Game Recap: In embarrassing fashion, Packers drop second of the season to the Lions

They came back and made it a game, but ultimately the Packers will want to forget this 34-20 loss to the Lions. 

That is certainly not how I wanted to spend my Thursday evening. The high from Sunday's comeback was taken away only four days later as the Packers were basically embarrassed by the Detroit Lions in Green Bay. The Packers got some good news in the knowledge that Christian Watson and Aaron Jones would return in this game. Spirits were high given that Jordan Love would finally have his complete complement of weaponry. However, those players would only touch the ball a total of eight times the entire night. Possibly more glaring, was the absence of offensive linemen Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari. Bakhtiari of course, possibly lost for the remainder of the season. 

Jordan Love was basically running for his life for the entirety of this game. Detroit registered five sacks and 11 Quarterback hits on Green Bay's signal caller. This was a far cry from games before as Love had been kept pretty clean up until this point. But the lack of a run game, which only had 27 yards total, and the inability to really get anything going at all anywhere, made this game difficult to watch. 

Let's get to the recap:

First Quarter:

The Lions' first possession of the game went backward on the first two plays and was wrapped with a bow when Rudy Ford intercepted Jared Goff, taking the ball to the Lions' 16-yard line to give the Packers the ball in the red zone to start their first drive of the game.

The Packers offense though could not get anything going to capitalize as the Lions pass rush disrupted Jordan Love and sacked him once as the Packers offense would go three plays and out. An Anders Carlson Field Goal got the Packers on the board first as they’d go up 3-0 with 11:59 remaining in the first quarter.

On the following Lions drive they began moving the ball on the ground between David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. On 3rd down, the 6th play of the drive, Jared Goff hit rookie tight end Sam LaPorta for a 35-yard gain to the Green Bay 24 and then the drive was wrapped up with a touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions took the lead away from Green Bay immediately going up 7-3 with 8:16 left in the first quarter.

When the Packers took over on offense, once again they succumbed to the Lions pass rush as Jordan Love was sacked again. A holding call and a false start later the Packers punted the ball away and to be honest, it seemed like they never had the ball to begin with as their drive only lasted 1 minute and 6 seconds. A frustrating aspect so far on offense was the Packers hadn’t even tried to run the ball yet. With a supposedly healthy Aaron Jones returning to the lineup, this was a bit of a surprise.

The Lions then took over at their own 45-yard line and marched seemingly uncontested right into the red zone again on this Packers' defense. An 11-yard run by Jared Goff took the Lions to first and goal at the Green Bay 4-yard line and David Montgomery then walked into the end-zone to put the Lions up 14-3 with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter. The Packers' offense had to come out and move the ball somewhat, or this game would get out of hand quickly.

The Packers came out on their third drive and finally started running the ball with two straight handoffs to AJ Dillon totaling 7 yards. But an incompletion to Romeo Doubs on third down would wrap up the drive again as the Packers could not get a first down.

The Lions took over again at their own 25-yard line and immediately marched into the red zone in two plays after a long reverse gain on the second play for Kalif Raymond took the ball 40 yards to Green Bay‘s 9-yard line where the Lions would start the second quarter, 1st and Goal.

Second Quarter:

With the Lions starting the second quarter first and goal from Green Bay’s 9-yard line, the defense was finally able to hold, forcing the Lions to a Field Goal attempt. Lions kicker Riley Patterson split the uprights to put the score at 17-3 Lions with 14:07 remaining in the first half. With nothing going right so far for the Packers, it was a little bit of a step in the right direction to force the field goal there.

Unfortunately, on the following drive for the Packers, a holding call on the kickoff return would put them at their own ten-yard line to start the drive. On the very first play, a tipped pass from Jordan Love was intercepted by Jerry Jacobs putting the Lions at First and Goal at the Green Bay 7.

There’s not much to say after that as David Montgomery took the ball into the end-zone on the second play of the drive putting the score out of hand at 24-3 with 13:19 remaining in the first half.

How could things get much worse for the Packers? Did we forget to leave the house for the game? Did we have too much of a high from the comeback vs. the Saints that we forgot to plan for the Lions? It was hard to tell, but this game was just ugly for this Packers team.

The Packers took over again on offense, and then promptly went three and out. Probably the only positive to that drive is we finally saw Aaron Jones on the field who hadn’t touched the ball up to that point. His first carry went for five yards but then his next went for -2. An incomplete pass later and the Packers were handing the ball right back to the Lions offense who had yet to punt with 11:38 left in the second quarter.

