GREEN BAY, Wis. – If he had his druthers, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell probably wishes the Green Bay Packers had crushed the New Orleans Saints 38-3 last week rather than the other way around.
“I know this,” Campbell told reporters in Allen Park, Mich., this week. “New Orleans kicked the hornets’ nest. So, we’re going to get everything they’ve got and we have to assume we’re going to get their A-game, and that’s how we’re preparing.”
Under Matt LaFleur, the Packers boast a 26-7 regular-season record. After each of the first six losses, they bounced back in A-plus fashion. Here are those games in hopes of finding a common denominator.
Week 5, 2019: Packers 34, Cowboys 24
Coming off a 34-27 loss to Philadelphia at Lambeau Field in which Davante Adams was lost to an injury, Green Bay rolled into suburban Dallas and crushed the Cowboys. While Aaron Rodgers was 22-of-34 passing for 238 yards, Aaron Jones stole the show with 107 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The last of those touchdowns made it 31-3 with about 3 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Sent into comeback mode, Dallas piled up a whopping 563 yards but Dak Prescott tossed three interceptions as Green Bay won the turnover battle 3-0.
Week 9, 2019: Packers 24, Panthers 16
Under LaFleur, the Packers have hit the road and fallen on their face once or twice every season. That happened in Week 8, a miserable 26-11 massacre at the Chargers. Green Bay rebounded but it wasn’t impressive. Two touchdown runs by Jones and a field goal by Mason Crosby put the Packers in control 24-10 late in the third quarter. Behind backup quarterback Kyle Allen, the Panthers rallied and had a shot to force overtime, but Kyler Fackrell helped blew up Christian McCaffrey’s run from the 2 as time expired. Green Bay won the turnover battle 2-0.
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Week 13, 2019: Packers 31, Giants 13
After another West Coast debacle – a 37-8 throttling at San Francisco – the Packers trekked east and pulled away from New York behind fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Adams and Marcedes Lewis. The quarterbacking matchup was a colossal mismatch. Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and posted a 125.4 rating. Daniel Jones threw three interceptions and finished with a woeful 49.4 rating. Green Bay won the turnover battle 3-0.
Week 7, 2020: Packers 35, Texans 20
Coming off their bye, the Packers were blown out at Tampa Bay 38-10. They bounced back in dominating fashion, with Rodgers throwing touchdowns to Adams, Jace Sternberger and Malik Taylor to lead 21-0 at halftime. A 45-yard touchdown pass to Adams made it 28-7 in the third quarter. Houston scored a garbage-time touchdown to make the final a bit less lopsided. Green Bay won the turnover battle 1-0.
Week 9, 2020: Packers 34, 49ers 17
After Dalvin Cook scored four touchdowns to help the ball-hogging Vikings shock the Packers at Lambeau Field, Green Bay crushed the depleted 49ers. Green Bay led 34-3 late in the fourth quarter before a couple lipstick-on-the-pig touchdowns. Rodgers was 25-of-31 passing for 305 yards, four touchdowns and a 147.2 passer rating. For the 49ers, Nick Mullens was the quarterback, Jerick McKinnon the running back and Richie James was the top receiver. Green Bay won the turnover battle 2-0.
Week 12, 2020: Packers 41, Bears 25
After the Packers lost 34-31 in overtime at Indianapolis, Green Bay scored touchdowns on its first three possessions to quicky bury the Bears. Rodgers, once again, followed up a loss with a four-touchdown performance. Chicago scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the final look a bit less overwhelming. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky turned over the ball three times as Green Bay won the turnover battle 3-0.
It's easy to focus on Rodgers – and for good reason, with his four consecutive games with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. However, turnovers have been the real key. In the six losses, Green Bay had 10 giveaways vs. two takeaways – a woeful minus-8. Individually, it lost the turnover battle five times and tied once. They were minus-3 vs. New Orleans last week. In the six bounce-back games, the Packers are an overwhelming 14-0 in turnovers.
“I think we’re a good team,” Rodgers, having already turned the page, said on Thursday. “We’ve been a good team for the last few years, so good teams don’t usually have poor performances back to back.”