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"I have great faith in Brett Hundley" McCarthy said following the loss. After two starts, that's becoming an increasingly tough sell

By Jacob Feldman
November 07, 2017

“I have three years invested in Brett Hundley," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said three weeks ago, after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in Minnesota. "I have great confidence in Brett Hundley." Hundley has now made two starts, and McCarthy had two weeks to prepare his QB for Monday night's home game against the Lions' 27th-ranked pass defense. The results were hard to watch. 

Green Bay opened with a 14-play drive, but came up empty after a bad snap led to a blocked field-goal attempt. After that, Hundley struggled through the 30-17 home loss. He finished 26-of-38 for 245 yards, but most of that yardage—as well as 14 of the Packers' points—came in the fourth quarter after the game was well in hand for Detroit. Hundley had some success in hurry-up situations, but the negatives far outweighed the positives. He rarely stretched the Lions defense, consistently opting to checkdown, and he took multiple sacks while wideouts ran open. In the first half, he averaged less than 4.5 yards per attempt and did not complete a pass when throwing over 10 yards downfield.

It's important to note: Green Bay's defense did little to help its backup QB, surrendering 417 yards (353 through the air) and failing to force a single punt. McCarthy echoed that analysis postgame. "Brett Hundley is not our issue right now," he said. "There are some very lopsided statistics; look close at those." Maybe he was referencing the Lions' 36:55 to 23:05 time of possession advantage. But regardless, Hundley's inability to drive this offense is a problem. That was most evident on third down, when Green Bay converted just two of nine opportunities (it was also 0-for-2 on fourth downs).

And the situation might get worse. The 4-4 Packers' next three games are against the 11th-, 3rd- and 2nd-ranked passing defenses in terms of net passing yards allowed. And while Hundley is adjusting to regular-season action, opposing defenses will continue to adjust to him as more game film accrues. "I have great faith in Brett Hundley," McCarthy said following the loss. After two starts, that's becoming an increasingly tough sell. 

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Matthew Stafford powered Detroit to a pivotal road win Monday night.
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1. Lions 30, Packers 17. With 361 yards passing, Matthew Stafford lifted the Lions to 4-4, two games behind the Vikings in the NFC North. His two scores helped him become the fourth youngest player to reach 200 passing touchdowns.

2. When it came to punishing Mike Evans and A.J. Green, the league followed expectations, suspending Evans for one game and giving Green a fine (which could be more than $30,000). Tampa Bay will also be without Jameis Winston for two weeks as he rests his injured shoulder.

3. Including Jay Ajayi in his game plan and outsmarting the Broncos defense, Doug Pederson the play-caller "has elevated his game in Year 2."

4. Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley is suspended four games for violating the NFL's PED policy. “I was shocked by a positive test for Turinabol, as I have never knowingly taken any banned substances,” he said in a statement. “I am 5’9” tall and 180 pounds, and I have never used steroids in my life . . . anyone can look at my body composition and tell that I’m not a steroid user." 

Decision maker Sashi Brown had a lot of questions to answer in Cleveland.
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5. Browns EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown spoke Monday about last week's AJ McCarron fiasco and the future. A couple notable quotes. On McCarron: "We were all disappointed it didn't happen. We tried everything humanly possible," and on reported discord with Hue Jackson: "In these moments, there's a lot of adversity. Not going to sugarcoat it." Jackson, meanwhile, refused to address the drama.

6. From Sunday, the first of a four-part series on The Fate of Football. What is that fate? Well the New York Daily News says the "future of football looks bleak."

7. GQ sits down with Josh Gordon, who admits "he's had something in his system for 'probably every game of my career.'" Gordon also says he didn't plan to make it to 18 years old.

8. Though it didn't end up costing the Cowboys the game, Jason Garrett took the blame for his team's inability to stop Tyreek Hill on the unique catch-and-run Hail Mary that ended the first half. Andy Reid says it was a play his team has practiced often.

9. NFL players are hoping to meet with league leaders and a mediator next week to discuss player protests. On a related note, three Dolphins disobeyed what had been a team rule that would-be kneelers stay in the locker room for the national anthem.

10. He hasn't kept pace with Carson Wentz, but Dak Prescott has still avoided a sophomore slump.

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Marshall Newhouse became an internet laughing stock after the lineman scooped up a fumble Sunday night and turned his eyes downfield, only to fail spectacularly. Then he laughed along, too.

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