Sunday, December 14, 2014

Packers step in big Buffalo chip

This, Packers fans, was not how things were supposed to go today. All indications were that it would not be an easy game, certainly, given the Buffalo Bills defensive prowess. But all things being equal, the Green Bay Packers were surely the better team. Except on this day.

The Packers were mediocre, beginning with league MVP candidate, QB Aaron Rodgers. As he goes, so goes the Pack. He was off early and often. This was not one of his better games. Not just this season, ever. To be fair, his receivers didn't do him or the team many favors when they did get their hands on the ball. Drops were everywhere, including what could have been a 96-yard TD catch and run by WR Jordy Nelson in the second half, had he but held on to the ball.

Eddie Lacy had a good day. And the defense, for the most part, had a good day despite having a lot of missed tackles. Special teams, however, continued to have its problems, giving up a punt return for a TD and then having a long FG attempt by Mason Crosby blocked. That's essentially 10 points right there, the difference in a 21-13 game.

The Packers remain winless in Buffalo. Head coach Mike McCarthy remains tied with Vince Lombardi for career wins as the Packers' coach. And the Packers dealt themselves a serious blow to the prospects of not just a bye and homefield advantage in the playoffs but of first just winning the NFC North.

The game was ugly. If the Packers had to get a clunker out of their system before the end of the season and the playoffs this would be it. Still, this loss hurt. Depending upon how things actually fall, they could be a 12-4 team that doesn't even get a wild card, imagine that!

So, let's hope the Packers regroup this week and do some real soul-searching before the game in Tampa next week. That now becomes a must-win leading into the season finale at Lambeau against Detroit. Everyone thought that might be for the division championship, but now it might just be to secure a playoff spot. A lot to be determined yet today as Minnesota attempts to upset Detroit in Detroit and the 49ers attempt to do the same at Seattle. If one or both of those teams somehow get a win, it will be to the Packers benefit. As much as we may dislike having to root for the ViQueens or the Niners, today we can do so. Nay, must do so.