Like all NFL clubs, the Packers have strengths, flaws and question marks. A closer look at those advantages, imperfections and uncertainties provides a glimpse into the chances of the Packers winning their second Super Bowl in the past three seasons.
Sam Shields and Charles Woodson are both healthy and playing dominant football. Bouncing back after a lackluster 2011 season, Shields’ star has risen dramatically. During Saturday’s playoff victory over the Vikings, he pulled in an interception and posted a team-high seven tackles.
Charles Woodson returned from a collarbone injury that kept him out for most of the season. Despite the absence, it didn’t take long for Woodson to make his presence known. Seemingly in or around every play, the leader of the Packers’ locker room lifted the defense – both physically and metaphorically – and gave the unit the spark they needed to be dominant.
The culmination of individual players peaking and the defense steadily improving led Aaron Rodgers to claim his defense is playing at a “championship level” in a post-game interview. Whether or not Rodgers’ proclamation proves true or not remains to be seen, but if Rodgers continues his superb play, he may not need a championship defense.
The Packers quarterback is in the prime of his career and has some of the best pass catchers in the game at his disposal. Add in the emergence of running back DuJuan Harris and Rodgers’ return path to the Super Bowl is beginning to take shape.
The 49ers destroyed the Packers in Week One of the regular season. The final score was much closer than the actual game, and the Packers were outplayed and out coached.
Two completely different teams will take the field on Saturday at Candlestick Park, but Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff will need to perform at a much higher-level to escape San Francisco with a victory.
In addition to being well coached, the 49ers execute their game plan very well. Frank Gore is a talented back who will test the Packers’ linebackers and the 49ers’ defense plays fast and delivers unforgiving hits.
If the Packers are able to get off to a fast start on Saturday evening – something that has eluded the offense on many occasions this year – the team should be able to equalize San Francisco’s rushing attack. Green Bay is capable of coming back from behind but a slow start makes matters much more difficult for both the offense and the defense.
The Packers will need to be at the top of their game in every aspect – coaching and execution – if they expect to move on to the NFC Championship Game.
A season long question mark, Mason Crosby seems to have regained his form as of late. The sixth-year kicker has converted his last five field-goal attempts and appears to have recaptured the swagger that led the Packers to spend a sixth-round draft choice on the kicker back in 2007.
Crosby’s missteps this season have not derailed the Packers, but the stakes are elevated in postseason football. Mike McCarthy’s decision to stay with Crosby all year could pay dividends or it could spell defeat.
Aside from the final regular-season game in Minnesota, the Packers defense has played extremely well in final month of the season.
The question remains, however, which defense will show up in San Francisco? The unit that allowed Adrian Peterson to run for almost 200 yards and Christian Ponder to throw for three touchdowns or the group that stymied Jay Cutler and Matt Forte?
Perhaps more important than kickers and defensive play is the turnover battle. The second most important statistic in almost every game, the team that creates more turnovers usually wins.
Fortunately for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers and the offense rarely turn the ball over. Unfortunately for the Packers, neither do the 49ers. Both teams gave away the ball 16 times this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers created 23 turnovers and the 49ers fashioned 25. Relatively mistake-free football has been an asset to both teams this season.
Playing clean, efficient football helped both the Packers and 49ers claim 11 wins during the regular season. The team that continues that trend will likely come out victorious on Saturday.
The Vikings handed the Packers their first defeat in NFC North play in almost two full seasons by beating Green Bay 37-34.
No Answer for Adrian
The only thing Adrian Peterson didn’t do on Sunday was break Erik Dickerson’s single season rushing record; he fell eight yards short.
The Packers couldn’t find a way to stop the dynamic back as he rumbled for 199 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown.
Green Bay’s defenders looked meek as Peterson broke arm tackles and willed his way through the defense all afternoon.
Turnovers Tell the Tale
As is the case in most contests, the winner of the turnover battle won the game.
Aaron Rodgers coughed up the ball in the third quarter when Vikings’ defensive end Brian Robison stripped Rodgers as he attempted to throw while on the run.
The turnover marked a shift in momentum as Minnesota converted Rodgers’ turnover into a touchdown when, ten plays later, Christian Ponder found a wide-open Adrian Peterson in the end zone for the score.
