The Green Bay Packers dropped their third straight game without Aaron Rodgers on Monday, losing to NFC North rival Detroit, 30-17, at Lambeau Field.
With Rodgers, Green Bay averaged 27.4 points through its first five games. Without him, Green Bay has averaged 14.7.
That’s how 4-1 became 4-4.
But if the Packers want to salvage their season, they don’t necessarily need more from their offense; they need more from their defense.
“It revolves around defense,” former NFL running back and current 105.7 The Fan host in Milwaukee Gary Ellerson said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “How many stops can we get? If we can’t get these scores to 14 or 17 – you can’t give up 30 points. You’re not winning that. (Brett) Hundley can’t score 30 points. You’re not doing that.”
Green Bay trailed Detroit 20-3 entering the fourth quarter before Hundley led two scoring drives, albeit with one coming in garbage time. He finished 26-of-38 for 245 yards and ran four times for 22 yards and a score.
Hundley wasn’t great, but the defense didn’t do much to help him. Matthew Stafford fired at will against Green Bay’s secondary, finishing 26-of-33 for 361 yards and two touchdowns.
The Packers desperately need a win in Chicago (3-5) this Sunday.
“They don’t have a really great offense,” Ellerson said of the run-heavy Bears. “So we’ve got to score at least 21 points against Chicago in order to have a win, and this defense has to step up.”
Easier said than done. Green Bay ranks 25th in the league in total defense (357.4 yards allowed per game) and 22nd in scoring defense (23.9 points allowed per game).
“I’m just questioning where there’s talent right now defensively,” Ellerson said. “The Bears are handcuffed. They don’t have a great offense. They’re winning games on the defensive side of the football. (Mitchell) Trubisky is not that good of a quarterback yet. He’s learning, he’s growing. I think Dom Capers can throw some stuff at him. But listen, the Bears game used to be a gimme. Not anymore.”
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.