Ha Ha’s miss
While there were many poor performances in this game from Green Bay, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was a shining bright spot for most of the contest.
The two early INTs were both great plays by him, and provided his offense chances to get this to being a competitive matchup again. He also added in a sack while becoming Green Bay’s top-graded player by Pro Football Focus for the week.
He wasn’t perfect, however, and his failure to make one final play helped seal the eventual loss.
Green Bay had found some late life in the game, scoring two quick TDs in the 4th quarter to cut a 31-13 deficit down to just 31-26 with 3:29 remaining. If the defense could get one more stop, the offense seemed to be on the kind of roll where they would likely find their way into the endzone to steal away a win they had no business of getting.
They wouldn’t even get the chance.
The defense quickly got Indianapolis into a 3rd-&-10 on their own 25; get a stop here, and the Packers have plenty of time and a timeout remaining to make a final drive. The defense got pressure on the snap, with an excellent playcall leaving Clinton-Dix running free around the left edge of the protection. He gets his hands on Luck, seemingly to take him down for a sack; we can already envision the punter trotting out there and seeing Rodgers driving for the game-winning score.
Unfortunately, Clinton-Dix wasn’t able to finish the play. Luck broke out of the potential tackle, stepped up in the pocket, and hit Jack Doyle open over the middle for a 20 yard gain. Green Bay would have one more shot to stop Indianapolis on a 3rd down, but this play was the one where the best opportunity to make something happen.
Clinton-Dix had his hands on him, but could not stop him. The play was there for the taking, but he couldn’t finish.
I’m not going to bash him about this — like I said, he was the top performer of anyone in green & gold on the afternoon — but this one play was there for the taking, and he just couldn’t take down Luck. It continues the narrative of the defense as a whole being unable to make the one final stop which could change the game (much like last week, where they couldn’t make a stop on Atlanta’s game-winning drive).
If Ha Ha can keep up this sort of overall effort going forward, games like this may end up as a thing of the past. For now, it just hurts to see where even the guy playing the best on the team falls just shy of being able to get his team in position to win.