On the Lions' next drive on offense, finally, something went the Packers' way as two penalties, a holding, and a fall start pushed the Lions backward, and they had to punt the ball away. Of course, however, we can’t have nice things as the punt return is muffed by Jayden Reed as he tried to make a play with the ball bouncing backward. The Packers recovered the ball but had to start from their own 8-yard line to begin the next drive.

Starting from the 8-yard line on the next drive the Packers actually pick up their first first down of the game off an offsides call on Detroit. But that would be the only joy they feel on this drive as an AJ Dillon run is blown up in the backfield, Jordan Love took his third sack of the game, and a 16-yard pass to Romeo Doubs is not close enough to the first-down marker resulting in another Packers punt. The Lions would take over again at their own 24-yard line with 5:34 remaining in the half.

The following drive for the Lions the Packers' defense looked a few times like they could force a punt but the Lions' offense persevered and began a march mainly through the air into Green Bay territory. Jared Goff with a few Houdini moves escaping sacks got his team to the Green Bay 35 as the two-minute warning hit. Luckily this was about as far as the Lions would get as the Packers' defense was able to hold them to a Field Goal putting the score at 27-3 with 34 seconds remaining in the first half.

After the Field Goal, the Packers took over with little time remaining in the half to just try to get something positive going to wind out the half. They were able to get 19 yards threw the air and an extra 9 yards off a pass interference call, but on the final play of the second half, Jordan Love was sacked for a loss of 14 yards off the Hail Mary attempt. It's hard to get receivers downfield when the pass rush just makes it right by your offensive line. 

This would end a very ugly first half with the Packers getting the ball to start the second half praying to get some sort of positivity in this game.

Third Quarter:

On the Packers' first drive of the second half, they were actually able to get another first down! Moral victory! But wait, it didn’t stop there as they got another off a 24-yard catch from Christian Watson to get into Lions territory on the next play. Finally, we're cooking with gas. After a personal foul when Alex Anzalone hit Aaron Jones helmet to helmet, the Packers were in the red zone for the first time on their own on offense. A holding call on Rasheed Walker though pushed them back. But on fourth and nine Jordan Love hit Romeo Doubs up the middle for a 15-yard gain, putting the ball at the Lions' 2-yard line. Then on second down Christian Watson was welcomed into the 2023 season with his first touchdown catch from Love. The Packers then went for two and converted on a pass to Jayden Reed to put the score to 27-11 with 8:17 left in the third quarter. Someone pinch me, I used to cringe when the Pack would go for two as we always seemed to fail. But suddenly we had two successful attempts in a row? This new development has my attention!

The Packers' defense then returned the favor to the offense by forcing the Lions to a three-and-out on their first drive of the second half. The drive was highlighted by Quay Walker stopping Jahmyr Gibbs in the backfield for a loss of 5. Walker’s open field tackles have been a thing of beauty as he always seems to be a sure thing to make that stop when he’s near the ball.

The following Packers drive taking over with 6:16 remaining in the 3rd, unfortunately, would go three and out as a backward pass from Jordan Love to Romeo Doubs was incomplete. Since it went backward, however, it was ruled a fumble and sailed out of bounds for a loss of 11 yards. The Packers wouldn’t overcome that mistake and had to punt. Daniel Whelan booted the ball 50 yards to the Detroit 16-yard line and a holding call on the receiving team backed them up 10 yards further to start the drive at their own 8-yard line with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter. 

Whelan so far had a total of five punts for 258 yards averaging 51.6 yards. If there was a bright spot in this game so far, it was Whelan’s punting being consistently excellent.

The Lions would get a few first downs on their next drive, but after Karl Brooks was relentless in his pursuit of Jared Goff, getting the sack on second down, the Lions were forced to punt with 1:05 left in the third quarter, giving the Packers the ball back at their own 34.

The Packers then took over and with just about double zeros on the clock to end the third quarter, Jordan Love hit Jayden Reed downfield for a 44-yard gain to the Lions' 9-yard line to end the third quarter. It was later shown that the clock expired in the third quarter before the snap was made, but since the play is not reviewable, the play stood.

Fourth Quarter:

On 2nd down following the end of the quarter, Jordan Love called his own number taking the ball on a quarterback draw 9 yards into the end-zone for the touchdown. On the following play, going for the two-point conversion, Love again tried to take the ball into the end zone himself seemingly off a read-option but was stopped just short of the goal line. This put the score at 27-17 Lions with 14:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.

On the following drive, the Lions marched right into Packers territory in four plays. The defense would give a little bit but would still hold the Lions offense to three points taking the score to 30-17 with 8:10 remaining in the game. However, during the commercial break, while the Packers' return team was already on the field, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called against Quay Walker for jumping over a defender giving the Lions 1st and Goal. On the following third down they marched right into the end-zone on a David Montgomery run possibly putting this game out of reach. The score was now 34-17 Lions with 6:00 remaining in the game. 

