I was dumbfounded watching the Green Bay Packers lose to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and I remain dumbfounded a day later.
That was some bad football played by a bad football team.
The Titans put up 21 points in the first quarter — to the Packers’ zero. And that’s really the game in a nutshell.
So let’s pick this one apart.
I have noted on several occasions that the Packers’ run defense wasn’t really as good as their league ranking, which was No. 2 going into the week. They’ve primarily faced backups and teams that don’t run the ball well anyway. The one good rushing team they faced — the Dallas Cowboys — gouged them. I was somewhat expecting the Titans and DeMarco Murray to do the same. They did. The Titans ran for 162 yards and a 5.4 average. Sure, you can point out that a large portion of that total came on Murray’s 75-yard run to open the game. I really don’t care. Good rushing defenses don’t give up 75-yard runs. The Packers have a bad defense period. This defense really isn’t that much different than the units we’ve seen in the past in Green Bay. They’re younger and faster than in the past perhaps, but the results are still the same.
Where Was Montgomery?
Typical Buffoon move. Ty Montgomery had proven himself to be the Packers’ most reliable and consistent offensive weapon when he was asked to play running back. That would make no difference to Mike McCarthy though. James Starks returns to the lineup and is given the majority of touches in the backfield. Montgomery had just three carries and two catches to Starks’ seven and three. I don’t really get the rationale there. Obviously, Buffoon had no interest in running the ball — the Packers called just 10 designed runs — and when you’re down a huge margin you’re not going to run much anyway. However, it still makes no sense that you wouldn’t put the ball in Ty Montgomery’s hands more often.
There’s Nothing Funny About This Guy
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is really just plain bad. A week after coming up with two interceptions and playing his best game of the season, Clinton-Dix turned in maybe his worst. Each reception he gave up resulted in a first down or touchdown. Throw in an unnecessary roughness penalty and a missed tackle and you’ve got yourself a total turd of a game. But this is really nothing new. Other than the Colts game and possibly the first game of the year, Clinton-Dix has been bad. We thought this guy might one day turn into a Pro Bowler. It now appears more like he should be benched. He is one of the main reasons the Packers’ secondary is so bad.
Not Ready for Prime Time
Losing left tackle David Bakhtiari to injury during the loss certainly didn’t help the Packers’ cause. However, that loss was only magnified by the play of Jason Spriggs, who replaced Bakhtiari. We expect the rookie to be a pretty good player someday, but he was not a very good player on this day. Spriggs gave up two of the Titans’ five sacks. He generally got abused by the speedy Brian Orakpo. We all remember what happened when Bakhtiari was sidelined last season. You have to wonder if they Packers are indeed better off this year at the backup tackle spots.
Of Course, It’s Not Over Yet
If there’s anything positive going on with the Green Bay Packers, it’s that they still aren’t out of the division race despite losing three in a row. That really speaks to how bad the NFC North is. The Detroit Lions, who were idle on Sunday, are now in first place at 5-4. They can thank the Minnesota Vikings for losing their fourth game in a row. The Vikings are also 5-4 and the Packers are just a game back at 4-5. Pathetic, but the Packers still have a legitimate chance to win the North. They’d actually have to win some games, of course.