Packers, Lions Lament Red-Zone Failings

Bill Huber

GREEN BAY, Wis. – There was no sugarcoating the Green Bay Packers’ red-zone performance to start Sunday’s game at Minnesota.

“I was very, very, very upset after a few of those red-zone trips,” coach Matt LaFleur said after the game.

However, lost in the shuffle of three blown trips to the red zone in as many possessions to start the game is the fact Green Bay went 3-for-3 in the second half. Aaron Rodgers threw touchdown passes to Davante Adams and Allen Lazard and Aaron Jones capped Green Bay’s scoring with a 5-yard run.

“Typically when you get down there and you kick too many field goals, that usually gets you beat,” LaFleur, whose team finished eighth in the red zone last season with a 64.0 percent touchdown rate, said on Monday. “And certainly the fact that we went down there and we had a second and goal on the 1-yard line and couldn’t punch it in [was disappointing]. Hindsight is 20-20. I wish we would’ve called some different plays, but we didn’t. A lot of times, you can’t recover from that, and those can be those self-inflicted wounds that are hard to overcome.”

Lions coach Matt Patricia was singing a similar tune on Monday after his team blew a 23-6 lead in the fourth quarter and lost 27-23. Sure, they could have won the game had the defense not allowed three touchdown passes from Mitchell Trubisky. And, yes, they would have won the game had rookie running back D’Andre Swift not dropped a touchdown pass in the final seconds.

However, in Patricia’s mind, the game never should have come down to those final moments. Detroit settled for a pair of short field goals in the first half.

“We have to capitalize there,” Patricia said. “We’re doing some things that weren’t really how we practiced or coached it. There were just some plays in there that I think could’ve really changed the scenarios at the end of the game. Those plays are really important to capitalize on so you don’t have to be on those constant back-and-forth situations at the end.”

Below, see the NFL Communications’ preview of the game.

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NFL Communications
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