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Quick Hits: Defense carries Green Bay Packers to 6-0 lead

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was under pressure for much of the first half against the Baltimore Ravens, but that doesn't excuse some of the poor decisions he made.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was under pressure for much of the first half against the Baltimore Ravens, but that doesn’t excuse some of the poor decisions he made.

Defense was the story of the first half. The defense squelched the Baltimore Ravens offense, holding them scoreless through two quarters, and kept the Green Bay Packers in the game despite repeated offensive miscues.

The entire Packers offense looked off rhythm and out of sync on every series. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers continued his puzzling refusal to take what the defense was offering him, throwing downfield instead of taking the easy first down on the ground when the defense offered it to him.

Several of his passes sailed wide of the target, but even when Rodgers hit receivers on the hands, they struggled to hold on to the ball. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarett Boykin, and tight end Jermichael Finley all had at at least one egregious drop.

The low point of the first half came on the Packers’ last drive, as they pushed deep into Baltimore territory. Rodgers passed short to Randall Cobb, who took the ball for a quick 15-yard gain but was injured on a low hit to the knee by safety Matt Elam. He was immediately escorted off the field by the training staff.

Because the play occurred inside of two minutes and Green Bay was out of time outs, they were assessed for a 15-yard loss by rule. The penalty was declined, however, because right tackle Don Barclay was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Placekicker Mason Crosby promptly missed the ensuing 44-yard field goal attempt.

Standouts

The defense was simply outstanding in this game. They held Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco to eight of 19 passing (42 percent) for 113 yards, a paltry average of 5.9 yards per attempt. They also bottled up running back Ray Rice, who managed only 13 yards on nine carries (1.4 yards per carry).

All told, the Ravens amassed only 134 yards of total offense — despite a possession gifted to them on a fumble by Packers fullback John Kuhn that was recovered by strong safety James Ihedigbo. They were unable to capitalize on the turnover, however, as they attempted three runs inside the five-yard line and were stuffed each time.

Slipups

John Kuhn was the obvious goat of the first half for giving the ball to the Ravens, but no one on the offense stood out in a good way. The offensive line failed to protect Aaron Rodgers, giving up three sacks. Rookie running back Johnathan Franklin was unable to convert on third-and-short, which ended yet another drive.

Aaron Rodgers had arguably his worst half of play all season, completing 10 of 21 passes (47.6 percent) for 116 yards and no touchdowns. Although he didn’t throw an interception, he did fumble twice. Several of his passes were neither crisp nor accurate, although his receivers did him no favors.

Injuries

Wide receiver James Jones, already struggling with a shin contusion, left the game with a hyperextended knee and was ruled Out. Randall Cobb left late in the second quarter with what appeared to be a severe knee injury.

What’s next

Despite the loss of two of their wide receivers, the Green Bay Packers need to establish some sort of rhythm on offense.  Jermichael Finley must assert himself and find a way to hold onto the ball to help the passing unit compensate for the loss of two key players. Even more importantly, Aaron Rodgers must demonstrate some patience and be willing to work with the run game instead of going for it all in short yardage situations.

If the defense can continue to stymie the Baltimore offense, the Packers have a good chance of winning this game, but a six-point lead is not enough to give them grounds for complacency.

870 comments
jmac3444
jmac3444

sssssaaaaaaaaffffffeeeeetttttyyyy

you can dance if you want to. you can leave this world behind

natesweet
natesweet moderator

Crazy amount of safeties this season it seems.

bp.
bp. moderator

So, Kaeps threw a red zone pick.  I hated him so bad, but drafted him anyways because the value seemed to be there.  I was instantly angry with myself.  Stupid douche fuck can't play against any team other than GB.

Home of the Braves
Home of the Braves moderator

How many points did the Saints D allow to teams all year? I think it was close to 17. Pats have 17 before the half. 

robertj72
robertj72

AZ, Tenn and Jax keeping these games much closer than one would have thought

Home of the Braves
Home of the Braves moderator

If the Saints dont blitz, they give statue of Brady all day to pick them apart, if they blitz they leave an open man and Brady finds him. Brady is a beast. 

NightStalkerThief
NightStalkerThief

Rob Ryan needs to get a fuckin clue and change up the scheme cause this blitzing shit ain't working

aciddragon
aciddragon

and the ass whoppin' has commenced 

jmac3444
jmac3444

meanwhile Jacksonville is playing denver tough

robertj72
robertj72

I doubt many people started Ridley today

redzonejones
redzonejones

saints defense was good and then they met tom brady

NightStalkerThief
NightStalkerThief

We need to stop blitzing, leavin people wide open. This is pissin me off

Rourke
Rourke

I admit the allusion escapes me.

aciddragon
aciddragon

@Building With Clay is back SON i was surprised how low the rushing total for Baltimore was, i knew they were doing well, but they had a few nice runs at the end that i thought would scew the numbers a bit 

bp.
bp. moderator

@NightStalkerThief "Real Ryans don't change.  They just get louder."  -- All the Ryans

bp.
bp. moderator

@aciddragon @`bp` He took over the "NFL player I am most likely to murder" helm, most recently held by Suh.

NightStalkerThief
NightStalkerThief

Right because he's been picking apart all the other teams? Get real