Packers scrutinize video of Chargers debacle, but then 'you have to move on'
GREEN BAY - When the Carolina Panthers got demolished 51-13 at San Francisco on Oct. 27, coach Ron Rivera had one thought.
Get over it.
So, he noted some of things he did wrong, some of the things the players did wrong and then gave props to the 49ers.
Then, “We moved on,” he said.
Whatever Rivera did, it worked because the Panthers beat Tennessee the following Sunday, 30-20.
The Panthers’ opponent this week, the Green Bay Packers, experienced their own kind of demolition in Los Angeles on Sunday. In a game they seemingly lost before they even got off the buses, the Packers fell 26-11. It was easily their worst performance of the season and the loss dropped them to 7-2.
Just like Rivera, Packers coach Matt LaFleur must get his team over that event.
However, moving on wouldn’t be the term for what the Packers did Monday. They went through the film one agonizing frame after another.
“I don't think you ever throw it in the trash,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “I think that sets a bad precedent, where maybe you pore over a film where you lit it up and then just throw one away.
“I think it sets a bad precedent for your mental psyche. I think it's important to approach each one the same and sometimes after a rough one like Sunday, you might spend a little extra time on it. I think we took a really hard look at that one and pushed past it. But it didn't go without a lot of correction.”
Rivera, who is in his 34th year in the NFL and ninth as a head coach, said sometimes it's best to let go of games like that and direct your focus on the next one. When he played linebacker for the Chicago Bears, he said coach Mike Ditka hated to get hung up on one bad loss.
“You’re going to get beat, and you’re going to beat people,” Rivera said. “At the end of the day, how you get up off the mat will determine who you are going forward. So, we’ve had to get up off the mat.”
LaFleur said this past Monday was like any other he would conduct during the season, but that’s not entirely true. Maybe the process was the same, but the amount of time spent on corrections was off the charts.
The offense managed 184 yards and averaged 3.8 yards per play. The first five possessions of the game resulted in punts. Only 2 of 10 third downs were converted. The longest play of the day was 17 yards.
When the offensive players marched into their meeting room for corrections, they knew no one would be spared.
“Those losses, those are the games I’m most eager to watch,” rookie guard Elgton Jenkins said. “I usually know what I did wrong, but going into the meeting room, it’s like getting constructive criticism from the coach.
“I want that.”
On the defensive side, the players know that coordinator Mike Pettine won’t miss one detail when going over the video with the entire unit. Pettine isn’t the kind to gloss over mistakes or excuse a bad play.
After letting Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers complete 21 of 28 passes for 294 yards and running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler rush 32 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns, everyone knew the meeting on Monday would be a marathon.
“He’s a D-coordinator, all this stuff is a reflection on him,” nose tackle Kenny Clark said. “He wants this stuff fixed.
“As players we walk in and you know when your play is coming up. You’re like, ‘I know I didn’t do this one, I didn’t give up this one,’ but then this play right here comes up, ‘Damn, I know this is me right here.’ He’s going to let you know about it. He’s not going to shy away from it or sweep it under the rug.”
It’s not easy to relive your worst performance, but disregarding it or acting like it’s an anomaly isn’t how the Packers are going about it.
“It’s tough because a lot of the stuff was self-inflicted,” end Dean Lowry said. “Whatever it was, lack of focus, lack of intensity, it was kind of atypical of how we usually play. But you have to move on.
“After today, you get out to the practice field, you get to playing again, running around out there, you kind of put it behind you. You have a new opponent and you’re back at it.”