The Green Bay Packers had to win. Instead, they were defeated at Lambeau Field for the first time this season, a 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
If ever there was an example of a team that looked to have given up on its season, this was it. In a game the Green Bay Packers had to win, they didn’t even look interested.
Where was the sense of urgency? Where was the “galvanizing moment”?
Instead, the Packers lost to an Arizona Cardinals team that had just two victories all season entering Week 13. It was at Lambeau Field. In the snow. Conditions that should suit the Packers.
But it was more of the same for this team. The Packers converted just three of 14 third down attempts. Special teams mistakes were a problem once again. And as we’ve seen against the Cardinals in the past, they couldn’t stop Larry Fitzgerald when it mattered the most.
His catch on third-and-23 led to the Cardinals’ game-winning field goal.
Green Bay had a tough five-game stretch that included four road games. But this was supposed to be the beginning of a much more comfortable end to the season.
With this loss to the Cardinals the Packers’ season is over. There was still a small chance that winning out would get them a wild-card berth, but eight wins won’t be enough this year. Right now they’ll be lucky to avoid finishing with a losing record.
Not for the first time this season Aaron Jones wasn’t given enough opportunities. Green Bay’s best running back only had 11 carries and four receptions all afternoon. Jones only had five touches for the rest of the game after 10 in the first quarter.
The blame goes on Mike McCarthy, and it’s hard to see him remaining as the head coach at the end of the season.
The Packers are a team with no identity. They have no rhythm on offense.
With an MVP quarterback, this team should be winning 10-plus games a season and competing for a Super Bowl.
But at 4-7-1, the attention turns to the offseason. Who will be the head coach in 2019? How high will their draft pick be?
A busy offseason awaits for general manager Brian Gutekunst as he looks to build the roster, and Mark Murphy will also have a big decision to make at head coach.