GREEN BAY—The Packers are 1-2 for the third straight year, yet, have rebounded to win the NFC North each of the past two seasons.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy was drawing no comfort from that on Monday, not after reviewing the film of Sunday’s 19-7 loss in Detroit.
“Our record is 1-2, and why we’re 1-2 is the thing I focus on,” McCarthy said. “We haven’t put together a full game as far as offense, defense and special teams playing in winning fashion. That’s what we have to get to. We’re going into Week 4.”
McCarthy continued to express his displeasure with the running game against the Lions, which “wasn’t what it needed to be, not even close.”
The Lions played both safeties deep the entire game, inviting the run, but the Packers only produced 3.5 yards per carry (22 rushes, 76 yards).
While he conceded again, as he did on Sunday, that he might have turned quarterback Aaron Rodgers loose with the passing game sooner, he dismissed the notion the offense’s struggles were related to schemes or adjustments.
“Scheme is not a crutch,” he said. “The fundamentals, the things we did from an execution standpoint were not good enough, clearly, on offense.
“We had plenty of corrections to go around for everybody.”
As far as pulling the offense out of its funk, which has been highlighted by an immediate turnover in each of the last two games, the players are pointing to no one but themselves.
“We just have to continue to play and grind at it,” receiver Jordy Nelson said. “There’s only one way to do it and that’s to make plays. Everyone has to do their job, do it to the best of their ability, and if everyone does that I think we’ll be fine.”
As for the defense, a four-quarter performance remains elusive. After a solid start in Detroit, McCarthy referred to the Lions being able to “bleed us too many yards at the end of the play” when the defense was worn down in the fourth quarter.
Detroit’s last two possessions, which featured six consecutive third-down conversions, one touchdown and nearly 13 minutes of possession time, were the focus of Monday’s film study.
“We just have to finish,” said rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who had his first pro interception in the first quarter. “Last week we came out slow and finished strong. This week we came out fast and finished slow.”
At 1-2, the Packers as a whole have again started slow, and Sunday’s game against the division-rival Bears could go a long way toward determining whether history repeats itself for a third straight year.
“Being 1-2 in the past, I think it just shows what you can do,” McCarthy said. “There’s a lot of football left, but the only football that’s really important is Chicago.”
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