PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
Opening statement: “I’ll start with the obvious. (It was a) disappointing loss. We knew it was going to be a tough one coming in here today. I look at the game from our perspective as missed opportunities. I thought our defense played well with the three takeaways and really the time of possession got out of balance and I felt like we were worn down, particularly in the third quarter into the fourth. Offensively, we did not establish the run game particularly the way they were playing us on defense, so the specifics of that I’ll just see the video, we’ll answer all those questions, but I felt like we didn’t stay committed to the run and put a lot on Aaron (Rodgers) there in the second half. Maybe we should have given him the ball completely earlier. That’s something that I’ll look at and I’m sure you can write about. Special teams wasn’t really what I thought was going to be there either. Tough loss, but it’s Week 3. (We are) 1-2, we dropped our first division game and we will grow from this and learn from this and get ready for Chicago. With that I’ll take your questions.”
On what was wrong offensively: “I think the obvious, when you look at the run, you look at the protection and you look at the pass, you get in a one-dimensional game you’re playing uphill. Our inability to stay balanced was I thought the biggest obstacle that we encountered today.”
On something being off with RB Eddie Lacy: “I thought the fumble- I haven’t seen the video, I saw pictures and stills. I mean, there’s no excuse for that. That’s two weeks in a row we have a fumble on the first play and then we fumble the second play. It’s unacceptable. On top of it, it turns into seven points and we gave up nine points on offense.”
On attacking the Lions secondary: “I don’t think football is really that simple. I think you play to what you think your strengths are. The way we play on offense we take advantage of the defense. This game offensively was more about us not taking advantage of the defensive looks that they gave us.”
On QB Aaron Rodgers not being as sharp as he normally is: “Being on the other side I didn’t see the replay, but I felt that the call and the adjustment he made was definitely on and I think Jordy (Nelson) ran a good route. But I couldn’t tell you about his footwork, protection in the pocket or any of that.”
On what to do when Rodgers isn’t playing at the top of his game: “I mean, we have a lot of good players on offense. Obviously, our system of offense is built around making the quarterback successful. We’re not changing the way we approach the game of football and definitely not changing anything when it comes to Aaron Rodgers’ responsibility. So, I mean, I don’t have a grade for you today.”
On being confident in calling the entire playbook: “We’re confident calling the entire playbook. Once again, you call plays that are designed to give you the ability to play downhill based on the defensive call and that’s really what it’s about.”
On feeling as though they should have been able to run the ball better: “Absolutely, absolutely.”
On calling a run play again on their own one-yard line: “Absolutely, yeah.”
On how much the safety hurt: “Total momentum swing to back to Detroit. That’s a huge play for them. Big interception by Davon (House), obviously long time out just the way it came down. It definitely was a big play in the game.”
On the interception by CB Davon House being ruled differently: “I don’t have a replay, but based on what I saw live with the momentum and based on where he caught it, you don’t usually see those overturned like that. But I didn’t have a look at it.”
On mixing in more huddling into the no-huddle offense the team is running: “You’re talking about mechanics, whether you call plays, roll in every personnel or staying with a personnel, so that’s really not an issue. I liked the way the mechanics of how we game plan get the play in and this is more about execution and taking advantage of opportunities.”
On being surprised about the slow start to the season: “Yeah, no doubt. I thought our play style was high as it’s been. I was going off past training camp experiences, but you can’t really use. You have different opponents every year, you play two road games, so it’s a lot of different variables. I know the type of training camp we had the play style and quality of play was about as high as it’s ever been. We’re talking about really a different season in the preseason. These are the road games, the division games, the toughest games. Division games on the road are the toughest. New staff, new wrinkles and things like that, but we have no excuses, certainly me. This was not a good day for us.”
On if anything stood out on LB DeAndre Levy when game planning for the Lions: “I think Levy is clearly maybe their best or one of their best defensive players. I mean, we have a lot of respect for him and he’s been playing very well for a number of years. He’s starting to get the credit and the recognition that he deserves. He’s a hell of a football player.”
