Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw three interceptions in a 15-9 loss to Detroit on … [+]
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How low can they go?
That’s the question the Green Bay Packers now face.
Green Bay fell at Detroit, 15-9, on Sunday, and suffered its fifth straight loss for the first time since 2008.
In 2008, Aaron Rodgers was in his first year as a starter and those Packers finished the year 6-10. These Packers fell to 3-6, are 4 1/2 games behind NFC North-leading Minnesota (7-1) and seem to have little chance of reaching the postseason for a fourth straight year.
Detroit snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 2-6.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly from Detroit’s win over the Packers.
ALLEN LAZARD: Green Bay’s wide receiver group was decimated by injury. But Lazard did all he good to give the Packers a semblance of a passing game. Lazard caught four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. He had a season-long 47-yard reception and averaged 21.8 yards per catch.BIG STOPS: The Lions marched down the field on their opening drive and faced a fourth-and-1 from the 7. Detroit had run the ball at will, but went to an empty backfield.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff dropped to throw and was quickly under pressure from outside linebacker Rashan Gary. Goff had wideout Tom Kennedy open in the middle of the endzone, but Gary hit the quarterback as he threw and the pass came up short.
Then in the fourth quarter, the Lions had a fourth-and-3 from the Packers 43 while clinging to a 15-9 lead. Goff tried throwing for Amon-Ra St. Brown, but the Packers’ coverage was terrible and the Lions were denied.
That gave Green Bay one last chance on offense, but that unit couldn’t do anything with the opportunity.
JAIRE-ALEXANDER: Very little went right for the Packers most of the day, but Alexander’s third quarterer interception gave them a brief spark.
Alexander jumped a route for St. Brown near midfield and returned the ball 29 yards to the Lions’ 23. Unfortunately for the Packers, though, Rodgers threw an interception two plays later.
THIS AND THAT: Green Bay’s Keisean Nixon had a 33-yard kickoff return. … Krys Barnes, playing for the injured De’Vondre Campbell, had eight tackles.
INJURY CENTRAL: The Packers entered the game with just one preferred starter out — inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. But that changed dramatically during the game.
Green Bay lost wideout Romeo Doubs (ankle), left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), cornerback Eric Stokes (ankle/knee), wideout Christian Watson (concussion), outside linebacker Rashan Gary (knee), running back Aaron Jones (ankle) and guard Jon Runyan (knee) during the game.
Bakhtiari and Runyan returned later in the contest, while the others did not.
SAMMY WHO?: Green Bay’s only free agent addition at the wide receiver position was veteran Sammy Watkins. On Sunday, Watkins had just one catch for nine yards, and over the past two weeks, he has just two catches for 12 yards.
Green Bay was hoping Watkins would help make up for the loss of Davante Adams. Instead, he has just nine catches through seven weeks.
Darnell Savage: The Packers closed within 8-6 late in the third quarter, and for the first time all day, had some momentum.
But the Lions answered with a 13-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. Detroit capped the march when Goff hit rookie tight end James Mitchell for a 3-yard TD on third down.
Mitchell worked free in a zone that Savage was supposed to be manning. Instead, Savage drifted too far to his right, leaving a wide open window for Goff to hit Mitchell.
AARON RODGERS: Green Bay’s future Hall of Fame quarterback looked nothing like a player destined for a trip to Canton.
Rodgers threw three interceptions for the first time since Dec. 17, 2017. And Lions’ safety Kerby Joseph intercepted Rodgers twice, becoming just the fourth player to get multiple picks against Rodgers in a single game.
Green Bay drove 88 yards on its opening drive, moving from its own 7-yard line to the Lions’ 5. On first and goal, Rodgers had Allen Lazard open on an inside slant.
But Rodgers threw a low pass off Detroit defensive lineman Derrick Barnes. The ball flew high into the air and Joseph skied to snare the interception.
On the Lions’ next possession, Rodgers threw an interception in the endzone on a trick play intended for left tackle David Bakhtiari. And midway through the third quarter, Joseph undercut a route for Robert Tonyan and intercepted Rodgers again.
Rodgers had gone four straight games without an interception against Detroit, and this marked the first time the Lions picked off Rodgers since Dec. 29, 2019. Rodgers finished the day with seven interceptions this season, his most in a year since 2016.
Through it all, Rodgers yelled and screamed and showed his noticeable displeasure. In the end, though, his horrendous decision making was the no. 1 reason the Packers’ losing streak continued.
RODGERS TO BAKHTIARI??!!: Green Bay had perhaps its strangest — and worst — offensive call in several years on the first play of the second quarter.
Green Bay faced a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and left tackle David Bakhtiari reported eligible.
The Packers lined up with wideouts Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins, and running back Aaron Jones released into the right flat. Instead of looking in one of those directions, though, Rodgers rolled right and threw back to the left for Bakhtiari.
Rodgers badly underthrew the pass and rookie defensive end Aiden Hutchinson intercepted.
That was Rodgers’ second interception of the game, and marked the first time in his career he threw two interceptions in the red zone.
It seemed almost surreal that the Packers’ once high-powered offense would resort to trick plays for their left tackle at the goal line. But this is the reality of Green Bay’s offense in 2022.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE: The Packers’ next three games are home with Dallas (6-2) and Tennessee (5-2) and at Philadelphia (8-0).
When this stretch is over, this lost season in Green Bay could have completely derailed.