3 takeaways from the Week 11 loss of the Packers | Launderer report


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    Jim Mone / Associated press

    Sunday turned out to be a catastrophic day for the Green Bay Packers. They entered Week 11 with a contention for the NFC No.1 seed thanks to a Week 8 head-to-head win over the Arizona Cardinals. However, the Cardinals secured another victory with Colt McCoy as quarterback, while the Packers fell to NFC North rival the Minnesota Vikings.

    Green Bay made a valiant comeback effort. After falling 23-10 in the third quarter, the Packers came back to tie the game at 31 at the end of the fourth. However, a impaired and breathless defense could not prevent Kirk Cousins ​​and Co. from getting into position for the go-ahead basket.

    The loss is bitter for the Packers as the Cardinals show little sign of slowing down. They now have a one-game lead over Green Bay in the standings and should have star quarterback Kyler Murray (ankle) on the pitch for the foreseeable future. With only one team securing a pass in each conference, it was important for the Packers to keep pace with the Cardinals – this head-to-head victory being a tiebreaker.

    The Packers can only control what they do, and on Sunday they didn’t do enough. Here are our three biggest takeaways from Green Bay’s 34-31 loss in Week 11.

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    Bruce Kluckhohn / Associated press

    The Packers are still a Super Bowl caliber team, and Sunday’s loss doesn’t change that. It’s also worth noting that Green Bay has played with less than a full roster. Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith remain on the sidelines, while passer Rashan Gary (elbow) and running back Aaron Jones (knee) both missed Sunday’s game.

    However, Green Bay had chances to win. The Vikings have blown up runways several times this season, and it looked like they might do it again. But Green Bay made many mistakes throughout the game that ultimately cost them dearly.

    In particular, the Packers were penalized eight times for 92 yards. They only offered Minnesota two first downs on the penalty spot, but they suffered multiple injuries in the battle for field position. Kicker Mason Crosby missed another field goal, scoring 32 yards in the second quarter, while the defense allowed the Vikings to convert nine of 13 third down attempts.

    Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was special, throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns, and Green Bay still has the makings of a stellar team. However, it is not enough to overcome several mistakes against a quality opponent.

    The Packers will have to clean up ahead of the Week 12 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

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    Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated press

    Switching kickers mid-season is a risky proposition, as reliable kickers don’t just sit there waiting to be signed. However, the Packers must at least consider their options in the wake of another critical Crosby failure.

    He can’t take all the blame because kicking is a team process. However, the 37-year-old has vowed to be part of the solution ahead of Sunday’s game.

    “I will always take ultimate responsibility for what happens on the pitch,” said Crosby, by Ryan Wood from Packers News. “We’re still going to refine it and work on it and make sure we get everything we need to fix it properly.”

    Only the Packers didn’t fix it, and Crosby’s failure turned out to be a big factor. He missed and a blocked kick in the Week 9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and has now missed nine kicks (eight field goals) this season. His field goal percentage of 65.2 is the lowest since the 2012 campaign.

    The Packers will likely stick with their longtime special-teams ace, but it’s at least time to consider what other options might be available.

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    Adam Bettcher / Getty Images

    Sunday’s game showed that a good Packers defense – a fifth in the points allowed standings – can be vulnerable when frequently on the pitch. Injury played a role, of course, but the fact that Green Bay gave up 408 yards and 34 points is concerning.

    The reality is that the defense is saggy, and the Packers would be wise to let it rest with a balanced ball control attack. It wasn’t much of an option on Sunday as the team fell behind by double digits, but it should be a focal point moving forward.

    The running game was effective even without Jones. AJ Dillon ran for 53 yards on just 11 carries, while the Packers averaged 5.0 yards per team carry. However, they also only ran the ball 19 times while throwing it 33 times.

    This allowed the Vikings to maintain a two-minute advantage in possession while making 12 more offensive plays than the Packers. When Minnesota recovered the ball with just over two minutes left in regulation, the Packers’ defense was gassed. The Vikings traveled 64 yards in eight games and planted the proverbial nail in the coffin with a 29-yard Greg Joseph kick.

    Rodgers is great, and so is spreader Davante Adams, who has 115 yards and two scores on seven receptions, but the Packers as a whole are much better when they have balance on offense.

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