On football today being different than the past: “Yeah absolutely, football is different today than it was in 1993. Just look at the way it’s played, yeah definitely, it’s a different game. Back then you had a 265-pound middle linebacker that doesn’t exist anymore.”
On the way the defense has been playing: “Yeah, it’s definitely a group that got better. I mean, we had a slow start. It’s like you said, you kind of answered your own question. I thought that there was a lot of productivity, but at the end of the day we all get paid to play four quarters. They basically kept us going the first two and a half, three quarters.”
PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS
On the team’s offensive struggles: “Well, they have a good defense, you have to give them credit. Offensively, we didn’t make enough good adjustments to score more points. I had Jordy (Nelson) there for a touchdown on the last drive, but I just threw it behind him. So, that would have been double-digits there, but as well as our defense played today, we scored seven and we gave up nine with our offense, so they didn’t even need to score. Our defense did a good job and they held them to 10 points on defense. We should win that game.”
On how frustrating this game was: “Yeah, you score seven points, it’s frustrating. You’ve got to give that defense credit, they had their fourth nickel in there. They played a lot of two high and we were just never able to properly adjust.”
On if he feels something is missing on the offense: “Well, there’s a lot missing. There’s execution missing, we haven’t been able run the ball very well any of the three games and we just haven’t executed as well as we have in the past in the passing game.”
On if he had thought the team would be able to turn the game around at some point: “Yeah, I mean we had some negative yards plays, we had a safety, we had a fumble, we had sacks, so it’s hard to keep things going when you have negative yardage plays like that.”
On how he has performed in the first three games: “We haven’t been as sharp offensively. I haven’t been as sharp. It may be the standard I’ve set, but we’ve all got to do better. We’ve got to adjust better, we’ve got to throw better, we’ve got to catch it better and we’ve got to score points.”
On the team’s defense today: “Our defense was great. They were great. They gave us the ball back, kept us in the game, but we just didn’t execute on offense.”
PACKERS WR JORDY NELSON
On the 4th-and-5 play at the end of the game: “We got what we wanted. We had an opportunity to make a play and just weren’t able to connect on the throw. It’s not an easy game. Sometimes we make it look easier than what it is, but today was not easy at all. We had our opportunities and didn’t make enough plays.”
On scoring only seven points: “It’s just not being productive at all, at any point in the game. I think it’s more frustrating because our defense played extremely well. For whatever reason, we cannot get on the same page. Either we play well and they don’t, they play well and we don’t, we just can’t play a good game all over the place. So, we have to get to that point and improve. Our defense did a heck of a job and I feel bad for them because they battled. We gave up more points than what we scored as an offense, which is not good.”
On if it’s frustrating not being on the same page with QB Aaron Rodgers: “I don’t know if it’s frustrating, but it’s just a little surprising. But again like I said, the game is not easy. There are tight windows, there’s tough throws and there’s a lot that goes on. Sometimes we’ve made it look easier than what it really is and right now we’re just not clicking across the board. We had an opportunity and didn’t make a good play. We’ll move forward, get better and have that opportunity again next week.”
PACKERS RB EDDIE LACY
On his fumble: “It wasn’t good ball security on my behalf. I don’t know if it was knocked out or if I just had the ball too low and ran into the back of my lineman, but definitely a turnover is something that we don’t need.”
On the safety: “They definitely got great penetration. That’s pretty much what it is.”
On what the team has to do to get the running game going: “I don’t know, we just have to change our mindset. We had a few opportunities that, as backs, we didn’t take advantage of, whether we made the wrong read or tried to press too much. It’s a long season and we’re going to get it where we need it to be.”
On how tough it is only scoring seven points: “It’s tough because as an offense, we know we’re capable of putting up more points. It just didn’t happen today.”
PACKERS TE ANDREW QUARLESS
On what the difference was in the team this week compared to last week: “In the Jets week, we were really high-tempo in practice and we were pushing the ball. We kind of, I guess, slacked off a little bit this week and it shows.”
On how big of a factor the Lions defense was: “I think their defense did pretty good. Certainly, there were things we wanted to take advantage of, but we just never got them done.”
