The Green Bay Packers have never won in Buffalo, New York. Add another to the loss column in Packer franchise history making Sunday’s 21-13 loss (0-6) all time.
It was just a bad day for Aaron Rodgers and the offense. The Buffalo Bills held the MVP quarterback to just 185 yards passing, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Rodgers has thrown just five picks all season, and both in Buffalo were off tipped balls.
Speaking of tipped balls, the Packer receivers were not themselves either. The high octane offense struggled to get open. Fighting the press coverage, they dropped six balls. It was one of Rodgers and his wideouts’ worst games in a long time as Rodgers completed a mediocre 17-of-42.
Ironically, coming off a horrible showing on Monday Night, the Packers defense came up strong in Buffalo. If not for them, it might have been a blowout. The Bills aren’t a scoring machine with veteran backup Kyle Orton at the helm, but they know how to scratch out wins.
Clay Matthews and company actually shut down the Bills offense. The only scoring by Buffalo was a 75 yard punt return for a touchdown, four field goals, and a safety. Usually, 21 points isn’t enough to beat the Pack, but that’s the kind of day it was.
Matthews recorded two sacks making his season total 7.5. Rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix led the team with 13 tackles while two other Packers had double-digit tackles (Morgan Burnett and Sam Barrington). Tramon Williams also picked one off trying to turn things around for his team.Jordy Nelson lets the go-ahead touchdown slip through his fingers.
Still in the game, Jordy Nelson ran his patented double move running wide open behind the Bills’ safeties. Rodgers stepped up and put the ball right on his hands in stride for what could’ve been a 90-yard touchdown pass. Unfortunately, Nelson’s sure hands failed him this time.
Sometimes there are plays here and there that just prove, it’s not your day. And this was one of them.
That wide open bomb would’ve put the Packers up going into halftime. The Bills defense never gave any second chances.
Both of Rodgers’ interceptions were in scoring range, heartbreakers. Both were tipped balls caught by Bills Bacarri Rambo. Both turnovers led to points.
On a bright side, Eddie Lacy had a good game. And he was needed. Lacy’s 97 yards and a touchdown basically kept Green Bay alive. It’s easy to say now; he deserved more than 15 carries.The Bills force a safety to clinch the upset.
Unbelievably still with a chance, Rodgers had the ball pinned back down 21-13 with 1:58 remaining in the game. First play of their two-minute drill and the comeback drive was shot. Mario Williams turned the corner and stripped Rodgers. The ball took a Buffalo bounce into the Packers’ own endzone. Eddie Lacy picked it up trying to run it to escape a safety, but the refs blew it dead.
By rule, under two minutes, any fumble that falls backwards is dead at the spot. It just so happens the ball landed 10 yards backwards into the endzone, giving the Bills the 2-point safety, the ball, and the win.
This was a huge loss for the Packers impacting their playoff hopes. Not only did they fall to (10-4) behind the Detroit Lions for the division lead, but they dropped from fighting for homefield advantage as the second seed in the NFC race to fighting for their playoff lives as the sixth and final seed.
Next up is a visit to the struggling (2-12) Tampa Bay Bucs.
Green Bay is still in control of their future but winning on the road in Tampa against another familiar foe, Lovie Smith, looks like a trap game.