Tom Silverstein and Pete Dougherty discuss what went wrong in the Green Bay Packers' 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers came into this season 52-44 on the road under coach Mike McCarthy.
Even during their two losing seasons under McCarthy, the Packers managed to go 3-5 in 2017 and 2-6 in 2008.
But their 27-24 loss Thursday in Seattle marked their fifth road loss in as many games this season.
The Packers hadn’t lost their first five on the road since 1979 when Bart Starr’s team lost seven straight and finished 1-7 away from home.
Between Starr and McCarthy, the longest streaks to start the season was four losses (Mike Sherman in 2005, Lindy Infante in 1989 and Forrest Gregg in 1984 and ’85).
The fewest road wins since the 1970 merger all came under Starr (one in the ’75, ’76 and ’79 seasons). The last Packers team to lose all of its road games was Ray "Scooter" McLean's 1958 team, which went 0-6 on the road and 1-10-1 overall.
After visiting Minnesota on Sunday night, the Packers play just two more on the road, at Chicago Dec. 16 and at the New York Jets Dec. 23. The Jets game likely is the only one they will be favored to win.
“We need to turn that around and get a win on the road, but we’re not thinking about the past losses,” linebacker Clay Matthews said after the loss to the Seahawks. ”It’s all about this week.
“Each and every week, you’ve got to flush the old stuff, and we just didn’t get it done this week. We were close. It’s just opportunities, we need to take advantage of that. We’ve set ourselves up for a pretty difficult path, but we’ve just got to get back to work. We have no other option.”
Coming up empty
Although the Packers defense caused a turnover on Matthews’ forced fumble on Seattle’s first possession Thursday, the unit has not been able to make opposing quarterbacks pay for throwing the ball an average of about 30 times a game against them.
They have just two interceptions in their last five games and just one since safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was traded to Washington after the Oct. 28 loss at the Los Angeles Rams. They had been averaging five pass breakups a game but came up with just two against the Seahawks.
“We’re not doing enough to take the ball away,” rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander said. “We’re not making enough plays on the ball. That starts with us in the secondary. You can see we’re getting sacks, but we’re not getting our hands the ball enough when they do throw it.”
By the fourth quarter of the 27-24 loss to the Seahawks, the Packers were playing with three rookies — Alexander, Josh Jackson and Tony Brown — at cornerback. Starter Kevin King (hamstring) has been out for two weeks and veteran Beshaud Breeland gutted it out as long as he could with a pulled groin muscle before leaving the game.
Jackson and Brown were beaten badly on key plays against the Seahawks and someone blew a coverage on tight end Ed Dickson’s game-winning touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.