Sydney Speaks! Breaking down loss to Lions

We can't keep accepting excuses for what we all witnessed Sunday as the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers 17-3 in the opening game of the season. We heard all preseason how the Packers were going to get it together and how the head coach was going to fix their problems. So let's see what got fixed!

What a joke. Scoring 3 points against the Lions defense? Where do we begin? Let's start with the Head Coach and play caller. Part of the responsibility of a coach is putting the players in the best position to be successful, which Mike Sherman failed to do against the Lions. To only run the ball 15 times in the dome in a game that was 10-3 most of the game is a disgrace and a slap in the face to the offensive linemen. It all falls on the play-caller.

Sherman didn't use his VETO POWER. On top of that on several occasions there were third and shorts, and what I mean by that was third and 4 or less yards. But the Packers instead would empty the backfield and therefore take away the run option making it easier on the defense to say PASS!!!!! WHAT WAS THAT?

Those were just a few things I couldn't understand that the coach was responsible for. I won't mention any replays. It was a clear fumble by Brett so there wasn't any need to challenge that. As for the players, it must start with their leader, Brett. The Packers just can't win with two interceptions and fumbles, but that has been happening more than not.

What disappointed me the most was when Brett had the opportunity to score or get a first down - at least when they were deep in the red zone on the 3 yard line - and Brett didn't go for it. I believe it would have changed the game because the Lions were waiting to lose, but Brett didn't seize the moment. The the Packers failed on a field goal attempt that never should have happened.

We heard all off season about Favre getting in better shape to make the plays but in this case he chose not to. It's hard to blame the offensive linemen for not establishing running lanes because they weren't given many opportunities. Because of this it's hard to block for the pass if the defensive linemen aren't worrying about the run. It's a trickle-down effect. Brett got hit a lot and it's time to understand this O-LINE isn't as good as the past so the linemen must be helped out.

Except for the dropped snap by B.J. Sander and a bad penalty on Antonio Chatman's long punt return, the special teams played an awesome game. They covered their butts off holding one of the best kick returners for a 2.0 average. Nobody could ask for anything better than that, especially after what we saw during the preseason.

Forgotten in all of this because of the loss was the fact that Sander had a very respectable punting average of 41.3 yards, with a net of 39.3. The special teams should feel that they helped more than they hurt!

Let's not get overly excited because remember the Packers only played the Lions. Detroit is not an offensive juggernaut, but I think the defense showed a passion for the game which was nice to see. They hustled, gang-tackled and battled. For one of the few times in several years I can say the defense played good enough to win. Aaron Kampman, Cullen Jenkins, Colin Cole and Grady Jackson made me realize just how much Cletidus Hunt was stealing. They applied consistent pressure and were active against the run.

Mark Roman played the game of his life, hustling all over the field like when he made the big hit on tight end Marcus Pollard stopping a sure TD. Al Harris played like he wants to be in the Pro Bowl this year. Nick Barnett looks like he has found a home with this defense except he can't do stupid things like hitting the quarterback in the head giving them an automatic first down.

A lot of good things, but how long is the coaching staff going to allow Ahmad Carroll to start for this defense? What are they thinking? It's time for Joey Thomas isn't it? How many penalties is he allowed to have for committing the same fouls before someone says enough is enough? Maybe the refs were hard on him, but after the second time someone needs to say STOP IT. If he doesn't there is a place on the bench. Remember he hasn't earned enough respect to get a break.

Green Bay's defense played better, special teams played better, and the offense wasn't allowed to play better. What does that mean? Oh, yeah, A LOSS TO THE LIONS, 17-3!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at

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