2020 Week 6 - That’s What Cheese Said

Hear from the head coach and players following Green Bay's first loss of the season. 

“We’ve gotta play better,” said quarterback Aaron Rodgers after his team’s 38-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rodgers uncharacteristically threw two interceptions in the game, with one being returned for a touchdown for only the third time in his career. 

Rodgers finished the game with 16 completions for 160 yards and his pair of interceptions for a rating of 35.4, one of the lowest of his career. He was also sacked four times. The defense wasn’t able to generate any pressure on Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, and the run game sputtered out against one of the quickest defenses in the NFL. 

“I think anytime you get punched in the mouth like that and really beaten handedly in all three phases, you’ve got to be critical of yourself and learn from your mistakes,” said Head Coach Matt LaFleur. 

Despite scoring on their first two possessions, both Rodgers and LaFleur felt the offense seemed out of sync against the Buccaneers. 

“I don’t feel like we ever got into a rhythm,” said Rodgers.

“We never got into a very good rhythm,” echoed LaFleur, adding that the team looked slow getting out of the huddle. 

For right tackle Billy Turner, it simply came down to execution. He added that Tampa had a great front seven and great plan going into Sunday, and Green Bay just didn’t execute. 

“I think we have a pretty well-balanced offense,” Turner said. “I think we’re more than capable of being the best running offense in the league and I think we’re more than capable of being the best passing offense in the league.”

Green Bay’s seven three-and-outs certainly didn’t help the offense get into rhythm, either, despite the Packers beating Tampa in time of possession for the game. 

“I think the one thing you do learn from it...especially from an offensive perspective, is just kind of staying with our game plan and not trying to drift away from it,” said LaFleur, emphasizing that games have really gotten out of hand when they stray from the plan. 

Beyond the close loss to the Eagles last season, four of LaFleur’s five career losses as a head coach have been categorized in his own words as a “butt whoopin.”

Both the players and the head coach felt there was a lack of effort in practice this week, but nobody seemed to understand why that was. 

“We talk about practice preparation equals game reality, as something that Matt’s talked about since the first day he got here, and I don’t think our week of practice was that great,” Rodgers said. 

With the lackluster week of practice and a blowout loss out of the way, everyone is looking ahead to how the team can improve for Sunday’s matchup against the Houston Texans.

“There’s a lot to be learned from this game. Look, you don’t ever want to lose like this,” said Rodgers.  “I feel like we needed a little bit of a wake up call at some point this season, because things have been so good, and there’s been so much talk maybe outside the building about the ease with which we’re moving the ball on offense and scoring, and you know I think we needed kind of a kick in the ass a little bit as a little bit of a wake up to stop feeling ourselves so much and get back to the things that got us to this position. 

“And I think this would be unfortunately, but fortunately, something we can really grow from.”

Defensive lineman Kenny Clark agreed. “It was good that we got our ass kicked,” he said, adding that this team has all the players it needs to be great, and the team simply needs to “get back to being us.”

Safety Adrian Amos is confident the turnovers will come, “we just have to figure out a way to get the ball.”

The Texans offer an opportunity for the Packers to “get right” against a 1-5 team allowing an average of 177.5 yards on the ground per game. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has also been sacked 19 times through six games. 

Even with the “stinker” last Sunday, the team isn’t lacking confidence. 

“You’re never quite as good as you think you are and it’s never quite as bad as you think it is,” said LaFleur before adding that the loss on Sunday was bad and that starts with him as the head coach. “You just can’t allow one loss to become two.”

“I feel really good about our squad,” said Rodgers. “We’ve had four really really good weeks, being efficient, winning, offensively, being very explosive. Defensively, coming up with timely stops. This is, I believe, an anomaly, not the beginning of a trend, and we’ve got a chance to prove me right next week.”

The Packers are still 4-1 in control of their own destiny five games into the 2020 season, and playoff aspirations haven’t waned.

