Mike Vandermause column: Loss 'hurt real bad,' but there's still hope

Nov. 26, 2012

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Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams (38) walks off the field after the Packers were defeated by the New York Giants on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The sooner the Green Bay Packers forget about their disastrous 38-10 loss to the New York Giants Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, the better.

The problem is, that might be easier said than done.

“I don’t know if you can forget about this,” receiver Jordy Nelson said in a somber Packers locker room after the game. “We got beat bad.”

Everything that possibly could go wrong for the Packers did.

“Embarrassment,” Packers receiver Randall Cobb said. “(It’s) the only thing I’ve got to say. We got embarrassed.”

Cobb wasn’t willing to chalk it up to a bad night.

“There’s no night that you just play like this, you play with no emotion, no heart,” Cobb said. “We didn’t make the plays. The offense didn’t make the plays. You can’t do that when you’re playing a quality opponent.”

The defense also didn’t make the plays. The Packers couldn’t stop the Giants, either on the ground or through the air. After giving up just 19 first-quarter points all season, the Packers allowed the Giants to light up the scoreboard for 17 points in the first 15 minutes.

From that ugly start, the rout was on.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a rough game with two turnovers and a passer rating of 81.9, but he was only partly to blame. The offensive line was borderline terrible and struggled to protect Rodgers against a potent Giants’ pass rush. If the Giants weren’t slamming Rodgers to the ground for sacks, they were harassing him and making him hurry his throws.

“We got our (expletive) kicked,” guard Josh Sitton said. “They came out and beat us up.

“I’ve never been a part of a loss like that. It ain’t fun. It’s not what we do. We’re too good to be putting that out there.”

There were whispers that the defending Super Bowl champion Giants had slipped a notch from last year, but after steamrolling the Packers, there can be no mistake they have all the tools to defend their title.

Only once during coach Mike McCarthy’s seven-season tenure have the Packers lost by a wider margin – that came in his first season of 2006 in a 35-0 loss to New England. The Packers so rarely get blown out that they didn’t quite know how to react when they fell behind 31-10 at halftime.

“I mean it hurts,” safety Morgan Burnett said. “I hurt real bad. To go out and lose a game like that, you can’t sit around and mope about it. Everybody has to stand up and be a man, criticize yourself and move on.”

Despite the severe beating, all is not lost for the Packers. It’s just one game, and they remain in solid playoff position heading into the final month of the regular season.

While the rash of injuries the Packers have suffered this season is not an adequate excuse in the rough-and-tumble NFL for how they played against the Giants, at least they have some hope moving forward.

The eventual return of Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings, Sam Shields and possibly Cedric Benson will give the Packers a much-needed boost in the coming month when teams normally need to get hot.

And perhaps the reshuffled offensive line will eventually find some cohesion and allow Rodgers to sleep sounder at night.

Until then, the Packers will have to play a lot better than they did against the Giants.

mvandermause@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @MikeVandermause.

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