Sound the NFL alarm. It’s panic time in Green Bay.
In Sunday’s 42-24 loss to the Washington Redskins, Green Bay allowed three 50-yard plays in the fourth quarter to turn a winnable game into a blowout loss. The Pack allowed a season-high 515 yards and fell to 4-6, the franchise's worst record through 10 games since 2006.
To put the Packers’ defensive ineptitude into perspective, they've allowed 30 points in four straight games for the first time since 1953, Gene Ronzani's last year as head coach after taking over for legendary coach Curly Lambeau, who had a 33-year NFL coaching run.
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers have had some rough patches over the years, but one thing Discount Doublecheck and his squadron is known for is consistent winning and killer QB play. To be honest, over the past decade you can almost call the Packers “The Patriots of the NFC.”
Behind the offensive deftness of Rodgers and his band of clutch receivers, the Pack has made the playoffs seven straight seasons. They haven't had a losing record since going 6-10 in 2008.
This season has been one of the worst ever for Rodgers and his Cheesehead crew. The defense has been somewhat abominable at times, with Clay Matthews hobbled by a lingering hamstring issue. They are currently ranked sixth-worst in the league, surrendering an average of 27.6 points per game.
"We got to find a way to get a win next week,” Rodgers said after the game. “That’s all we got right now... We are in a tough stretch.”
Guaranteeing victory isn't the ticket either. Packers heavy hitter Julius Peppers guaranteed victory earlier in the week and when his predictions fell through, he was Twitter-trolled by Redskins DL Chris Baker, adding insult to an already humiliating game.
Rodgers threw for 351 yards and three TDs. The future Hall of Famer's numbers this season have been up to snuff. If he’s lacked anything, it’s the ability to come through in the clutch as much as in the past, but ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck says the Packers offense isn't the culprit.
“They have a ton of problems... and as much as we want to focus on Rodgers and the receivers," Hasselbeck added, "If you look at last three games against the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Redskins...they really had their way with the Green Bay defense...They are not generating a pass rush and the secondary is banged up.”
The depleted roster has rendered Green Bay's defense helpless at times and they have been coming up short on the 50-50 balls. Pounding the rock, a sweet aerial assault and some key defense is how Kirk Cousins and The Skins locked down the game.
Rookie Washington RB Robert Kelley gained 137 yards and hit paydirt three times. "Fat Rob's" rushing totals were the most since his high school days at New Orleans' Walker High, and his three touchdowns equal the amount the undrafted free agent collected in his final 20 college games at Tulane.
The Packers have to turn this around quickly to keep their playoff streak going.
“When you are letting people hang 40 points on you it's difficult to survive in the NFL,” Hasselbeck insisted.
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