Green Bay Packers fans: Take a Deep Breath (Week 13)


Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn in the end zone for a safety during the third quarter during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports photograph

It’s taken me this long to get over the “Thanksgiving Day Debacle in Detroit” (I just made that up), Green Bay Packers fans, which is why I’m writing this nearly a full week since that 40-10 drubbing at the hands of the Detroit Lions.

I will admit, however, that I have also been holding off in hopes of getting news about quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ availability for Sunday’s do-or-die face-off with the Atlanta Falcons. Because, frankly, if I know we have to roll Matt Flynn out there again this week after what I saw unfold last Thursday, I’ll be hard-pressed to provide any reasons to take a deep breath.

Here’s why:

  • The Packers defense gave up 561 net yards in total offense.
  • The Packers offense gained 126.
  • The Packers offense managed just 7 first downs to the Lions’ 30, and was 2-of-10 on third down conversions.
  • The Packers defense was charged with 20-plus missed tackles, according to some media reports. By comparison, the Saints had 57 for the entire season going into Monday night’s loss to the Seahawks.
  • Johnny Jolly, Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji combined for two tackles (Raji was shut out).
  • Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk combined for 14 solo tackles and 9 assists, which is unsurprising given the previous bullet point.
  • Time of possession was 40:26 to 19:34 in favor of Detroit, which means in a four-quarter game, the Packers controlled the ball for just over one quarter of it (This, of course, hamstrings the defense).
  • The Packers cheerleaders were seen in the fourth quarter cheering for Detroit.

“Yeah, he’s not answering his phone.”

OK, I made that last one up.

I almost wrote this one instead: “At halftime, Dom Capers called my cell phone in hopes I would suit up and play on defense in the second half, and I let the call go to voicemail.”

But you get my point – I created this recurring column as a way of analyzing each week’s game, along with finding reasons for fans not to panic in the event of a loss, an injury, inconsistent play, etc.

But this? I never expected this. It was appalling.

It got so bad that toward the end I kept averting my eyes – it hurt to watch.

I don’t have to tell you all this; I’m sure you watched it, too. Or most of it. So here’s my half-hearted attempt at convincing you, all the frustrated Packers fans, to take a deep breath:

Cause for concern: The Packers’ defense couldn’t tackle my mom.

Reason to take a deep breath: What’s her 40 time? And how much can she bench press? I’d have to know that before I can say anything for sure.

“Is it really only the third quarter?”

Cause for concern: Matt Flynn might not be the answer.

Reason to take a deep breath: Remember a week and a half ago when we were sure Flynn’s career was suddenly reborn? How foolish do we all look now? He was missing reads left and right. To be fair, the guy had NO time. You can’t block 13 guys with six, and I’m pretty sure the Lions were bringing 13 every time Flynn dropped back to pass. Next.

Cause for concern: Toby Gerhart. TOBY GERHART.

Reason to take a deep breath: OK, you need to let that go.

Cause for concern: Well, the season’s over. Only a miracle will get us into the playoffs now.

Reason to take a deep breath: I’m going to echo the great and wise Vic Ketchman over at and say that the best thing we can do is just focus on beating Atlanta, while keeping one eye on the Lions-Eagles game.

It’s foolish to look any further ahead than that.

Enjoy the game on Sunday, and keep in mind that the Falcons – even if the Packers do start Flynn – really aren’t in any better shape than we are.

Go Packers!