Sunday, October 05, 2008

Final: Packers 24 - Falcons 27

After dodging a bullet in the form of a sure-thing TD pass by the Falcons, thanks to an acrobatic interception by Tramon Williams, the Packers were able to drive for a TD to tie the score at 17-17. On the ensuing kickoff, however, the Packers gave up a 54-yard return to set up the Falcons in great field position. The defense held Atlanta to a field goal, to go up 20-17. The Packers had a chance to go down to at least tie the score, but another holding penalty and then an intentional grounding penalty left the Pack with a 3rd-and-19 from about their own 20. Rodgers rolled to the right and underthrew an open receiver, allowing for an easy interception and return to about the Packers' 30. A few plays later and the the Falcons were up 27-17 with just under 4 minutes to go.

The Packers made a final drive for a TD, a little shovel pass to Donald Lee for 4-yard TD with just under 2 minutes to go.

They followed with an onside kick, which K Mason Crosby almost whiffed on, getting no bounce and going right into the arms of the Falcons at about midfield, essentially sealing the defeat. The Packers were forced to spend their remaining timeouts, and the defense was unable to prevent a first down, letting Atlanta run out the clock.

This was a game that made me nervous before it even started. The flatness of the start, the penalties throughout, the lack of a pass rush, missed opportunities...all contributed to a disappointing loss at home. That's now three losses in a row...for those who are counting.

Rodgers, despite the ailing arm, threw for over 300 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT.

The Packers are now 2-3, looking up at the Da Bearz atop the NFC North at 3-2 after Chicago beat the Lions today. The Pack travel to Seattle next weekend, followed by a game at home against the Colts before a bye week.

The Packers have some serious problems on defense, particularly in terms of no pass rush whatsoever as well as no ability to stop the rush. Looking ahead to the next two games -- if the Packers can't figure out a way to fix these problems -- we could be sitting at 2-5 going in to the bye week. And that will not be the fault of Aaron Rodgers, by the way.