Packers disappointed with red zone performance Print
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Tuesday, 04 November 2008 10:56
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 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -As good as Aaron Rodgers has been for the Green Bay Packers this year, he could have been better in Sunday's overtime loss in Tennessee - especially in the red zone.
And Rodgers was the first to admit it.
``It's pretty tough,'' he said after Sunday's game. ``We made a lot of plays on offense. The things we talked about early in the week, we didn't do. We needed to score seven when we got in the red zone, and we didn't do that. We didn't protect the ball. I had two turnovers, so obviously that wasn't accomplished. I was disappointed in the way I played. Our defense played well enough for us to win, but I just didn't make enough plays.''
Rodgers has played well enough in his first year as a starter to receive last week a contract extension through the 2014 season. He put up impressive numbers again against the Titans, completing 22 of 41 passes for 314 yards and a touchdown.
finish their drives. In four trips inside the Titans' 20-yard line, the Packers came away with only one touchdown and three field goals.
The Packers lost 19-16 in overtime.
``We had a number of minus decisions down there,'' coach Mike McCarthy said, referring to the way coaches grade players. ``We need to do a better job of taking what the defense gives us, staying within the offense. But our decision-making was poor as a whole in the red zone, and it factored in the outcome in a number of those series.''
Scoring in the red zone, a significant problem for the Packers in McCarthy's first season as coach in 2006, actually hasn't been a major issue this year.
Going into the Titans game, the Packers had scored a touchdown on 57.9 percent of their possessions inside their opponents' 20, a respectable 11th-best in the NFL.
But that relatively efficient performance fell apart Sunday against Tennessee's defense, perhaps the best in the league.
``We kicked three field goals,'' Rodgers said. ``As good as that is for Mason (Crosby), we need to finish those drives off with touchdowns, especially when we get a chance to take the lead on these guys. ... Our defense gave us a great opportunity to win the game. We've got to finish off those drives.''
the quarterback to show leadership by taking a tough loss to heart.
``I think he accepts blame when it's due, which I think is good,'' Clements said. ``It lets the other guys know that he's not above reproach, and I think that's good for him and his development, and it's good for the team to see that.''
Right tackle Mark Tauscher was frustrated that the offense's efforts didn't translate into enough points.
``We played our tails off,'' Tauscher said. ``It's just frustrating because we didn't make any plays. We ground it out, effort-wise we competed, but a couple plays here and there we didn't execute and didn't make the key play when it was called upon. And that was the difference in the game.''
Beyond their red zone failures, another missed opportunity ate away at Packers players.
After Rodgers' 20-yard pass to Donald Driver put the Packers at the Titans' 45 with just under three minutes remaining and the game tied at 16, the offense couldn't get into field goal range.
``You've got to convert when you're over the 50 and go down and get that field goal,'' Tauscher said. ``That was tough. We were in a perfect position. ... Obviously we left ourselves a long third-and-10, and since we've turned this thing around and started winning some games, we've kept ourselves out of those situations. Today, we didn't. And we just weren't as crisp as we've been.''
r in a hurry, with division games coming up at Minnesota on Sunday and at home against Chicago next week.
``We felt confident playing Tennessee,'' Rodgers said. ``We just didn't execute as well as I know coach would have wanted us to. But this is a team that plays well on the road. We're going to go back to the basics this week and have a good week of practice. We realize this is a big game coming up.''
 

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