The Packers offense then flipped a switch and marched down the field through the air highlighted by a 35-yard contested catch by Samori Toure putting the Packers at the Lions’ 19-yard line. Unfortunately, the joy was short-lived as two plays later a Jordan Love pass intended for Romeo Doubs would be intercepted by Jerry Jacobs yet again, all but sealing this game. Doubs seemed to move into a scramble drill turning out of his route just as Love threw the ball and Jacobs made the easy pick. 

The Lions following drive would go four plays and done as Devonte Wyatt and Rashan Gary would meet at the Quarterback for a sack to force a punt with 3:46 remaining in the game. The Packers' possibility for a victory was on life support, but it was still there a little bit that perhaps a miracle could be achieved.

After a good Keisean Nixon return off the punt the Packers took over at the Detroit 35-yard line. Unfortunately, it would start with another sack of Jordan Love. They wouldn’t recover as they’d settle for an Anders Carlsen field goal putting the score at 34-20 with 2:52 remaining in the game. The Packers would attempt an onside kick but the ball would sail out of bounds giving the Lions the ball at the Green Bay 47.

The Lions would then run 5 plays to seal the game before taking a knee to finish it all off with a 34-20 Lions victory at Lambeau Field.

Offensive Player of the Game:

This call is going to have to be stat-based. Romeo Doubs had 9 catches for 95 yards in this game off 13 targets. He continues to be the Packers' number-one receiver. With this game being rather dismal all around it was hard to find a for-sure Offensive MVP, but if I had to hand it out, I'd give it to Doubs for being the most productive weapon out there for Jordan Love. 

Defensive Player of the Game:

The torches and pitchforks are going to come for me for this one. I'm giving the Defensive Player of the Game to Quay Walker. Yes, I know that his personal foul on the late Field Goal attempt may have foiled any comeback attempt. But up Walker had 19 total tackles on the game. That's 10 more than the next player down the line in Isaiah McDuffie. Most of all, so many of these solo tackles were excellent open-field tackles. You can bring your torches and pitchforks after me all you want, but Quay Walker is an excellent open-field tackler. Possibly the best we've seen in a Packers jersey in a number of years. The mental mistakes on personal fouls will resolve themselves down the line. Quay Walker is an outstanding young Inside Linebacker for this team, and I will not back down from that.

What Went Right:

You can tell a rough game from this comment. That is Punter Daniel Whelan is being mentioned in the "What Went Right" section. But, it's hard to ignore. Whelan had 5 punts for a total of 259 yards averaging 51.8 yards per kick. You can count me in on the list of shocked individuals that the Packers went with Whelan over veteran Pat O'Donnell in preseason, but it appears this was a good decision. Had it not been for Whelan booting rockets down the field after terrible offensive drives, this game could've been over much much earlier. So hats off to the punter for being a beacon of hope in this stinker of a game.

What Went Wrong:

Where do I start? I don't think we'll truly know what Aaron Jones' status was heading into this game. The fact that he didn't touch the ball until almost 17 minutes into the game is not ideal for him being the Packers' best weapon. There was some chatter about him being on a snap count, but I can't lie, if you're going to keep the ball out of his hands the entire first quarter, what's the point? We might as well have signed Patrick Taylor after putting Bakhtiari on IR and had him get a few runs in. 

This is a young team that still has yet to find its rhythm. That's a given. Unfortunately, injuries are making that rhythm increasingly difficult to find. Last week I said penalties went wrong, well this week there weren't as many penalties that hurt the Packers, they just plain couldn't cut it. Perhaps it was the short week. Perhaps this Lions team is just too good to overcome. Either way, we have to be better. 

After a short week, the Packers are now heading into kind of a mini-bye week. We won't see the Green and Gold take the field until Monday Night Football on October 9th in Las Vegas. Given the team's recent injury woes, it's needed. Hopefully, some of our guys dealing with week-to-week ailments will have the rest they need to take the field in week 5. The Vegas Raiders will be coming off their matchup with the Chargers and the Packers will get to see their former All-Pro Wide Receiver, Davante Adams, for the first time since they sent him in a trade to Vegas in March of 2022. After the Raiders' debacle at home vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers this past week, Adams was very outspoken that he doesn't have time to wait around on the Raiders. That sparked Packers fans wanting a reunion with number 17. While that would be nice, it's very doubtful. We'll see whether or not the Raiders right the ship vs. LAC and how Davante Adams feels facing his old team. Hopefully, the Packers can right the ship on Monday Night Football heading into the true Bye week. Until then, Go Pack Go. 

