Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin acknowledged the need for better pass-protection, but he wouldn’t absolve the other elements of the Packers’ passing game from blame for Sunday’s performance in a 19-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m not satisfied with where our pass-protection’s at. When you have four sacks in the game, the offensive coordinator should be concerned,” Philbin said, but added: “After watching the film, I thought there was some good protection. I don’t think it was terrible.”
Postgame remarks tended to blame hurried throws for Packers receivers having to cut their routes short, but Philbin wasn’t buying it.
“I don’t know about that one,” Philbin said. “Any time a team plays man-to-man press, the time clock of the receivers gets adjusted.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has completed 68.1 percent of his passes this season, was barely over 50 percent on Sunday. Something was amiss in the Packers’ pass-offense and Philbin said the blame should be shared.
“There are pictures in that game that there are plenty of guys open and plenty of opportunity to make plays,” Philbin said. “I think it’s a little bit of everything.”
The challenge confronting the Packers offense now is to get back into its season-long rhythm in what remains of this regular season, which is to say home games against Chicago and Detroit. The Packers have built their 13-1 record on fast-paced, precision offense and they stepped out of that identity in the loss to the Chiefs.
The Packers also stepped out of its identity, failing to create a turnover or register a sack in a game for the first time this season.
“That was the biggest difference in yesterday’s game,” Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers said.
Capers credited Chiefs quarterback Kyle Orton, playing in his first game with his new team, for beating the blitz and avoiding trouble.
“Orton did a good job of getting rid of the ball. We depend a lot on taking the ball away and disrupting the quarterback,” Capers said.
The Packers have needed takeaways and big plays on defense to overcome a lot of yardage surrendered. The Chiefs gained 438 yards on Sunday and that led to a whopping time of possession advantage that likely left the defense gassed and unable to stop the Chiefs in the final 2:04 of the game.
“I don’t like the way we finished the game. You have to get them stopped and we didn’t get that done. We didn’t attack. You want to get off the ball and get on their side of the line of scrimmage,” Capers said.
Both coordinators credited the Chiefs’ game plan and their execution of it. Capers said the Chiefs’ use of end-around-type misdirection plays and bootlegs forced Packers defenders to stay “home” and not chase the ball.
“Kansas City had a good scheme, they’re well-coached and they played hard,” Philbin said. Additional coverage - Dec. 19