Green & Gold


Packers search for answers on offense

The Green Bay Packers began the process of fixing their once-potent offense on Monday morning, with a no-fun film review of the team’s 19-7 loss to the Detroit Lions the day before.

“This is what Mondays are for,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Win or lose.”

Rarely, though, have the Packers spent a Monday poring over the offensive film wondering what went wrong. And plenty went wrong.

Running back Eddie Lacy, who was the NFL offensive rookie of the year last season, had his third straight substandard game, rushing 11 times for 36 yards, with 17 yards coming on one carry. For the season, Lacy has carried 36 times for 113 yards after rushing for 1,178 yards - and registering four 100-yard games — last season. “Disappointing” was the word McCarthy used to describe the minimal production.

“Eddie needs to play better,” McCarthy said, refusing to elaborate. “I don’t correct individuals in the media.”


Bulaga could play against Lions

Bryan Bulaga wasn’t quite ready to say he will be back in uniform and on the field Sunday for the Green Bay Packers.

“I’m not saying I’m definitely playing,” the veteran right tackle said Friday. “We’ve got to still evaluate things that go into tomorrow.”

Bulaga is listed as questionable for Green Bay’s NFC North road matchup against the Detroit Lions.

Bulaga suffered a significant knee injury in the Packers’ season-opening loss at Seattle and didn’t play in their big comeback win over the New York Jets on Sunday.

As he did last week, Bulaga practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday this week. He looked to be moving around better with a protective brace on his injured left knee.

“From last week to this week, it feels a lot better,” Bulaga said. “Mobility wise, strength wise, everything has just progressed really well.”


Matthews on the move on field

No matter how the Packers defense lines up, Clay Matthews is adamant that his top goal is to disrupt opponents and make big plays.

It’s just that Green Bay’s best pass rusher these days may not be getting as much of a chance to do it close to the line, hovering around the same tight end or tackle on the edge play after play.

A major wrinkle to the Packers’ defense this year includes lining up Matthews in different spots, instead of just keeping the long-haired linebacker rushing from one end or the other. The defense overall has had mixed results early with Green Bay (1-1) preparing for Sunday’s game at Detroit.

“What we’re trying to accomplish is the fact that we’re trying to present problems for the opponents’ offense and not just lining me up in one spot,” Matthews said this week. “But I think the thing about it is you look at the personnel on the field, I think that I’m more than capable of rushing the passer and dropping into coverage.”


Packers defense back on track?

Coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers believe the Green Bay Packers defense is headed in the right direction, and not just because there was no other way to go after its struggles against the defending Super Bowl champions in the season opener.

The unit gave up 398 yards - including 207 on the ground - to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL kickoff game, then helped put the Packers in an 18-point hole in Sunday’s 31-24 come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets at Lambeau Field by surrendering touchdowns on the first three series.


Packers rally to 31-24 win over Jets

Leader Photo by Gerrard Diaz Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson grabs a pass Sunday in the Packers' 31-24 win over the Jets at Lambeau Field. Nelson had 209 yards receiving, including an 80-yard touchdown.

Leader Photo by Gerrard Diaz Packers cornerback Tramon Williams steps in front of Jets tight end Zach Sudfeld to intercept a pass Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Packers rallied from 18 points down to beat the Jets, 31-24.

A horrible start was just setting the scene as the Green Bay Packers rallied from a 21-3 deficit to beat the New York Jets 31-24 Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers took over the No. 2 spot on the team's all-time passing yardage list, and receiver Jordy Nelson had a career-best day, in the victory.

“They have grit,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s something we’ve always felt. I really like the character and makeup of our players. Everyone wants to talk about talent, measurables, experience and production. But this group, they’re wired the right way, they work the right way and we improved as a team today.”

The 18-point comeback victory was a career-best for Rodgers, who was 25 of 42 for 346 yards. Rodgers (24,734) eclipsed Bart Starr (24,718) on the franchise’s career passing yards list and now only trails Brett Favre (61,655).


Bulaga questionable for Sunday

The Green Bay Packers will have one lineup change for their first game at Lambeau Field this season.

The possibility for another one is in play.

The Packers won’t know until Saturday whether injured right tackle Bryan Bulaga will be available for their home opener the next day. The Packers are listing Bulaga as questionable for the game against the New York Jets.

Bulaga suffered an injury to his surgically repaired left knee in the first half of Green Bay’s season-opening loss at Seattle on Sept. 4 and didn’t play the rest of the game. The team’s medical staff re-evaluated Bulaga on Friday morning after he took part in some practice drills Wednesday and Thursday.

“Bryan Bulaga with his exam (was) sore, which I think you’d expect, so we’ll see how he progresses through today and see what he can do tomorrow,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Working both days, I think this is what’s to be expected.”


Packers' offense needs to regroup

The Green Bay Packers were big fans of the no-huddle in the preseason.

It’s time to huddle up.

Not on the field, but in practice. The Packers’ offense needs to re-group after an embarrassing performance in Seattle last week in the season opener.

The team had issues dealing with cornerback Richard Sherman, avoiding — either by plan or by circumstance — his side of the field the whole game. The Packers’ dynamic passing game? Regulated to one side of the field with a stacked defense ready for anything.

Rookie receivers Davante Adams, a second-round pick, and Jeff Janis, a seventh-round pick, who both beat out more experienced receivers in training camp, were nonfactors against Seattle. Perhaps because they are too raw, or perhaps they have yet to earn the trust of their meticulous quarterback. Whatever the reason, a Packers offense that thrives on having multiple targets was reduced to two.


Keys to the Game: Jets at Packers


Go Deep

Against a tough Seattle Seahawks defense, it’s no surprise that the Green Bay Packers’ highly touted offense looked very pedestrian. The Packers played into the Seahawks’ plan, using Jarrett Boykin as a placeholder on cornerback Richard Sherman. That effectively took away half the field. The Packers not only need to find the other side of the field, they also need to hit some deep passes. Getting rookie receivers Davante Adams and Jeff Janis involved would be a good idea, as well. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is at his best when he has multiple targets. The team needs more than Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as options in the passing game.

Settle the Defense


Packers look to shore up run defense

The Green Bay Packers signed Julius Peppers to get to the quarterback.

To get better at that, the veteran pass rusher realizes the defense has to get better at stopping the run first.

Allowing 207 yards on the ground, which is what Green Bay gave up last week to Seattle, might not cut it against the New York Jets in the Packers’ home opener Sunday.

“You’ve got to stop the run to be able to have a chance to rush the passer, so that’s where our focus is,” Peppers said Thursday.

It sounds like a sound plan against a Jets team that ran for 212 yards in a win over Oakland last week. Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory provide a solid one-two punch, and Geno Smith is a mobile threat at quarterback.

The Packers expect to see some read-option, just like in Seattle. What the Jets don’t immediately present is an all-purpose threat like receiver Percy Harvin, who beat the Packers on sweeps and through the air.


Packers’ offense looks to get over slow start

One of the worst offenses in the NFL will try to get back on track this weekend when the New York Jets visit the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Surprise — it’s not the Jets seeking to get over a slow start.

After one week, high-powered Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy is ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense. The Jets are 11th in the league in offense, and first in defense.

There are two big caveats, though.

The Packers lost to the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle in the league opener. New York beat the subpar Oakland Raiders at home.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hopes his team can pick up the pace in Green Bay’s home opener.


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