 

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Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to CheeseheadTV as well as PackersTalk. Follow him on Twitter @gmeinholz for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.

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Comments (21)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Coldworld's picture

September 29, 2023 at 12:04 am

It is time to accept that the LaFleur era was a mistake. All else is fluff. We are seeing the same problems from him and his hires as we did in the last dance era with a very different roster.

No point in dancing around it. LaFleur is a lead weight. He and the coaches need to be cleansed or we will waste the considerable potential of this roster.

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stockholder's picture

September 29, 2023 at 12:12 am

First MM now MLF.
Try a change from top to Bottom.
Otherwise bring back Rodgers to be the Coach.

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Packerpasty's picture

September 29, 2023 at 07:32 am

and to think some on this site thought Rodgers was the problem...now MLF is free to run his offense...and what a shit show it is...hero ball, running clock down to one second, all the same except the QB is mediocre at best now.

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packerfanroy's picture

September 29, 2023 at 01:32 am

Its week 4 of a total rebuild on Offense and even our defense has a bunch of inexperience scattered throughout.

The last thing JLove needs is for MLF to be fired and have to learn a new offense.

It was never realistic for fans to expect this team to compete for the division this year, let alone a deep playoff run.

This year is gonna have some bright flashes of potential and some big crap the bed moments. Everybody is clamoring for how good of a coach Dan Campbell is but dont see the fact that the Det. still needed 2 years of losing to build that team up to the playoff contender they are this year.

We are not fair weather vikings fans....have some patience...

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SinceLombardi's picture

September 29, 2023 at 05:17 am

MLF has to go. Period. From the meltdowns as number 1 seeds , the horrible coordinator picks( and refusal to change) the lack of offense from an offensive coach, the softness of the team , the mistakes, the excuses. If it weren’t for the Rodgers/Adams duo he’d be underwater every year. He brings nothing. It’s to the point the stadium is a lions fan destination.

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packerfanroy's picture

September 29, 2023 at 07:43 pm

This team needs time to grow up and get used to playing in the NFL. The better more experienced teams are gonna give these kids a kick in the teeth a few times this year. MLF needs this year and at least half of next year to show some development. Expecting these young kids to just show up and beat seasoned pros with no learning curve is so completely unrealistic. Joe Barry on the other hand needs to show better defense this year or be shown the door. MLF doesnt have final say in who his coaches are, thats MM... remember MLF wanted Rizzi as ST coach but MM said nope, we dont spend money on coaches...we had to wait until ST cost us a playoff run till 'i'm not an idiot' MM realized he cant play money ball with coaches and not have it cost us...

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murf7777's picture

September 29, 2023 at 06:49 am

What did you expect from such a young team. Penalties, off throws, wrong routes, dropped passes, etc….. come from this inexperience. Young teams rarely win. Belichek who is regarded as one of the best coaches of all time struggles with a young team. MLF isn’t perfect, but nobody is, even you CW. Many didn’t want to admit this isn’t a rebuild, but it is! Any team this young is in a rebuild. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will this team.

Try to enjoy what will be a challenging, but exciting year of growth.

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Packerpasty's picture

September 29, 2023 at 07:35 am

this young team crap gotta stop...this team isn't just re building its heading down the drain with MLF at the helm...whats so hard to see that he isn't a good head coach?? Maybe in Div II college or as an OC but not HQ...and everyone blamed Rodgers for everything last few years, now same of crap...

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packerfanroy's picture

September 29, 2023 at 11:46 pm

This is what young, inexperienced players do though... Favre wasnt HOF in his first year on the field and neither were anybody else. How can you look at the early years of guys like Favre, Rodgers, Adams, and Gary and then point to all these inexperienced kids and say "nope, gotta win right away thems the rules" ???? It may very well be that MLF needs to go but that point is still well off in the distance. If you honestly think MLF needs to go because these kids arent on track for an All-Pro season at this point in their career and the team is 2-2 I dont know what to tell you...This teams ceiling, with all the youth on it, was always gonna be .500 . Ya, everybody blamed Rodgers and not the kids and now you are blaming MLF and not the kids... The rookies need time and if you are mad about it blame MM, Gute and the Packers PR for hyping up a bunch of rookies.

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jvole's picture

September 29, 2023 at 04:14 am

If I'm a DC from another team and I watched the lions game, I would rush up two over Newman and Myers all night. They are not good.

