were 1-2 after Week 3.
Stock watch: Matt Flynn was not the answer at quarterback. Four days after he helped rally the Packers from a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit in a 26-26 tie with the Minnesota Vikings in relief of Scott Tolzien, Flynn was as bad as or worse than Tolzien was against the Vikings. Flynn completed just 10 of 20 passes for 139 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. The offense accounted for just three points. Flynn didn’t get much help from his offensive line. Left tackle David Bakhtiari struggled with rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah most of the day. Flynn was sacked seven times. However, he did not help himself by holding the ball too long. Going into the Packers’ final series, the Lions had 563 yards to the Packers’ 56. Green Bay got 70 yards on its final drive, which ended with a fumbled snap.
Defensive woes: What does it say about a defense that created four turnovers but still got beat up and down the field? The Packers picked off Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford twice and recovered two fumbles -- one of which safety Morgan Burnett returned for a 1-yard touchdown. The Packers gave up 340 yards of offense in the first half alone and 561 for the game. Their run defense struggled again, allowing 148 yards rushing in the first half and 241 for the game, The Packers came into the game allowing an average of 159.2 yards rushing in their last five games after giving up only 79.0 yards rushing per game in the first six games of the season.
Injury problems: The Packers played more than half the game without starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who left late in the second quarter with a knee injury. They also lost backup tight end Ryan Taylor to a possible concussion in the second half.
What’s next: The Packers have a mini bye with the weekend off. They return to action Dec. 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in a game that was originally scheduled for prime time but was moved to a 1 p.m. kickoff.