Monday, October 19, 2009
Coming off the bye week, the Packers headed home for a showdown with the Detroit Lions. It was clearly a must win for Green Bay, and many were anxious to see which Packers team would show up.
Facing an injured and inferior Lions squad, it came as little surprise that the Packers prevailed. Putting up their first shutout since 07, Green Bay had a rather easy time defeating the Lions 26-0.
It was their 18 consecutive win at Lambeau against the Honolulu blue. And although the victory was achieved, the game itself left plenty of questions unanswered about Green Bay's ability going forward.
Here are the Grades for Week 6:
Quarterback: B - Aaron Rodgers had a solid performance, ending the game 29 of 37 for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although feeling the pressure all day, Rodgers only threw one pick early in the fourth quarter. He finished the day with a 113.7 passer rating.
Running Back: C - Grant once again struggled throughout most of the game. It was only in the fourth quarter that he was pick up yards consistently on the ground. He did make 3 catches out of the backfield, but had one costly drop. He finished the day with 90 yards on 24 carries and no touchdowns with a 3.8 yard average.
Wide Receivers: B+ - The wide outs stepped it up this week. Both Jennings and Driver made spectacular one-handed catches, keeping drives alive. We didn't see the dropped passes of previous weeks either, which shows some much needed improvement. James Jones showed his face, catching the first of two Rodgers TD's, his with a 47 yard play to the end zone. and hat's off to Donald Driver, who broke the Packers all-time receptions record previously held by Sterling Sharpe.
Offensive Line: D+ - Coming off the bye week, and having 2 weeks to prepare, you would think the line would have made improvements. But none were seen. The line gave up 5 sacks to the Lions, who only had one stater active on the D-line. They were unable to make holes for Grant, and were over powered for most of the game. Chad Clifton, who made his return from injury this week, had 4 false start penalties, 2 of which were illegal formation, and 2 that were back to back on consecutive plays. There were also gap assignments missed, causing untouched linebackers to chase Rodgers around in the backfield. A poor performance once again from the big uglies.
Defense: A- - the defense definitely the highlight of the Packers performance. Although starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and wideout Calvin Johnson were out, the defensive play was very impressive. Allowing no points to any professional team is quite an accomplishment, even if it was the Lions. Aaron Kampman was finally allowed to spent most of his time blitzing, and it paid off with a sack and multiple disruptive plays. Clay Matthews, who got his first start, was all over the field, with 5 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 tackles for loss. The secondary had three interceptions, including one in the endzone from the now healthy Atari Bigby. The Packers D held the Lions to just 149 total yards and only 19:12 minutes of possession, and a stellar 0-10 on third down. A great day for the seemingly re-charged Packers defense.
Final Grade: B-
Notable Stats: Penalties once again killed the Packers, including on the opening kickoff return by Jordy Nelson. With 13 penalties for 130 yards, it was clear that the issues of discipline are far from resolved. It was ugly for most of the game. The Packers were also unable to score touchdowns in the red zone, going 1-5 against a poor Lions defense.
Next Week: The Packers should have one this game 45-0 plain and simple. They were seemingly unable to dominate the way they should have. This poses a problem going forward. We can thank our lucky stars that they have one more week to figure it out. With the Cleveland Browns next in line, we can only hope that Green Bay can assert itself overwhelmingly on the Lake Erie shores. Because if we get another showing like this one, I have little hope for a W against Minnesota at Lambeau in two weeks.