On what the offense is going to do to get back on track: “It starts Monday, it starts tomorrow. I definitely say practice. We’ve really got to get on the same page. We can’t afford to start slow, especially in division games. You’re not going to win like that.”
On if the team felt like things were starting to turn around in the second half: “It was different points in the game where we did have a little momentum. Any offense with good momentum is going to be able to score, but then we just weren’t finishing the drives. That’s a key thing we have to work on is really finishing drives. Not accepting punts or field goals. We need six points.”
PACKERS CB DAVON HOUSE
On assessing his performance: “It was good. I felt like I could have done more. There are still some things I need to work on. We’ll see what happens when I watch film.
On how he feels: “I feel good but I’ll be sore tomorrow for sure. We’ll see how the week pans out.”
On if getting some turnovers gives the team some satisfaction after a loss: “That part yes, that we got three turnovers, but I’d rather get no turnovers and win the game.”
On if Detroit’s secondary receivers were able to make plays after the defense limited WR Calvin Johnson: “I don’t know. We’ll see when we watch film. I’ll tell you that the defense did a great job. Detroit’s a high-scoring offense. Like you said, we held Calvin to 80-something yards. We’ll see what happens when we watch film.”
PACKERS LB CLAY MATTHEWS
On winning the turnover battle, but still losing the game: “I think statistics will show that any time you’re able to come up with three turnovers, and we’ve been shown the numbers before, usually the game is tilted in your favor. Unfortunately, it didn’t. We put ourselves in a deep hole and this time we weren’t at home to overcome that, obviously with the safety and the turnover on their part. There was some misfortune there with our interception on the one or the half yard line, whatever it may be, but ultimately we had it out there for us and we had every opportunity to come up with the win. We just didn’t, so it’s frustrating. Not the way we wanted to start this divisional play, but the reality is, we just have to get back to it and get ready to beat a good Chicago team.”
On the difference in the time of possession: “I think we didn’t make the plays when we needed to. I think early in the game we did a pretty good job, but you look at that last series in which they had three third downs and we had them in perfect position to get the ball back. I think in the first half we had a pretty good game, letting up just I think just a few big plays, but we were in the position we needed to be in. We just came up short.”
On not being able to finish the game as they had hoped: “Well, I think it’s our job. It doesn’t matter what it entails. The Jets game we were on the field for quite some time with the no-huddle offense in which they were throwing at us, same with Seattle. We’ve got to rise up to the occasion and we did for most of the game, but we have to finish better.”
PACKERS LB JULIUS PEPPERS
On how the defense is improving: “We’re improving but still have to get a little bit better. We still have to tackle a little better, still have to play a little faster, play a little harder and a little bit more physical. We’ll get there.”
On how much this loss hurts: “It hurts a lot. It’s still early in the season and we’re going to have time to get back in the standings, it’s only Week 3. But you know, you want to win all of them, so it hurts. We’re going to forget about it, come back tomorrow and get ready for Chicago.”
On if he felt tired after being on the field for 38 minutes: “Not really. We’re still out there playing hard.”
On if it was frustrating that they didn’t get more sacks: “No.”
On if they were satisfied with getting more pressure on QB Matthew Stafford: “No, we would have been satisfied with a win.”
Tags: #GBvsDET, detroit lions
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 30 Comments »
DETROIT–The Lions continued to cling to a 12-7 lead over the Packers following three quarters of play at Ford Field on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers attacked the Lions with short passes to start the second half, but was unable to sustain the Packers’ opening drive.
The Lions began a drive at their 13. Matt Stafford found Calvin Johnson for 17 yards and the home team was on the move. A Tramon Williams holding penalty gave the Lions another first down, and then Stafford found Golden Tate for 16 yards to the Packers 34.
A Stafford to Johnson pass gained 15 to the Packers 18, and the Lions were on the doorstep of taking a commanding lead. Two plays after the Lions gained a first down, lightning struck Stafford in the form of Julius Peppers, who sacked and stripped Stafford of the ball. Again, the defense held.
Trailing 12-7 and from their 13-yard line, the Packers offense went to work. Rodgers continued to throw short, to Cobb, and then DuJuan Harris gained 4 yards and a first down.
