When the Green Bay Packers wake up the day after Thanksgiving, it will be Black Friday. That will have nothing to do with holiday sales. This is a team that should be in mourning.
Green Bay’s task against the Detroit Lions was simple. The Packers needed to hold down the fort and pull off a win to stay alive in the NFC North. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has not played since Week 9 due to a broken collarbone, but reportedly could return in Week 14. A win against Detroit would have made it easier for Rodgers to lead his team to the playoff sunset.
There was only one problem.
Green Bay proved it cannot function without Rodgers during a 40-10 loss against Detroit in Ford Field.
Oh, Detroit gave Green Bay plenty of chances.
• On Detroit’s first possession, Lions running back Reggie Bush fumbled on Green Bay's 9-yard line, and it was recovered by the Packers.
• Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew dropped a potential touchdown pass in the second quarter, and Detroit was forced to settle for a field goal.
• Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked by Packers linebacker Nick Perry and Morgan Burnett was there to scoop up a fumble. He scored on a 1-yard run, giving Green Bay a 10-3 lead.
• Stafford threw a first-half interception, giving Detroit three first-half turnovers.
• Just for good measure, Lions kicker David Akers missed a 31-yard field goal right before halftime.
Detroit led 17-10 as the second half began. Green Bay simply needed to regroup and capitalize on its opportunities. The Lions were on a two-game losing streak, and both of those losses were against teams with sub-.500 records (Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay). Green Bay still had a shot.
Then the Packers blew it.
Packers quarterback Matt Flynn imploded. He completed 10-of-20 passes for just 139 yards and one interception. Green Bay had seven first downs to Detroit’s 30.
Detroit’s defense registered seven sacks, caused two fumbles, and Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh recorded a safety.
Even if Rodgers can play in Week 14, what exactly is he coming back to?
Green Bay has not won a game in Rodgers’ absence, and his team is now 5-6-1. The Packers have fallen a game-and-a-half behind the Lions in the NFC North, and it is will be hard to make the playoffs. Green’s Bay’s remaining opponents are Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Chicago. The Packers may need to win each game for a chance at the postseason. That is easier said than done.
The Packers' postseason aspirations are slipping away.
It is time for them to mourn.
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