DETROIT—There are a lot of ways to describe the ugliness that was the Packers offense on Sunday in Detroit.
Receiver Randall Cobb didn’t hold back.
“It was embarrassing as an offense, embarrassing myself, the way I played,” Cobb said following a 19-7 loss to the Lions at Ford Field. “I have to be better, I have to do more, I have to give this team more. I have to look in the mirror first and see what I can do to help this team out.”
Cobb was particularly hard on himself about the first pass thrown his way, on third-and-3 on the Packers’ second drive of the game. Cutting outside from the slot and taking off down the sideline, Cobb appeared to have a clear shot to catch a well-thrown pass from Aaron Rodgers that zipped just over the Detroit defender’s shoulder, but he missed it.
It set the tone for a long, frustrating day on offense as the Packers managed just 223 yards and seven points.
“It’s really tough. Our defense played their butts off tonight,” said Cobb, who had just three catches for 29 yards. “We did nothing for them.”
Several players said they remained confident the offense was going to start clicking at some point, but it kept getting bogged down. After a fumble and three-and-out to start the game, the only other possession the offense failed to gain at least one first down was a one-play safety in the second quarter.
“You think the next play is going to be the play, and we never made that one play,” Cobb said.
Tight end Andrew Quarless, who had a productive day with four catches for 43 yards, including a 10-yard TD in tight coverage, wasn’t able to put his finger on it, either.
“I just don’t think we’re playing our best football,” Quarless said. “There’s a lot of moving parts. I’ve been in this offense. I’ve seen it do a lot better. We’re starting off slow, too. In division games, tough games like this, it’s hard to bounce back from starting slow.”
More on slow starts: This marks the third straight year the Packers have begun the season 1-2. They still managed to win the NFC North each of the last two seasons, but the difference this time is one of the two early losses came to a division opponent.
“Just because we’ve pulled out of it the last couple years doesn’t guarantee it,” said receiver Jordy Nelson, who once again led the offense with five catches for 59 yards. “We have to get out of the funk and get going.”
The regrouping has to happen in a hurry, with two more division games the next two weeks, beginning with a road trip to Chicago next Sunday.
“There’s definitely no panic, no freaking out,” Nelson said. “We beat ourselves. It’s disappointing.”
Good streak snapped: When running back Eddie Lacy fumbled on the Packers’ second offensive snap of the game, it was his first fumble since his NFL debut in San Francisco in Week 1 of last season.
This one appeared to be knocked loose by Detroit defensive lineman Nick Fairley and was returned 40 yards for a touchdown by Don Carey, putting the Packers instantly in a hole.
“Ball security,” Lacy said. “I had the ball too low.”
It was the second straight game the Packers fumbled the ball away within their first two offensive snaps, leading to a touchdown for the opponent.
The day didn’t get much better for Lacy. He was buried by linebacker DeAndre Levy for a safety on a handoff from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. Right guard T.J. Lang pulled to his right and Levy never let Lacy come even close to getting out of the end zone.
“That’s not a fun play for an offensive line,” left guard Josh Sitton said of being backed up like that.
Added Lang: “In my mind, it was a good play by him. He just blitzed right up into the gap I was pulling through. He’s a hell of a player.”
Lacy did bust off a 17-yard run in the fourth quarter, gaining nearly half of his 36 rushing yards on that one carry. But he didn’t help matters later in that drive, with the offense facing second-and-1 from the Detroit 16-yard line, trailing 19-7 and in position to rally.
Lacy had nowhere to run up the middle, but he mistakenly tried to bounce it outside and ended up losing four yards. A short-yardage situation quickly changed, and after two incomplete passes on third- and fourth-and-5, the Packers turned the ball over on downs with 6:54 left and never got it back.
“No matter what it is, it’s still my job to make sure we can run the ball,” Lacy said. “Not every one is going to be 10 yards, but we have to make sure we get something positive.”
More on streaks: The loss was just Green Bay’s third to Detroit in Mike McCarthy’s nine years as head coach, and the first with Rodgers playing the full game.
Coupled with the Lions’ 40-10 victory over the Packers last Thanksgiving, this marks the first time in 15 years the Lions have beaten the Packers in two straight meetings.
Detroit’s last two-game winning streak in the series came on Oct. 15, 1998, and Sept. 19, 1999.
Injury update: Linebacker Clay Matthews (groin) and cornerback Davon House (knee) were the injuries reported by the Packers. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE - SEPT. 21