Unlike the first meeting between these two clubs, where Ponder threw two interceptions, the Vikings did not record a turnover on Sunday.
The Packers’ secondary had their chances, but the defensive unit could not come up with a big play as the Vikings’ offense racked up 444 total yards.
The Vikings converted six of their 12 third-downs as well as their only fourth-down attempt.
The Vikings controlled most of the first half, and the Packers’ defense was on their heels for much of the day. The Packers defense did not force the Vikings into a three-and-out until the 9:21 mark of the second quarter.
Despite the defense not being able to get off the field for most of the game, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense continually answered the Vikings’ scoring drives as the Packers converted six-of-13 third-downs as well as their only fourth-down.
The dagger was twisted by the Vikings’ offense, however, when Christian Ponder connected with Michael Jenkins on a third-and-11 play from the Vikings’ 27-yard line.
On the play, the Packers rushed three and were unable to pressure Ponder as he found Michael Jenkins along the sideline. Jenkins slipped between three Packers’ defenders and the 25-yard gain helped position the Vikings for a game-winning Blair Walsh field goal.
Jordy Nelson sat out part of the second half with a knee injury but was able to return to the game. Nelson appeared to injure his knee while blocking for Jermichael Finley on the penultimate play of the first half. Finley and Nelson got tangled up on the play as both had to be helped to their feet on the sidelines.
Clay Matthews fell hard to the Metrodome turf after attempting to tackle Adrian Peterson but also returned to the game. Matthews did not re-injure his hamstring but said he felt pain run through his entire body as he slammed down onto the turf.
While Matthews and Nelson were able to return, the fortunes of Jarrett Boykin and Jerel Worthy were not as bright.
Jarrett Boykin hurt his left ankle while recording his only catch of the game. Boykin’s leg bent backwards when Vikings’ defensive back A.J. Jefferson wrestled him to the ground after hauling in a fourth-and-one pass from Aaron Rodgers. The rookie out of Virginia Tech was able to jog off the field but the cart was used to transport Boykin to the locker room shortly thereafter.
Defensive lineman Jerel Worthy also suffered a knee injury. The rookie lineman’s knee buckled under him late in the fourth quarter. Worthy’s injury occurred after slight contact from Vikings’ tackle Phil Loadholt, but the contact did not appear to force the injury. Worthy fell to the ground after planting his left leg in the turf and had to be carted off the field.
The Vikings and Packers face off again next week. The rematch takes place in Green Bay and is set for next Saturday evening at 7:00 pm, central time.
If the Packers win, they move on to face the 49ers in San Francisco the following Saturday at 7:00 pm.
The Green Bay Packers easily defeated the Tennessee Titans 55-7.
All the Right Moves
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has taken a lot of criticism lately for standing by his kicker Mason Crosby.
On Sunday, Crosby finally made his coach look good by hitting both field goal attempts. For the first time since Week 3, the Packers’ kicker made every field goal he attempted in a game.
While McCarthy remained steadfast to his kicker all season, the same cannot be said about his center. This week the Packers made the move to third-year lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith to replace veteran Jeff Saturday at center.
The move appeared to pay dividends as the running game looked impressive and Dietrich-Smith consistently reached the second level on his blocks. Aside from one sack in the first half, the Packers offensive line played well with Dietrich-Smith anchoring the line.
It’s that time of year again. The Packers rushing attack has come alive in the month of December.
With injuries to Alex Green and James Starks, the Packers’ backup options did an admirable job shouldering the load.
The team finished with 117 rushing yards, and an effective running game opened up the passing game for Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense.
Ryan Grant looked inspired early on as he rattled off runs of 18- and 9-yards on the Packers’ initial touchdown drive. The veteran running back, who was re-signed three weeks ago, averaged four yards per carry, converted a tough fourth-and-1 and added two touchdowns in the game.
Starter DuJuan Harris also contributed to the rushing resurgence. The second-year player scored his second career touchdown on the opening possession of the second half and chipped in 29 total yards on the day.
With the Packers’ running backs and the defense each finding a rhythm late in the season, the Packers are well positioned as the team enters the playoffs.
Exactly How It Was Drawn Up
The Titans’ offense showed its true colors on Sunday, but credit the Packers’ defense for spoiling Tennessee’s trip to Green Bay.
