Of all the disappointing performances in the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving, the Packers’ offensive line was one of the biggest eye openers and sent a warning signal through the Packers’ locker room.
The entire offensive line was simply overpowered by the Lions’ front four, and quarterback Matt Flynn received the majority of the punishment. The Lions forced seven sacks on the game and got to Flynn before he even had time to set his feet and throw. It was a tough loss for the entire organization, and many improvements must be made up front if the Packers offense is going to be successful.
Throughout the game, every lineman was beaten. I saw rookie David Bahktiari get beat more times on Thursday than he has all season long, and Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley were basically playing like there was no one even blocking them. This has to be a point of emphasis at Packers practice this week if this team is going to have any success over the next four games.
The Packers have lost or tied their last five games and went from being the best in the NFC North to fighting for their playoff lives. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been out for those five games (he was taken out of the first quarter against Chicago Bears), and the offense has been very stagnant without him. He hopes to return this week against the Atlanta Falcons, but if this line doesn’t improve he may not want to come back.
The team must win their final four games if they hope to have any chance of getting into the playoffs, and in order to do so the offense must improve. In order for them to improve the line must get back to the basics and start protecting the quarterback.