Center Scott Wells' absence hadn't made an impact until Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers was pressured throughout the entire game, and plays did not have time to develop.
Having been sacked five times, however, the blame cannot fall solely on the line. Rodgers, time and time again, kept moving backwards from defenders, losing momentum and yards.
The offensive could not find any way to score seven when entering the red zone. Settling for field goals the first three tries, it was even more frustrating to see Rodgers sacked on third down twice in the red zone.
Rodgers had been pressured in both of the previous games close to the end zone, but found ways to avoid the sack and throw for touchdowns. But not tonight.
Maybe it was just eventually going to happen to even things out. Maybe Rodgers held on to the ball too long.
However, the important message for Packer fans is this: Don't Worry.
While the offense looked abysmal throughout much of the game, it will get better. Wells' return can help with protection, and also with the fumbles during the snap. One fumble a game cannot be something that continues if the Packers want to have any success.
Rodgers will develop and learn from this game. It was only his third start, and he still has yet to throw an interception this season. While that may be a product of holding on to the ball too long, nevertheless it still hasn't happened.
Ryan Grant is starting to look healthier. He averaged more than four yards a carry, and backup Brandon Jackson provided a spark in the second half. But when you're behind, it's hard to rely on the run.
Dallas fields the most complete offensive team in the league. The line is grade A, Owens and Witten are excellent, and the duo of Felix Jones and Marion Barber present a terrific threat out of the backfield.
Terrell Owens was shut down. Woodson provided tremendous coverage and held Owens to 17 yards on two catches.
And while it seemed Romo could sit in the pocket for eternity, the Cowboys allowed their first three sacks of the season. Romo also completed just over 50% of his passes.
The Dallas Cowboys look like the best team in the league right now. They have trounced the Browns and outlasted the Eagles. For the Packers to look as unimpressive as they did and lose by 11 points, I am encouraged by this game. They have 13 more to improve upon until it really matters.
Because it's only September.
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