The defensive unit rose to the occasion holding Titans’ running back Chris Johnson to just 28 yards on 11 carries and, more importantly, holding the team to a single touchdown late in the game.
The defense posted seven sacks, two interceptions and held Tennessee to 180 total yards.
Individually, veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk recorded two sacks, three hits on Tennessee’s Jake Locker and posted seven tackles.
In a league where nothing comes easily, the entire Packers’ defense made things look simple and effortless on Sunday.
Randall Cobb suffered an ankle injury during a second half punt return. Initially, the injury appeared serious as both teammates and opponents waved for trainers to attend to Cobb, but the receiver was able to jog off the field under his own power before walking to the Packers’ locker room.
Cornerback Davon House was also injured during a punt return in the fourth quarter. House injured his left shoulder, the same shoulder he dislocated in preseason action.
After the game, Mike McCarthy seemed cautiously optimistic regarding Cobb’s injury.
“The training staff on the field did not give me anything to believe that it was very serious but as you know with ankle sprains and joint injuries the next day is a huge indicator,” McCarthy told reporters.
Early Monday morning, initial tests also proved positive for Cobb. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that X-ray’s on Randall Cobb’s ankle were negative. Early reports suggest that the Packers’ receiver dodged a bullet Sunday.
The Packers finish their regular season next week in Minnesota. A win solidifies the second seed in the playoffs and a week of rest. A loss puts the Packers in the third seed and a playoff game at Lambeau.
The Vikings posted an impressive victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday. As a team, the Vikings will be fighting for a playoff spot, and individually, Adrian Peterson will be chasing Erik Dickerson’s single-season rushing yard record. Peterson needs 208 yards to eclipse Dickerson’s record; he hammered out 210 the last time these two teams met.
As for the Packers, good teams find ways to win close games and good teams easily defeat lesser opponents. After a slow start to the season, the Packers are proving to be a good team.
With no clear leader in either conference, the Packers have as good a chance as any other team to run the table and find themselves playing in New Orleans come February.
The Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North with a victory over the Chicago Bears 21-13.
The Big Play
Opposing defenses have stymied the Packers’ big play ability all season long by playing with a two-deep safety look known as “Cover 2”. Despite facing the Bears, who play the Cover 2 defense more often and better than most, the Packers’ offense found success on a number of long pass plays that this defense was designed to prevent.
On a single series midway through the second quarter alone, Aaron Rodgers connected with three different receivers for passing plays of 19 yards or more. The drive culminated with James Jones getting a step on his defender and hauling in a 29-yard touchdown pass for his first of three scores on the day.
Rodgers also found success against the usually stingy Bears defense for passes of 27, 31 and 14 yards in the second half. The Packers 278 passing and 113 rushing yards were enough for Rodgers and company to slay the Bears for the eighth time in their last ten meetings.
Each team had turnovers in the contest. Chicago’s Jay Cutler threw an interception to rookie Casey Hayward late in the first half for Chicago’s sole turnover while Green Bay had two fumbles in the second half.
The Packers cashed in Hayward’s interception for a touchdown just before the first half ended, but the Bears were only able to convert two fumbles into field goals.
The Packers lost the turnover battle, but Green Bay’s stout defense helped even out the point differential.
Credit the Packers’ defense. Typically turnovers spell defeat, but when a team is able to hold an opponent to 0-for-9 on third-down and 0-for-1 on fourth-down, mistakes can be overcome.
The Receiving Corps
Greg Jennings continued to reacquaint himself with the offense and Jermichael Finley put together one of his best outings of the season, but the day belonged to Randall Cobb and James Jones.
Randall Cobb finished the day with six receptions for a game-high 115 receiving yards, but more importantly, he regularly created separation from the Bears’ defenders. The second year receiver converted third-downs, and even a fourth-down, into first-downs on each of the three Packers’ touchdown drives.
James Jones only hauled in five passes for 60 yards, but three of his grabs went for touchdowns. Jones leads the NFL with 12 touchdowns on the year and continues to outperform the three-year $9.4 million dollar contract he signed in the offseason.
While each member of the receiving group helped stretch the defense and open up routes in the passing game, Rodgers’ laser-like precision made the offense go. He missed an occasional throw, but for most of the day, he put on a quarterbacking clinic.