A Rodgers pass to Jarrett Boykin gained 11. A third-and-2 sack of Rodgers was nullified by a defensive holding penalty and the Packers had a first down at their 48, but that’s where the drive stalled.
Tags: #GBvsDET, detroit lions, in-game updates
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 86 Comments »
James from Freeport, IL
Does A.J. Hawk not fully strap his helmet on, because it always seems to come off at least one or two plays a game?
I don’t know. It happens a lot. Fans are troubled by it. It doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother him. It’s his head.
Bryan from Myrtle Beach, SC
Not a question, but that third-down completion by Rodgers to Nelson on the right sideline toward the end of the first quarter was a thing of beauty.
First, he had to have the mobility to scramble and buy time. Then he had to have the vision to see Nelson coming open late. Finally, Rodgers had to have the arm to throw a dart to Nelson while Rodgers was on the run. He is an amazing talent.
Toni from Dane, WI
So, do you think we will be the team with the ball at the end of the game?
You’re referring to my prediction the team with the ball last will win. I’ll stick with it.
Annie from Rose Lawn, WI
Is Starks in more now since the Lacy fumble or is that part of the game plan?
I think it was part of the game plan to get James Starks playing time, but I also think the Eddie Lacy fumble is playing into Starks’ playing time. Lacy is not in a groove. The concussion might be the cause, but we can’t know for sure.
Dave from Colorado Springs, CO
Vic, I asked this last week and I think it applies again. Another bad start for the Packers. When things happen that quickly in a game, does Coach McCarthy have to make adjustments immediately?
Not that quickly. You spend all week preparing and practicing a game plan; you don’t abandon it within the first few minutes of a game. Bad stuff happens. You have to be patient and trust your plan and your players.
Chad from Menasha, WI
Is your inbox about to explode about a Packers safety making an interception?
Seriously, 90 percent of the questions were about Ha Ha’s pick, until the safety. My inbox was a place of great celebration.
Todd from Knoxville, TN
Vic, that is why you have your best punt returner return punts, regardless of what else he does.
I agree. Randall Cobb’s 22-yard punt return was a thing of beauty in how he made the first guy miss and then set up his blocking until he hit the wall along the sideline. He’s too valuable returning punts for him not to do it.
Rebekah from Germantown, TN
The defense is looking pretty solid. How can offense improve in the second half?
The defense has been fantastic. They’ve kept the Packers in the game. If you’re looking for a positive, that’s it. If the Packers play defense like this all year, good things will result. The offense needs to find a rhythm. It’s trying a little of this and a little of that. It needs to find something that works and stick with it. Balance will come in time. Right now, just find a way to win.
Chenc from Calgary, Alberta
Vic, I’m all for aggressive play calling, however, I think that run at the 1-yard line after the interception was a little too aggressive. What are your thoughts?
Too aggressive or not aggressive enough? I’m not sure what you’re saying. What I can tell you is that somebody didn’t secure a gap. DeAndre Levy came late and unblocked. I saw Richard Rodgers bump into somebody. I have a feeling somebody miscounted a gap and didn’t slide over, or something to that effect.
Jeff from Sun Prairie, WI
Clay Matthews is playing like his hair is on fire. Are you surprised this is a defensive game so far?
Paul from LaPorte, IN
Vic, after the House interception, why did they blow the play dead and not allow for a return?
I think he elected not to come out of the end zone; Calvin Johnson grabbed House and House gave himself up. He was ruled down at the 1-yard line because he touched down there before sliding into the end zone. Think of that play as forward progress in reverse.
Evan from Eau Claire, WI
I hate how it feels like the Packers got penalized for getting an interception.
I call it throwing a punt. Not all interceptions are bad.
Tags: #GBvsDET, ask vic halftime, detroit lions
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 131 Comments »
DETROIT — The Packers defense has only given up a field goal through the first half, but nine points by Detroit’s defense have given the Lions a 12-7 lead at halftime on Sunday at Ford Field.
