Week 9: Colts Hand Packers Painful Loss
Jon: The Packers are heading home to Lambeau to face the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have exactly one strength, and that’s quarterback Andrew Luck. Green Bay is 4-3, coming off a tough one in Atlanta.
But you figure, you’re going back to Lambeau Field and playing the Colts, who are objectively not good. Even though they have Andrew Luck, to an outsider, they seem like Andrew Luck and a bunch of bums. Luck had been sacked 22 times over the Colts previous five games, and the Colts were 2-3 in that stretch.
Indianapolis’ defense had been struggling, especially in the secondary. They had the 31st ranked pass defense coming into that game. Also worth noting is that the Packers secondary is getting better, supposedly. Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall return from their injuries. On offense, someone has returned as well. Ty Montgomery has overcome the illness he was dealing with the previous week in Atlanta, and is starting for the first time at running back.
A poor start proves too much to overcome for Green Bay
Gary: It doesn’t matter who’s starting at running back or the secondary when the Colts score a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the game. Jordan Todman returns it 99 yards, and suddenly the Packers are facing a 7-0 hole.
There was a lot of bad in this game. I know you mentioned that the Atlanta game may have been the low point in the season – at least from a personnel standpoint – but I think this was a low point from the fans’ perspective.
If you’re watching this game, the Packers are getting outplayed at home by a Colts team that isn’t very good. On top of that, the Packers are doing things that would indicate they’re going to win this game.
For example, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepts Andrew Luck not once, but twice, in the first quarter. It doesn’t even matter. They can’t turn it into more than seven points, and the crowd is out of it for most of this game.
Then, the Colts are up 7 points in the final minutes of the first half and Andrew Luck takes them down 96 yards for a touchdown. The Packers go into halftime down two scores. By the halfway point of the fourth quarter, it’s 31-13.
The Packers make it close in the end with some touchdowns, but they can’t get a defensive stop in the final minutes to get the ball back to have a shot to win the game. Ty Montgomery started at running back and reaches the 50 yard mark rushing with seven carries.
At this point, Green Bay has played six of their eight home games. They have two remaining games at Lambeau Field, both in December. They’re at .500, with four wins and four losses and looking up at both Minnesota, who started 5-0 but is coming back down to reality, and a Detroit squad who is playing quite well.
Aaron Rodgers looks lost, the defense is in a free fall, special teams is now struggling, and the leading running back is a wide receiver. Where’s the silver lining?
Jon: I don’t see a silver lining to this game.
Backstory for me: I was on my way home from a work conference in Vancouver during this game. I followed the game online, and watched the final quarter in the Detroit airport while trying to make my connection back to Indiana.
A confession for me: occasionally, once or twice a year, I get too invested in a game. And this was that game for me. I was tired from being on the road, I was tired from being away from home, and I was very irritated because I couldn’t find anything decent to eat.
I was furious at the end of this game, and it boils to a head on the very last significant play of the game. The Colts are facing 3rd and 2 from the Packers’ 47 yard line. They’re out of field goal range, and they’re probably going to punt if the Packers can stop them here.
The way the Packers are moving the ball, you figure if they get the ball back, there’s a good chance Aaron Rodgers will have a shot to win the game. Instead, the defense gives up a 27-yard completion to T.Y. Hilton.
I remember yelling – I’m not proud of this – in the Detroit airport, “They have ONE receiver!”
And that’s not an exaggeration! I looked it up, and T.Y. Hilton was the only Colts receiver to finish the season with more than 600 receiving yards. Are you kidding me? How do you let that happen? The Packers just completely got worked in this one. It was embarrassing.
Gary: Jon, I want you to know that this is a safe space. I care about you, and I care about your whole person. I’m sorry that the Detroit airport let you down.
Jon: There were quite a few Packers fans there, and I didn’t even get any unusual looks. I don’t know what that says about the kinds of people you see at the airport, but if me yelling about the Packers doesn’t even earn me a head turn, I guess I don’t know what to think.
This conversation first appeared in Episode 18 of our weekly podcast. Blue 58, powered by WTMJ Mobile, goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.