Kicker Mason Crosby’s struggles continued as he missed two more field goals on Sunday. Missing his first badly to the right and hitting the crossbar on his second attempt, any semblance of confidence the kicker once had is nowhere to be found.
Despite only connecting on 17-of-29 field goal attempts this year, head coach Mike McCarthy reiterated in his post-game press conference that Mason Crosby will remain the Packers kicker.
Crosby’s kicking wasn’t the only special teams gaffe. With the Packers leading 21-10 and less than eight minutes to play in the game, the Packers punt return team’s trickery went badly wrong.
Punt returner Randall Cobb fielded a punt cleanly at his own 23-yard line before attempting to throw the ball back to first year receiver Jeremy Ross. Ross, who has not touched the football all season, was unable to haul in Cobb’s lateral and Chicago recovered the fumble at the Green Bay 16-yard line.
Between the horrible timing and awful execution, the play will go down as one of Mike McCarthy’s worst of his entire coaching tenure.
For as bad as most of the special teams were, the opposite was true for punter Tim Masthay. In addition to his great punts all afternoon, especially his final boot that pinned the Bears on their own 3-yard line, Masthay added a tackle in the game against Devin Hester, one of the game’s best and most dynamic returners.
The newly crowned NFC North Champions return to Green Bay to face the Tennessee Titans next Sunday. The Packers have two games left and remain in the hunt for the number two seed and the important bye week to rest players before starting postseason football.
The Packers defeated the Lions 27-20 to complete the season sweep of Detroit.
Lambeau Field was an odd place Sunday evening.
James Jones dropped a pass for the first time all year, Aaron Rodgers lost a rare fumble, Mike Daniels was spotted showing off a Lambeau Leap, the Packers ran the ball with gusto and Mason Crosby hit two big field goals.
Most of the team’s luck this season has been bad, so the Packers welcomed some positive luck on Sunday.
Good luck coupled with a dominating performance in the second half proved to be the equation for victory on Sunday as the Packers moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
Running the Football
The Packers defense was gashed on the ground for the third straight week. The Lions running backs totaled 135 yards on 32 carries, but when it mattered most, the defense came through. The defensive unit was better in the second half while playing with a lead, but the hopeful return of Clay Matthews next week cannot come soon enough.
After seeing the field for just over seven minutes in the entire first half, the Packers offense made the most of its opportunities in the second session.
The offense, led by the rushing attack, came alive. In fact, the Packers only touchdown drive of the fourth quarter featured seven plays and not a single pass.
Green Bay covered 59 yards in just over four minutes following good field position after a rare Jason Hanson missed field goal. The drive culminated with newcomer DuJuan Harris scoring a touchdown on an untouched 14-yard dash up the middle.
Overall, the Packers totaled 140 yards on the ground and continued their streak of running the ball well in the month of December
Play of the Game
The Packers’ offense faced a third-and-four from the Lions 27-yard line on the eighth play of the opening drive of the second half.
Following the snap, the pocket quickly collapsed around quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Like he has so many times before, Rodgers somehow escaped harm. Sprinting out of the chaos and to his right, Rodgers looked for Jermichael Finley in the flat.
Finley continued his route to the sideline and the Lions’ defender closely trailed the tight end creating a clear path for Rodgers to run to the end zone.
Five yards from the end zone, Rodgers raised the ball into the air to celebrate and upon crossing the end line pulled out a championship belt before heading to the stands for one of the poorer Lambeau Leaps in Rodgers’ history.
The score gave the Packers their first lead of the game and the momentum shift proved too much for the Lions to overcome.
Turnovers Tell the Story
Aside from the final score, the turnover battle is typically the second most telling statistic. And for the second straight game, it was the Packers positive ratio in the category that helped bring the team to victory.
An early Rodgers’ fumble led directly to a Lions touchdown but the sole Packers turnover was overcome with a productive second half by the offense.
Matthew Stafford’s own fumble led to a touchdown with defensive lineman Mike Daniels scooping up the ball and barreling 43-yards for the score.
Sam Shields first half interception of Stafford didn’t lead to any points but did stop the Lions’ drive and helped taper the Lions’ explosive first half.
