Injury Riddled Packers Fall to Skins In OT: What This Loss Means Going Forward

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Injury Riddled Packers Fall to Skins In OT: What This Loss Means Going Forward
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Let's face it; it was never going to be a cakewalk. 

Every Packer fan realized the potential of a big time loss being dealt by the hands of the Washington Redskins, and unfortunately, Green Bay fell victim to an overtime field goal that funnily enough, the Redskins were on the wrong end of three weeks ago against the Houston Texans.

Prior to the days affairs at FedEx Field, expected optimism flowed throughout the Green Bay roster.  Some may say that with Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley in a team's arsenal that it is fine for a team to expect the very best each and every week, but something about the Packers' attitude has changed in the span of the past six months that isn't all that welcome by Green Bay faithfuls.

From the very get go, the game was set to be a dandy.  Aaron Rodgers opened his account with his usual stylish ways, and although Donovan McNabb managed to maintain composure with 357 yards and one touchdown, Green Bay's 10 point lead heading into the fourth quarter looked to be a surefire bet for a big time win in Washington.

Unfortunately, that wasn't to be, and with Green Bay's already extensive injury list acquiring the likes of Jermichael Finley (knee) and Clay Matthews (hamstring), it appeared that once again the Packers couldn't catch a break from the football gods.

However, as easy as it is to blame Green Bay's 3-2 record on some greater being, much of the blame must be pinned on the Packers constant problems, that continue to reappear.

Special Teams

It's almost become like a broken record, as the Packers special teams is still a disaster.  Last week against the Detroit Lions, Green Bay suffered a close call when Jordy Nelson fumbled in the dying stages of the game, and once again in Week 5, the Packers struggled to resort to the basic tackling schemes that most teams have down pat by now.

The biggest issue with the Packers special teams, is that it has perhaps become the most frustrating part of Green Bay's game.  Obvious talent sits on the shoulders of Jordy Nelson, yet at the same time he fails to gain decent field position on consecutive returns.

More importantly, it is frustrating due to the fact that nothing changes.  Week in and week out, special teams play is highlighted, and although Mike McCarthy attempts to tweak a few things, no change is ever noticeable. 

A big issue is at hand here, and as much as Packer fans try to deny the importance of special teams, it is still costing Green Bay serious real estate.

 

Penalties

The Packers toned down their penalty ratio in Week 4 against Detroit, but against the Redskins, a total of nine penalties was racked up by Green Bay.

Similar to special teams, this is a reoccurring problem.  Even though Washington were far from perfect on the day, the Packers more or less let a 10 point lead slip in the forth quarter, by shooting themselves in the foot.

And what does this mean for the future?

Hopefully a turn around, but it doesn't appear that way.  By looking at the statistics, Green Bay nearly let Philadelphia and Detroit back into the respective games in the past, and finally, the Redskins have come back to bite the Packers.

 

Kicking

Most Packer fans aren't willing to throw Mason Crosby under the bus just yet, but yet again, he has let Green Bay down by missing a game winning field goal.

Deja vu was ultimately felt  by Packer fans, as this was one of the main headlines to follow on from last season.  Mike McCarthy was intent on giving Crosby a second chance, and now it appears that the hot seat it burning beneath the once clutch kicker.

Not everything can be blamed on Crosby's lost, after all it was an overall team let down.  However, Garret Hartley was placed under the gun following his miss against the Atlanta Falcons, so expect Crosby to be in the firing line this week.

Injuries

Realistically, injuries aren't the Packers fault.  Still, now that Jermichael Finley has supposedly hurt his hamstring, and the likes of Donald Lee, Ryan Pickett, and Clay Matthews are in some strife, the Packers depth is beginning to be tested.

On the positive side of things, Green Bay running back Brandon Jackson finally had a respectable day, having rushed for 115 yards.  No touchdowns were recorded for the back up replacement of Ryan Grant, but it was nice to see Jackson finally get his legs moving for some positive yards.

 

What does it all mean going forward?

The biggest issue for the Packers is now at quarterback.  A week after Jay Cutler was ruled as questionable following a hard hit from New York's tough as nails defense, Aaron Rodgers is now suffering the after effects of a concussion.

Bad news is now shared around the locker room, and the Packers look beat up.  In true Packer spirit though, Jermichael Finley has kept the teams hopes high, having this to say.

"It's just one of those seasons, and we've still got to focus in, and we've got to keep clicking. I still think we can be the team that we want to be. It's the 'Year of the Takeover' still," said Jermichael Finley "It ain't changed just 'cause of one loss."

Is Finley right?

Packer fans certainly hope so.  A 3-2 record isn't the end of the world, but Chicago are now running away with the division, despite how unflattering their performance was against the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

Injuries are a major concern, but luckily, Jermichael Finley may be back sooner rather than later.  As for Aaron Rodgers, we'll wait and see. 

Tough times await the Packers, and the Miami Dolphins now travel to Green Bay in a must win game for the green and gold.  It's a 50/50 shot at a win right now, but some serious kinks must be ironed out in the next seven days.

 

Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports.  Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.

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