In my blog post last week titled “Bye week thoughts: Four takeaways for four games,” the last takeaway I wrote down was “Don’t overreact.” Although I meant it in a positive way about how I should calm down my excitement, I’m now turning it around and telling myself not to overreact to a bad loss.
But it’s really hard not to.
After the game on Sunday started off hot and the Packers held a 10-0 lead, Aaron Rodgers threw a pick-six and the Packers just never looked the same.
Aaron spent the rest of the game seeing ghosts, the normally-stout offensive line couldn’t pass protect against an expansive Tampa Bay blitz package, and Mike Pettine’s defense looked about as enthused to be playing in this game as I was watching it. (I was not, in any way, enthused).
Like many Packers fans, I was at an utter disbelief that this was the same team that I watched play in the first four weeks of the season. I mean, it couldn’t be – right?
Like my old offensive line coach used to tell us, it’s never as good or as bad as it seems. Meaning – if you’ve won four games in a row and everything is going right, there’s always things that need to be corrected. And in this case – if you’ve lost in a blowout, the sky isn’t actually falling.
Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur both echoed that the week of practice coming off a bye week leading up to the game wasn’t good. Maybe the guys were listening to all the hype.
As much as I was shocked and utterly disappointed, I actually think this could be the type of loss that Green Bay was going to get eventually in the season.
And I would rather have this type of loss earlier in the season, where film can be analyzed and issues can be properly straightened out in the coming weeks, than later on in the season when confidence is so vital for a postseason run.
After watching the game, seeing some clips on Twitter, and listening to LaFleur speak at the podium – it feels to me like the Packers were out-coached and out-schemed. A positive takeaway is that I feel like that was part of the problem.
Bucs LB duo of Devin White & Lavonte David ruined the Packers run game yesterday – Green Bay could not get the LBs blocked!
Some poor run looks sure – but some they just couldn’t get to them on the 2nd level
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 19, 2020
To me, this loss doesn’t feel like the losses last year to the 49ers. In the 2019 season, the Packers barely beat teams they should’ve ran out of the stadium and were clearly out-matched talent-wise in the matchups against San Francisco.
In the game against the Buccaneers, I didn’t feel that talent gap. And the first four games of the season gives me much more hope.
That’s why I’m telling myself not to overreact. It will be interesting to see how a team that looked so dominant in the first four weeks will bounce back in the coming weeks after a bad loss.
You can’t go 15-1 without the ‘1.’ Let’s fantasize and hope this ‘1’ is the only ‘1’ of the season.
Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.