Both quarterbacks’ fumbles proved costly, but the Packers overcame what the Lions could not. As Rodgers pointed out in a post-game interview with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya, “Ugly wins are better than tough losses” and the Packers will gladly take the victory.
The Packers came out of the contest unscathed and will happily welcome back Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson for next week’s game in Chicago.
A win against the Bears would clinch the NFC North crown for the Packers.
The Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-14 at Lambeau Field.
Rhythm and Injury
The Packers offense thrives on its fast-paced rhythm. And on Sunday’s first two drives, the offense was executing beautifully.
Rodgers’ completion rate was 10-of-12 through two possessions, the no huddle was keeping the pressure on the Vikings’ defense, and had Ed Hochuli’s crew not flagged T.J. Lang for a questionable holding call, the Packers would have posted two touchdowns on their first two drives.
Instead, the penalty backed up the Packers, and forced the offense to settle for a 30-yard Mason Crosby field goal that hit the left upright and bounced in.
On the second drive, however, the injury bug struck. Jordy Nelson’s third-down catch on the sideline put the Packers in the red zone but aggravated Nelson’s hamstring forcing him from the game.
The injury marked a turning point in the first half. Without Nelson in the game, the Packers offense hit a slump. It was not until midway through the third quarter that the Packers were able to score again on a Mason Crosby field goal.
For a team decimated by injuries, the offense has struggled all season to find its preferred gear of a no-huddle, quick hitting offense.
Will the Packers find their high-flying form this season? The mounting injuries make it unlikely, but with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Packers will almost never be out of a game.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Without a doubt, Aaron Rodgers is the Packers’ most valuable player.
He didn’t have a spectacular day by measure of statistics – 27-of-35 for 286 yards, 1 TD and 1 pick – but he continues to will his team to victory each week.
The Packers quarterback isn’t hitting on nearly as many big plays this season as teams are consistently playing two deep safeties and daring the Packers to run the ball, but he manages to do all of the little things very well.
His leadership commands respect from his teammates as well as his opponents, his snap count and cadence regularly draws opponents offsides creating “free plays” and his ability to extend plays with his legs buys him time for his receivers to get open.
And his ability to throw the ball on the run with pinpoint accuracy? Uncanny. Just ask Christian Ponder how difficult that skill can be.
The Packers have shown they can win without key playmakers on both sides of the ball, but without Aaron Rodgers this team would be dismal.
The Cost of Turnovers
With the Packers trailing 14-10 at the half, the Vikings opened up the second session with more fireworks from Adrian Peterson. On the first play of the half, Peterson blasted through the left side of the line shedding would-be Packers tacklers on his way to a 48-yard run.
Like most of the afternoon, however, Peterson’s spectacular performance was all for naught as Christian Ponder threw his first of two interceptions to Morgan Burnett.
Rolling to his right, Ponder threw the ball directly into the hands of Burnett who was camped out in front of Vikings’ receiver Michael Jenkins in the end zone.
Thanks in large part to a Jermichael Finley 3rd-down catch that jumpstarted the Packers offense, Green Bay turned the interception into a 12-play, six-minute drive that culminated in a Mason Crosby field goal and put the Packers within one point.
Ponder’s second interception also came deep in Packers territory. Following a Tramon Williams’ personal foul for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Toby Gerhart, the Packers found themselves backed up against their red zone when Morgan Burnett struck again.
Burnett stepped in front of tight end Kyle Rudolph to snatch his second interception of the game. Burnett’s turnover ended the third quarter and propelled the offense into an 18-play, 11-minute drive that resulted in another Crosby field goal.
As for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers’ interception on a badly underthrown flea-flicker to Greg Jennings was equalized by a stout Packers defense that forced a three-and-out on the Vikings ensuing possession.
Running the Football in December
No matter who lines up in the backfield, the Packers seem to find a way to run the football in the final month of the regular season.
And on the second day of December in 2012, the trend continued. The Packers two-pronged attack of Alex Green and James Starks equalized the Vikings pass rush and bought Aaron Rodgers and the receiving corps some much needed space to operate.
Green and Starks combined for 124 of the team’s 152 rushing yards and Starks, who McCarthy characterized as “a cut above” Green on Sunday, added a 22-yard touchdown, which marked the Packers first rushing score since week 5.
