The Green Bay Packers came into Sunday’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens with a chance to improve to 6-4 on the season and stay in the mix for playoff contention. After defeating the Chicago Bears on the road last week, getting a home victory against the inconsistent Baltimore Ravens seemed reasonable to ask of the Rodgers-less Packers.
Brett Hundley had shown some exciting flashes with his arm against Chicago, and his chemistry with the offense appeared to be growing. The Ravens had lost three of their last four games, with their win being a flukey 40-0 demolition of the Dolphins on Thursday night football. The Ravens defense provided three touchdowns in that game, and has been strong all year while their offense has struggled.
On Sunday, the Ravens defense again paved the way for a shutout win, 23-0. The Packers were blanked at home for the first time in 11 years to the date, when the Patriots came to Lambeau and emerged victorious by a score of 35-0. Without Aaron Rodgers, everyone knew things would be difficult for the Packers, but to play so poorly at home like this has to be upsetting for both the team and the fans.
“We’ve got too much talent in this locker room on offense, too much talent to go out there and put on a display like that. Zero points. There’s no reason we should have zero points whoever we’re playing,” said wide receiver Davante Adams after the game (quote courtesy of ESPN’s Rob Demovsky).
After a solid drive to start the game, Hundley made a poor throw towards the end zone after staring down Randall Cobb to his left and was intercepted. After a tough defensive stop, Hundley and the Packers got a second chance to score the game’s first points, but the turnover bug bit yet again. On second and long, trying to make a play, Hundley scrambled out of the pocket and unleashed a deep throw that would end up easily intercepted by Ravens safety Eric Weddle.
The Ravens would tack on a field goal following their second forced turnover, and those three points would prove to be all they would have needed to win. On Green Bay’s third possession, rookie running back Devante Mays got his first NFL carry and promptly coughed up a fumble that Baltimore would fall on. Things were ugly all game long for the Packers who never got going after stumbling so heavily out of the gates.
The Packers were unable to score as they played from terrible field position almost every drive, and finished the game with five turnovers. Joe Flacco really did nothing too impressive while the Ravens had the ball, with his lone touchdown pass coming from a phenomenal catch by Mike Wallace early in the third quarter. Green Bay actually out-gained Baltimore in total offense with 265 yards to their 219, but the turnovers negated that statistic in the end.
The shutout was Baltimore’s third of the season, with the other two coming against the Dolphins and Bengals. They improved to 5-5 on the year, keeping their playoff chances alive. Green Bay fall to 5-5 and will have their work cut out for them down the backstretch without Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers take on the AFC East’s first place Steelers next week in Pittsburgh.