Packers-Ravens: First half thoughts
Where is the breaking point with injuries? We may see it here today in Baltimore. With James Jones out for the rest of the game and Randall Cobb carted off late, the Packers are down to two receivers: Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin. Meanwhile, Nick Perry limps off late in the half and with Clay Matthews already out the depth at outside linebacker has thinned out rapidly.
So perhaps it's no surprise the Packers could only muster two field goals. Aaron Rodgers can't find his groove and Boykin didn't help his cause with a couple of drops. Jermichael Finley also had a drop and did not register a catch. For the Packers to generate some offensive life Finley has to come through and Boykin must take care of the ball.
Playcalling again came into question early in the game with Rodgers dropping back on 3rd and 2 and Johnathan Franklin getting a carry later on 3rd and 1. While I don't like to question playcalling often you have to wonder if the Packers will let Eddie Lacy be Eddie Lacy. He's a big, physical back but he's not getting the tough yardage carries.
Of course, another issue was pass protection. Rodgers was sacked three times with Elvin Dumervil being the biggest problem in protection.
While ugly on offense, it was a great first half for the defense. At the heart of it was a goal line stand that kept Baltimore off the board. Without Matthews the Packers were able to generate some pass rush and Joe Flacco never got the offense going.
In the second quarter the Ravens starting field position was their own 41, 33 and 47. They went three-and-out in two drives with the middle drive resulting in the goal line stand. So even without good field position the Packers have clamped down.
What happened to Torrey Smith? The Ravens number on receiver was held without a catch in the first down. He is a gamebreaker, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown aren't nearly as dangerous.
The run defense was fantastic. A week after Ray Rice put up good numbers on Miami he was held to just 13 yards in the first half and was a non-factor.