McCarthy’s commitment to the run was evident in his play calling. Green Bay finished with 35 pass attempts compared to 36 rushes. And on the aforementioned 18-play drive, the plays were perfectly balanced – nine runs and nine passes.
Sunday’s rushing performance is exactly what the Packers will need if they hope to secure a playoff berth in the coming weeks.
Already with 10 players on injured reserve, and numerous others sitting out with lingering injuries, the Packers lost two more key players to injury on Sunday.
During the second series of the game, wide receiver Jordy Nelson limped to the sidelines after injuring his hamstring on a third-down conversion. Nelson walked to the locker room under his own power but was ruled out of the game at the start of the second half.
Offensive lineman T.J. Lang also left the game early due to injury. On a failed third-and-one attempt, Lang’s left ankle got twisted up as he was blocking. He was reportedly getting his ankle re-taped after the play but was ruled out of the game shortly thereafter.
In his stead, undrafted rookie Don Barclay stepped in for Lang and put together a performance that didn’t always look pretty but was effective.
The Packers’ win puts the team atop the standings in the NFC North with a record of 8-4. Coupled with a Chicago loss, the Packers and Bears share the same record and are set to meet in two weeks in a game that will play a large role in deciding the division champion.
First things first, however, as the Packers face the Lions at home next Sunday. The late start marks the second Sunday night game in three weeks for the Packers.
The New York Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers by the score of 38-10.
The Giants rushing attack set the tone early in what ended as a lopsided victory. Finishing the evening with 147 rushing yards and two touchdowns, the Giants running backs owned the Packers defense.
The Giants’ rushers gashed the Packers defense for big runs all evening. Talented runners breaking tackles combined with defenders failing to wrap up and gang-tackle spelled defeat for the Packers.
Converting Third Downs
With the Packers unable to generate any semblance of a pass rush, especially in the red zone, Eli Manning sat back and patiently waited for his receivers to execute their routes.
With all three of Manning’s touchdown passes coming on third-down plays in the red zone, the Packers defense couldn’t find a way to stop the Giants.
In fact, the Giants converted half of their third-down and fourth-down plays throughout the game. Clay Matthews’ absence was masked against the hapless Lions, but against the Giants, Matthews’ big-play ability was sorely missed.
Whether it’s Eli Manning this week or Christian Ponder next week, almost any signal caller will pick apart a defensive backfield if given enough time. The Packers pass rush has to improve, especially on third down in the red zone.
The Offensive Line
The Packers offensive line continues to struggle after losing Bryan Bulaga to a season-ending hip injury. In two games without their stalwart right tackle, the Packers have faced two formidable defensive fronts and not fared very well in either.
Against the Lions and Giants, the reconfigured line has given up 10 sacks, and on Sunday evening, the line could barely keep Rodgers upright.
With the quarterback forced to scramble seemingly every time he dropped back, finding a rhythm in the passing game was next to impossible.
If the battle in the trenches decides the outcome of more football games this season, the Packers offensive line will have to step up their game in order for the team to make a playoff run.
Running for his life all night, the Packers signal caller surrendered two turnovers for the first time this season. The pressure of the Giants defense only accounted for one turnover, however.
Giants’ defensive end Osi Umenyiora made Packers tackle Marshall Newhouse look like a practice squad player in the first half, as he was virtually untouched before stripping Rodgers of the football.
Rodgers’ fumble can be blamed on the offensive line, but the quarterback has no one to blame but himself for the early interception.
The last time Rodgers had two turnovers in one game? The last time his team faced the Giants, which ended the 2011 Packers’ season.
Early in the first quarter, two Packers special teamers went down. Backup running back Johnny White was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion and Jamari Lattimore sustained a calf injury. Lattimore returned in the second quarter, however.
The bigger injury occurred later in the game to defensive lineman C.J. Wilson. The third year player out of East Carolina, who has become a vital part of the defensive line rotation, was unable to return to the game after suffering a knee injury.
Ultimately, it’s one loss and the Packers are still 5-1 in their last six games. With a record of 7-4, the Packers remain in the hunt for the division title and the playoffs.
Green Bay returns home next week to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday who are only one game behind the Packers in the NFC North standings.