Quick Review: Packers at Lions – 2019 Week 17

The Packers win! First round bye!

I’m thrilled that this team can stick out wins like this, but come on. They came out flat, they played down to their competition. They looked like a team that expected to walk through the game with a win.

And they did.

Barely.

And that was it.

I’ve enjoyed watching them go 13-3. I’ve enjoyed this journey.

But.

This wasn’t a dominant win that launched the team screaming into the playoffs. I loved that they didn’t miss a beat with two backup offensive linemen, but hated that the passing game just wasn’t clicking… in a dome… against the worst pass defense in the league.

This team needs a week to settle themselves.

I have to give the defense a lot of credit again. They made adjustments and only allowed 3 points in the second half. Last week, they allowed 0 points in the second half. 

This team is now a group that relies on defense and their running game. It’s a new identity. But this is the NFL and you don’t win titles with just some pieces, you need to do it all. 

Storm Clouds Brewing

Ok, it’s great we won, but here’s the hard truth: Aaron Rodgers is playing like age and injuries have caught up with him. His body can’t do the things it used to after breaking both collarbones, a foot, a knee, and a bunch of soft tissue and ligament damage.

Don’t let guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees fool you, 36 years old is still retirement age for most QBs, even if they don’t have Rodgers’s injury history.

Last year, when Rodgers missed a lot of passes, we blamed it on the injury to his plant leg. After a year of healing, things haven’t improved.

Sure, the touchdown pass to Lazard was nice, but the touchdown pass to Adams was a step late and would have been easily knocked away if Davante wouldn’t have so utterly smoked the entire defense with his route.

And what about his 28 incompletions – the most by any QB (including Jameis Winston, Mitch Trubisky, and Kirk Cousins) in a single game this year? Jake Kumerow had three yards on his guy and Rodgers underthrew him by five yards for an interception (his second interception in as many weeks). Aaron Jones was getting wide open on wheel routes and Rodgers sent him sprawling for overthrows all day. His sideline routes routinely went too far to the sideline.

All this against the worst pass defense in the league. In a dome.

Two of his last three games have been under 50% completion and it’s not just from throwaways. Matt LaFleur schemed guys open all day… and our QB missed.

I’m very excited for the playoffs, but it’s hard to be optimistic after seeing  that.

We should enjoy the journey – seasons like this don’t come along very often – but we may need to brace our hearts.

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For more coverage of the Packers completing the sweep of the division, check out Prediction Results: Packers at Lions – 2019 Week 17

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