Detroit first broke the 7-all tie on defense. After Packers CB Davon House intercepted a deep pass intended for WR Calvin Johnson, the Packers thought they had a touchback. But after review, House was ruled to have completed the INT at the 1-yard line, and on the first play of the next drive, LB DeAndre Levy tackled RB Eddie Lacy in the end zone for a safety.
Following the free kick and a 34-yard return by Jeremy Ross to the Detroit 45, the Lions then tacked on a field goal to make it 12-7 with 6:06 left in the half. Lions QB Matthew Stafford converted three straight third downs with a pass to Johnson and two passes to RB Reggie Bush, but on third-and-goal from the 10, LB/DE Mike Neal sacked Stafford, forcing a 30-yard FG by K Nate Freese.
The Packers blew a chance for points after a 13-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb and a 15-yard run by RB James Starks, both on third down, got the ball inside the Detroit 40. But a false start on G Josh Sitton and a sack of QB Aaron Rodgers by DT Ndamukong Suh knocked the Packers out of FG range and forced them to punt at the two-minute warning.
The Lions appeared content to run out the clock, but the Packers called timeout with 17 seconds left when Detroit had third-and-7 from their own 25. Stafford then went deep to WR Corey Fuller, who caught it over CB Sam Shields, for a 52-yard gain that put Detroit in FG range. But Freese missed from 41 yards out on the final snap of the half.
Tags: #GBvsDET, detroit lions, in-game updates
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DETROIT–Green Bay and Detroit were tied, 7-7, following one quarter of play at Ford Field on Sunday.
The Packers won the toss and deferred. The Lions began their first possession at their 17-yard line and quickly moved the sticks with two running plays, but the Packers defense forced a punt and Randall Cobb returned it 22 yards to the Packers 37-yard line.
On Edddie Lacy’s second rushing attempt, he fumbled the ball and it was scooped up by defensive back Don Carey and returned 40 yards for a Lions touchdown with 12:02 to play in the first quarter, 7-0. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley stripped Lacy of the ball.
From their 32, the Lions began a drive midway through the quarter. Matt Stafford hit Golden Tate for 17 yards to the Packers 38 but, on third-and-15, a Stafford pass was tipped and intercepted by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Packers had the ball at their 41 with 3:46 left to play in the opening quarter. It was the first interception by a Packers safety since the 2012 season.
A quick throw to Jordy Nelson gained 14 yards to the Detroit 35. Two plays later, Aaron Rodgers scrambled and bought time before throwing to Nelson for 16 yards and a first down at the 20.
James Starks ran for 9 yards. On third-and-one, Rodgers found tight end Andrew Quarless in the back of the end zone for a game-tying touchdown with 39 seconds to play in the quarter.
Tags: #GBvsDET, detroit lions, in-game updates
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The following players have been declared as inactive for Sunday afternoon’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Green Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
59 LB Brad Jones
64 DT Mike Pennel
83 WR Jeff Janis
The Packers have only six inactive players because the current roster is at 52, after LB Andy Mulumba was placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
57 LB Jamari Lattimore will start in place of Jones.
17 QB Kellen Moore
29 CB Cassius Vaughn
32 S James Ihedigbo
34 FB Montell Owens
50 LB Travis Lewis
66 T LaAdrian Waddle
84 WR Ryan Broyles
70 T Garrett Reynolds will start for Waddle and 42 S Isa Abdul-Quddus will start for Ihedigbo.
Tags: #GBvsDET, detroit lions, inactives
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Tags: #GBvsDET, #PackersBusinessTrip, detroit lions
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DETROIT–The Packers suffered one of the worst losses in the Mike McCarthy era on Thursday, in a 40-10 defeat to the Lions at Ford Field. The outcome was punctuated by the final statistics.
With 4:17 to play in the game, the Lions had gained 563 yards to the Packers’ 56, and had run 77 plays to te Packers’ 36. That’s were the game stood following Matt Stafford’s third touchdown pass of the day.
The loss left the Packers at 5-6-1 and clinging to fading playoff hopes. At 7-5, the Lions moved into the driver’s seat in the NFC North title race.
Quarterback Matt Flynn was sacked seven times, the final time for a safety. He threw for 139 yards, the vast majority of it in the Packers’ final possession.
