Packers get shut out for 1st time in more than decade
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Jordy Nelson got right to the point on a day when the Green Bay Packers were shut out for the first time in more than a decade.
The Packers’ offense struggled again without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers, falling 23-0 on Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens.
“It’s pretty ugly,” Nelson said. “Not what we expected when we went out there.”
Five turnovers, including three interceptions by Rodgers’ replacement, Brett Hundley. Two lost fumbles, one by Hundley on a strip-sack by Terrell Suggs .
The Packers (5-5) knew they had little margin for error against a defense that led the league in interceptions coming into the weekend. They left Lambeau Field having been shut out for the first time since Nov. 19, 2006, when then-starter Brett Favre left with an injury in the first half of a 35-0 loss to New England. Rodgers, then in his second year in the league, finished off that loss in relief.
Hundley didn’t fare any better on Sunday.
He was 21 of 36 for 239 yards. But he threw interceptions on the Packers’ first two series. On the third drive, backup running back Devante Mays fumbled on his first carry of the season.
“Our guys were playing so fast and covering so well, it just made it tough on” Hundley, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
They got off to such a good start, with Hundley leading the offense from the Packers 32 to the Ravens 5 in five plays on the game’s opening series. On the next play, cornerback Jimmy Smith stepped in front of a pass into the end zone intended for Randall Cobb for an interception.
“It (stinks) when you move the ball that far down on the first drive and we’ve sort of got a rhythm going, and I thought I got them in awkward defense,” Hundley said.
Instead, the Ravens’ talented secondary feasted on the third-year quarterback. He was also sacked six times.
It was such a turn of events from the previous week, when Hundley made clutch throws in the fourth quarter of a 23-16 win over the Chicago Bears.
The schedule doesn’t ease up next week with a night road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCarthy is sticking with Hundley.
“Brett Hundley’s our starter. I believe in Brett Hundley. It didn’t go very well, obviously. We understand the standard that’s been set here. We’re all part of it,” McCarthy said.
Rodgers is a couple weeks away from being eligible to practice, if his surgically repaired right collarbone is even healthy enough by that point. The earliest Rodgers could be activated off injured reserve would be for the Week 15 game at Carolina.
Rodgers and the Packers have made it clear the injury could be season ending. If the Packers fall out of playoff contention, he may not come back regardless.
Davante Adams was a lone bright spot, torching the Ravens’ strong secondary for 126 yards on eight catches. The Packers actually outgained the Ravens 265-219. But turnovers sapped any momentum.
“We’re not in panic mode, everything is still in front of us,” Adams said. “We’ve got to get a grip of it real quick here. Otherwise, we will be in panic mode.”
Hundley’s backup is Joe Callahan, an undrafted free agent elevated from the practice squad after Rodgers went down. Callahan has spent parts of two seasons with Green Bay.
So it’s up to Hundley to get things turned around.
“I mean you have to take care of the football. There (are) no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and ‘whats’” McCarthy said. “And any time anything happens with the quarterback position I take that extremely personal and I have to do a better job.”