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SinceLombardi's picture

September 29, 2023 at 05:33 am

This organization needs a upgrade in the front office and sidelines.
Bahktiari should have been addressed over a season ago. He’s dead weight, and they keep waiting instead of finding a left tackle. They keep bad players and coaches far too long .. Mike Pettine, Joe Barry, Mo Drayton, Shawn Mennenga, Kevin King, Royce Newman, Dean Lowry, and a host more.. now add to that list Matt LaFluer if he’s still here in 2024.
It’s obvious we are constantly out coached. Honestly we are a 46 yard field goal from being 1-4.
After 16 quarters of football we have played well in about 6 quarters.
Remember this is the staff that gave us one TD on opening drives all last season with a HOF QB. Our teams are soft, and always playing from behind. Our defense is atrocious. THERE IS NO OTHER ORGANIZATION THAT WOULD NOT HAVE FIRED JOE BARRY ALREADY! wink Martindale and Vic Fangio have been hired as we retained Barry.
One thing for certain, LaFluer won’t have a chance to blow his third #1 seed this year. He’s soft and confused, his teams are the same. Year 5, enough.. no year 6.

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CHEESEHEADDALLAS's picture

September 29, 2023 at 09:17 am

NO MORE GONE THIS WEEK PLEASE

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PhantomII's picture

September 29, 2023 at 05:51 am

Pretty obvious the next 2 drafts are ALL....OL and DL. Keep Tom and Jenkins, backfill the rest. Bigger, Stronger, Tougher OL and DL bodies move others at the point of attack. I would also say a couple thumper RB's to go with the new OL. You could drive a MACK truck through some of those holes the Lions were making. The stretch run scheme sucks. Closest path to the end zone is strait ahead....and that's where we need to run. Love should not bother with a salary bump until he has this in place. Gute has his work cut out. Salary Cap may be able to get us there quicker with FA.

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murf7777's picture

September 29, 2023 at 06:41 am

That was ugly, but not unexpected. This is a very young team on the offense side with a 1st year starting QB. That youth and inexperience will lead to scoring droughts like we’ve seen. Last week it was 1st half penalties mainly on the O-line and this week it was allowing great pressure without blitzing. Hopefully, the O can get better as the year progresses.

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Packerpasty's picture

September 29, 2023 at 07:37 am

young team excuse has to stop...that getting pathetic...

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murf7777's picture

September 29, 2023 at 08:08 am

I don’t need to review history to know that records of the great majority of young teams have losing records. It’s not an excuse, it’s reality, especially with ones that have a 1st year starting QB.

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Savage57's picture

September 29, 2023 at 06:50 am

Welcome to Overreaction Mond, er, Friday.

If you played, you know there are going to be games where sometimes you're the kicker, sometimes you're the kickee.

I may be wrong, but I have a hunch the calls for firings four games into a season that finds your incredibly green team at .500 are coming from people who never experienced that reality, or if they did, they've forgotten it in their dotage.

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cpabandit's picture

September 29, 2023 at 07:19 am

I agree that Quay Walker played great , correction, was involved in many plays, HOWEVER, his penalty on the Lions field goal is the epitomy of the lack of discipline and lack of intelligence of the Packers players. I am not referring to a holding call, an offsides, a dropped pass. Most go through four years of playing college football, endless training camps and hours of practice to hone their skills and Walker decides to climb on his lineman's back to block a field goal. Did he think that the refs were not going to see that? This stupidity, unprofessionalism, undiscipline is rampant on the Packers. Do scouts purposely seek "stupid"? MLF who has a fixed WTF face throughout every game is lost or perhaps afraid to open his mouth out of fear of getting fired. I don't want to read that the players are young, give them time, etc. Grow the fuck up already and play as you are expected at your level of experience and pay.

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Packerpasty's picture

September 29, 2023 at 07:39 am

yah lets blame this shit show on Quay, do you think the coaching staff had anything to do with this shit show?? Maybe just a little?? and golden boy Love the new savior...he aint no rook, been around the league a few years now wasn't he watching and running the scout teams??

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cpabandit's picture

September 29, 2023 at 09:04 am

Of course the coaching staff has something to do with it. Any blame starts with the coaches. It's the coaches responsibility to make sure every player understands their job, their responsibilities and what is expected from them. But what Quay did was simply stupid, something he should have learned in pee wee foortball. GB coaches generally do not get fired, one of the unfortunate consequences of not having an owner of the team.

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hakiday2's picture

October 17, 2023 at 08:26 am

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, known for his exceptional skills, had a subpar performance in this game. He faced pressure from the Lions' defense, leading to rushed throws and incomplete passes. Rodgers failed to establish a consistent connection with his receiving corps, resulting in missed opportunities for crucial touchdowns.
geometrydashbloodbath.io

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