Two really mediocre teams met for a matchup of mediocre football on Sunday. One of those teams actually came to play. Unfortunately, that team wasn’t the Green Bay Packers, who fell to the Indianapolis Colts 31-26.
There isn’t a lot that jumps to the forefront in this one. It isn’t as if the Colts dominated the Packers, so you have to ask how they actually won.
The Packers outgained the Colts, the time of possession was nearly identical and the Packers won the turnover battle. Usually that gets it done, but not on this day.
On this day, the Colts were the hungrier, more prepared team.
As for the Packers and their malaise, we might as well start here.
The Packers’ special teams have been bad on certain weeks this season, but you could argue that unit’s atrocious performance ultimately cost Green Bay a game on this occasion.
It started before anyone’s offense even got on the field. Colts’ kick returner Jordan Trodman took the game’s opening kickoff back 99 yards for a score. The Packers weren’t content to learn their lesson there, though.
They allowed Trodman a 61-yard return in second quarter that would lead to a 28-yard field goal. That put the Colts up 17-10 and the score would be run to 20-10 at the half.
Meanwhile, the Packers were only able to convert one of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s two interceptions into points. They scored a touchdown on the second on an Aaron Rodgers-to-Jordy Nelson 26-yard strike.
After Clinton-Dix’s first pick, Mason Crosby missed a 48-yard field goal following a drive that netted negative-1 yard.
As bad as the special teams was, make no mistake. This was a team effort of fuckery.
We had all been feeling pretty good about the Packers’ offense after the last two games. Well, stop feeling good.
The Packers went back to their usual offensive buffoonery on Sunday. They didn’t run the ball, despite Ty Montgomery being available and averaging 7.6 per on the seven rushes he did attempt. Rodgers returned to his inaccurate ways, most notably missing long on a number of deep balls. The Packers put up just 10 in the first half and had just 13 points until what was essentially garbage time.
The Colts were up 31-13 before Rodgers & Co. decided to try and stage a rally.
Clearly, the Packers’ defense wasn’t able to do enough either.
Even though they held both Andrew Luck (23-of-36 for 281, 1 TD, 2 INT) and Frank Gore (19 for 60, 2 TDs) in check, they couldn’t help but give up big plays in key moments.
Despite his two picks, Clinton-Dix largely sealed the Packers’ fate when he missed a sure sack on Luck on 3rd-and-10 from the Colts’ 25 with 3:19 left. If Clinton-Dix, who came on a blitz, makes that play, the Colts punt and Rodgers has a shot for the win down five.
Instead, Clinton-Dix fails to wrap up and Luck hits Jack Doyle for 20 yards.
That was pretty much the game in a microcosm.
The Packers allowed the Colts to convert enough third downs (7-14) and they themselves were anemic in the same situation (4-12).
This is what mediocre teams do, though. And the Green Bay Packers have proven themselves to be exactly that at this point.