“We’ll bounce back from this. I have no doubts about that. And we’ll be ready for next week,” Rodgers said.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (26)

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Duneslick's picture

October 20, 2020 at 12:15 pm

The Packers are still 4-1 in control of their own destiny five games into the 2020 season, and playoff aspirations haven’t waned. Really Every team 6 games into the season is in control of their own destiny

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TXCHEESE's picture

October 20, 2020 at 04:35 pm

You want to tell that to the Jets, Bengals and Vikings?

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Coldworld's picture

October 20, 2020 at 06:16 pm

Well they already controlled it. Now it’s just staying on course.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2020 at 05:40 pm

We’re still 2-0 at home, and we’re 2-0 in the division. We’ve already won two road games. If we win our remaining home games, and beat the Lions in Detroit, we'll be 11-5 at the worst. We’re going to win our division if we keep Rodgers healthy.

R-E-L-A-X

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PatrickGB's picture

October 20, 2020 at 12:29 pm

I think that the loss of Lazard really showed up last week. When opponents (and Rodgers) lock on to Adams then there is a big drop off in talent. Also, I cringed when the toss play was called. It did not work for MM’s offense and it still doesn’t work now. When opponents can plaster our receivers and have good, fast LB’s then our scheme breaks down. Opponents now have a formula for stopping our offense.

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Cheesey51's picture

October 20, 2020 at 02:37 pm

rodgers and adams were off by finger tips. Adams should have been used more as a decoy and gone back to the last time he was (Adams) out for 4 weeks. I agree the safety valve was missing(Lazzard) and he would have changed the situation. Otherwise, nobody played well. When Jamal Williams misses a blitz pickup. It's one game and no formula has been set

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Coldworld's picture

October 20, 2020 at 06:17 pm

Well, couldn’t get the ball out after the first quarter and missed when we did. Superman as WR 2 wouldn’t have changed that.

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Archie's picture

October 20, 2020 at 03:55 pm

The biggest lesson from this game is that GMs that downplay the value of ILB are making a big mistake. Did you hear that Gute?

Having said that, maybe Byrnes and Martin will be the serious upgrade we need.

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BBlake's picture

October 20, 2020 at 04:05 pm

The fact is, you win or lose on the LOS. What has Gutekunst done to improve that?

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packer132's picture

October 20, 2020 at 05:16 pm

He picked up 3 guards and a center: Runyan out of Michigan has played a little but unfortunately the others are injured. (Johnson, Stepaniak, and Hanson) Hopefully they can help in the future as we probably can't keep everyone from this years offensive line. We all want Bakhtiari to be resigned and hope that Linsley will be back also. I think Hanson can return this year from IR.
Packers need help on the defensive line and saw that they picked up Burgess today to help at linebacker from Falcons practice squad. He played pretty well for the Jets in 2019 with 80 tackles and 8 for a loss. We need to add a couple of players before the trade deadline ends in two weeks.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2020 at 05:22 pm

Well, on the offensive line, he’s put a pretty good group together. He drafted Jenkins. He brought in two solid vet free agents. Footballoutsiders.com rates them as above average, run and pass, and I’d agree.

Defensively, he extended Lowry, drafted Keke, and secured Kenny Clark. I’m not sure what GMs have done more in the last two years. And he’s gotten good snaps out of Lancaster, a bargain UDFA. If the Packers were to replace the underachieving Adams with a top pick next year.....that would be a pretty good group.

While I would agree that you generally win or lose on the line, I wouldn’t say that we don’t have good players on both lines, and Gutekunst has improved our DLine while simultaneously addressing other issues on the team.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 22, 2020 at 02:42 pm

Williams has to pick up the blitzer(White) on the 3rd and short. Key Play. This is his fourth year in the Game. See the guy spread wide left and get to the spot or move Jones back into Pro Set. Why did Bhaktiari ignore the wide guy and double with Jenkins? A lot of mental mistakes. Needed the long ball to be caught by MVS etc.

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frankthefork's picture

October 20, 2020 at 04:43 pm

Tell that to Ray Nitschke or Dick Butkus. Great defensive teams have great linebackers!

