No 2-for-1s today
I talked about two-for-one opportunities last week. For those who didn’t read that one, a two-for-one in this instance is when a team has a chance to score before the half and also receives the ball after halftime. They don’t happen in every game, but can have a powerful effect if they do.
Opportunities like this can completely swing a game. If a team is up when they receive this chance, they can put their opponents in a multi-score hole and run away with the contest; if they are down, they can carve into the deficit and even take the lead, throwing an opponent immediately from the driver’s seat into chasing position.
In this game, Green Bay found itself behind 17-10 and punting before half. That punt pinned the Colts at their own 4 with 5:44 remaining; should Green Bay manage a stop, they would have plenty of time to go for a score of some sort leading into the half — and they would be getting the ball back afterwards.
From this point, the score could have gone numerous ways — most of which would have been at least somewhat favorable to Green Bay by the time Indianapolis got the ball back in the second half:
- 24-13 Indianapolis
- 24-17 Indianapolis
- 17-13 Indianapolis
- 17-16 Indianapolis
- 20-17 Green Bay
- 24-17 Green Bay
Some of those are much better than others, but all of those would have been preferable to what actually happened.
From their 4 yard line, Indianapolis drove all the way down the field for a touchdown. Along the way, the Colts converted three different 3rd downs and used up 5:33 of the remaining 5:44. This put the Packers down 24-10 with only :11 left in the half — not enough time for a pre-halftime drive.
It only got worse from there. The drive after the half could still give Green Bay either a 24-13 or 24-17 deficit despite getting no chance to drive before halftime, but it was a sloppy display:
- Green Bay barely avoided a quick three-and-out
- They got a lucky with a defensive holding call.
- Cobb had his aforementioned first touch of the game on a run, with the Packers getting lucky his eventual fumble wasn’t given to the Colts
- Despite the fumble luck, the ball got moved backwards anyway due to a holding call.
- Rodgers tries to break out of the pocket on a scramble, but gets tripped up for a sack.
- The team had to call a timeout after the sack, despite plenty of time to get a play off.
- Rodgers throws an INT, but it gets called back due to off-setting penalties (a roughing the passer hit on Rodgers, but Corey Linsley also held on the play)
- Rodgers throws another INT, and this one counted; this one was over the middle throw to Adams easily grabbed by a defender sitting nearby who jumped the route
So what could have been a great opportunity became zero points and a 14 point deficit. It was emblematic of a day where Green Bay continued to flub away any chance to get themselves back in the game until it was too late — and really it could be a banner for the season to this point.