The Packers stayed within reach of the Lions through three quarters, thanks to four takeaways. The Lions’ yardage barrage, however, eventually became overwhelming. The Lions more than doubled the Packers’ time of possession. The Lions’ rushed for 241 yards.
Tags: #GBvsDET, detroit lions, in-game updates
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DETROIT–The Lions had lengthened their lead over the Packers to 26-10 heading into the fourth quarter of today’s game at Ford Field.
Green Bay began the second half with its fourth consecutive three-and-out, and the Lions took possession of the ball at their 37-yard line.
Quarterback Matt Stafford’s pass to Calvin Johnson initiated another drive into Packers territory. On third-and-one, Stafford completed a 12-yard strike to Johnson at the 20-yard line. On the next play, Johnson had an apparent touchdown pass in his hands, but failed to hold onto the ball as he fell to the ground. Two plays after that, however, Johnson caught a pass over the middle, broke a tackle and scored.
With 9:08 to play in the third quarter, the Lions had a 24-10 lead in a game that was much more lopsided statistically. The Lions had gained 403 yards of offense to the Packers’ 43, and time of possession was 15-and-a-half minutes in the Lions’ favor.
The Lions immediately regained possession when Matt Flynn was sacked and stripped of the football. The Lions recovered the fumble at the Packers 37-yard line. Cornerback Sam Shields killed the potential scoring threat, however, by intercepting a pass intended for Johnson in the end zone. Flynn, however, was intercepted by DeAndre Levy and the Lions had the ball at their 35-yard line.
Flynn was sacked by Ndamukong Suh for a safety with :53 to play in the third quarter. It was the seventh time Flynn had been sacked in the game.
Tags: #GBvsDET, detroit lions, in-game updates
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 85 Comments »
Gerald from Wausaukee, WI
What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I’m thankful for my family’s health, the opportunity to watch this wonderful football game and the fans that grace this column with their readership. I have a lot more for which to be thankful, but I can start with those three.
Joey from Rhinelander, WI
Vic, everyone has been criticizing our tackling as the problem with our defense lately. This game, the tackling seems fine, but the Lions are having huge holes to run through and wide open receivers. Is our defense this bad or are the Lions this good?
The Packers’ run defense has fallen on hard times. Everything on defense begins with stopping the run and the Packers aren’t doing it. The Lions are a pass-first team, but not in this game. What’s that tell you?
Bob from Dubuque, IA
Why does Green Bay give up the pass in the middle always?
It’s difficult to get any depth with your linebackers when you’re having to concentrate on stopping the run. If the Packers could stop the run, they could get a deeper drop with their inside linebackers.
Devon from Ortega, CA
When is Rodgers supposed to be back?
If I’m reading this week’s return to practice correctly, I think it’s fair to expect Aaron Rodgers to be back under center in the next game, against Atlanta.
Bill from Alexander, AR
So when do you think the Packers are going to fix the defense? How do they fix it?
Does that fumble return for a touchdown by Morgan Burnett fix anything? That’s what it’s going to take for this defense to be productive, I believe, because this is not a yardage defense. That’s becoming painfully obvious. Fixing this defense, in my opinion, is going to require another offseason of draft and develop.
Tony from Saint Paul, MN
Vic, what do the Packers need to do in the second half to win the game?
They need to gain yards, score points and control the clock on offense, because I don’t think they can depend on the Lions to continue turning the ball over and missing field goal attempts.
Beth from Anchorage, AK
How do you feel about the Packers defense this year?
I’m disappointed. I firmly believed this defense would be playing at a high level late in the season. If you can’t deny yards, then you better take the ball away. The Packers have done that, but not much else.
Andrew from Des Moines, IA
Do you like what you have seen so far?
I like the takeaways, but I’m not going to delude myself into believing the Packers can play this way and win. The Lions are moving the ball freely and the Packers are struggling to move the ball at all. That’s a bad combination. The big concern I have now is that the second half could become a sack fest by the Lions, if the Packers have to throw on every down.
Tags: #GBvsDET, ask vic halftime, detroit lions
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 310 Comments »