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2020 at 05:26 pm

I think so. Jack Lambert. Singletary. Ray Lewis. Goddam Urlacher. When you have a guy like that setting the standard in the middle, it just seems to infect the players around them.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 22, 2020 at 02:43 pm

Junior Seau.

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cheesehead1's picture

October 20, 2020 at 04:50 pm

I’d rather have a really good defense compared to a really good offense any day. I think Tampa proved that decisively and SF last year for that matter. Don’t know what Pettine and Lafleur can do to remedy our D’s short comings. This has been a common theme for many years now.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2020 at 05:48 pm

What do Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, and Jim McMahon have in common?

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Coldworld's picture

October 20, 2020 at 06:23 pm

You want to be Chicago? Great Ds, good Ds, nothing but heartache for decades. These days great D seldom wins championships . The rules have changed too much.

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NickPerry's picture

October 21, 2020 at 04:26 am

Pettine needs to be aggressive at least some of the time.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 22, 2020 at 02:45 pm

Who won the SB. Mahomes put 21 pts on them in the last quarter.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 03:40 pm

It was a notorious "believe your own press releases" game for the Packers - which they are prone to do every once in a while - like other good (but not great) teams. Still they remain very much a playoff team but not quite Super Bowl-ish. The main reason is that when the offence is out-of-sync, as will occasionally happen, you cannot rely on the defense to save the day. The D is still is a work-in-progress and another year away from being a reliable force (subject to a good free agency, draft and internal development). Also the team does not seem to adjust well going from cooler to warmer venues - becoming unglued by the hotter temperatures. Also the game may have provided a wee glimpse on why the Packers drafted Jordan Love. While I anticipate that A.R. will remain an outstanding QB for the next 1-2 years. Afterwards, I foresee that his reduced mobility and athleticism will be of a growing concern. Still, not much to worry about for now. Fully expect a bounce-back game against the Texans.

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chinachin's picture

October 20, 2020 at 09:45 pm

Your opinion is relevant, I support and will follow you regularly!
https://wordcounter.tools

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NickPerry's picture

October 21, 2020 at 04:30 am

I believe the Packers have the pieces on all levels of their defense to be a REALLY good defense. I honestly believe it's all come down to scheme and Mike Pettine.

He RARELY comes after an offense with a creative all out blitz. On 3rd and 9 his DB's are almost ALWAYS playing close to 10 yards off and backing up the moment the ball is snapped. Teams KNOW Pettine isn't sending the house with anything creative like Todd Bowls did Sunday. For a QB like Brady who you HAVE to knock off his spot, you don't have a prayer if you play like that.

I also agree with PatrickGB 100%...The offense misses Lazard. He may not be fast but the kid has really good hands and KNOWS how to use his big body against CB's who are always smaller than him.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 07:55 am

Definitely miss Lazard though I doubt he makes much of a difference last week. I am less sure about all the pieces being there in the D. We may have future pieces, but the younger players have yet to develop consistency. One can hope that this occurs during the season but until it does and they make an impact I have doubts.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:59 am

Even with Lazard, he would not have made up the 28 point deficit. The main problem with the team is the D. I do agree that scheme may be part of the problem but also the personnel - particularly the D-line. Lowry has been m.i.a. ever since signing his 2nd contract and Adams is fading - which is his usual m.o. Lancaster is better suited as a bench/rotation player and Keke is just learning his craft. In short, the d-line is a weakness which opposing teams can exploit on a regular basis by just doubling K.C. (most in the NFL). Unfortunately what you see from the D is what you get this year. My guess is that Pettine will not be back next year and that Gutekunst will focus on the d-line next off-season.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 22, 2020 at 02:49 pm

Now that Montravious is picking up his game he won't feature him, just like Keke. Get your best players on the field at the same time and run constant pressure. They wolud be more sound with a 4-2 look, letting Za and Gary go hands down once in awhile. Playing a 3 man rush on 3rd and goal is an example of conceeding to Brady.

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