by Dave DeLano
Zero points scored means that winning a football game is impossible. That doesn’t happen often in Titletown but it did on Sunday, as the Baltimore Ravens shellacked a hapless Green Bay Packer offensive performance by a score of 23-0. The last time the Packers ended up with the goose egg was exactly 11 years ago when the New England Patriots prevailed by a score of 35-0.
This game started out just fine as the Packers drove down the field on their opening possession to their opponent’s five-yard line. Quarterback Brett Hundley then threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off. That would be the first of what would become five turnovers on the day, and the Packer offense would not even get close to the red zone again all afternoon. Hundley had a horrible day. The writing was on the wall early as Hundley was intercepted on the Packers’ second possession, again with a poorly thrown ball.
The Packer defense actually played pretty well in this game, limiting the Ravens to only two field goals in the first half. Numerous mistakes and turnovers contributed to the goose egg. With the offense sputtering badly, the Packers’ special teams weren’t very special either. Poor field position was yet another malady that plagued the Green and Gold. It was ugly.
Hundley wasn’t the only Packer having a bad day on the football field. The Packers’ offensive line failed to control the line of scrimmage. Hundley was sacked six times on the day. The offensive line and the newbie running back combination didn’t get their job done either. Jamaal Williams had pedestrian rushing numbers. Williams’ fellow rookie running back, Devante Mays, fumbled on his very first professional carry. On the day, Mays would finish with three carries for accumulated yardage of -1 yards and two fumbles. It was that kind of day.
Although Mike McCarthy again expressed confidence in Brett Hundley after the game, I sense the Hundley honeymoon with the Cheesehead fan base might be wearing thin. Hundley doesn’t seem comfortable reading defenses and is tentative at times in making his throws. Too often he retreats from the pocket rather than stepping up inside it, something that one would think he would have picked up studying Aaron Rodgers’ expertise at such maneuvers. Hundley appears to have the delayed “deer-in the-headlights” response instead of making decisive throws. Time will tell, but another performance like this one will put pressure on McCarthy to give second-year quarterback Joe Callahan an opportunity.
There were more injuries too. Clay Matthews, Justin McCray and Kenny Clark all exited early and did not return to action. The lone bright spot from the offense was the performance of wide receiver Davante Adams. Adams is a really talented football player who has surpassed Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as the Packers’ best receiver.
Games like this one remind Cheeseheads about the value of a really good quarterback to an NFL franchise. Most Cheeseheads realize just how fortunate we have been to witness two of the best to ever play the game hang their helmets at 1265 Lombardi Avenue for the past 25 years.
The Packers travel to Pittsburgh next Sunday night to challenge the Steelers, which will be some task indeed. The Steelers have a much better team than the Ravens and will be the prohibitive favorites to prevail.