Packers fake themselves out

So, just what happened on that botched fake field goal that sucked the air out of the Packers' promising opening drive against Arizona on Sunday?

Blame it on the thing that hamstrung the team early this season: lack of communication.

On fourth-and-1 from Arizona's 24-yard line, Packers coach Mike McCarthy called for a fake field goal. If it looked like the Cardinals were ready for the possibility of a fake — which they were — then kicker Dave Rayner was supposed to call off the fake and simply kick the ball.

One problem, though: Rayner didn't know a fake was called.

Thus, there was nobody to call off the fake.

Thus, holder Jon Ryan, the Packers' punter, was smothered for an 11-yard loss.

"That was completely my fault," Rayner said. "I didn't know we were running a fake. Coming off the field, they huddled up, I went on the field and I was ready to kick. But I'm supposed to look up and kind of see what arrangement they're in. I heard them say ‘keep it,' and I thought they said ‘kick it.'"

McCarthy, in retrospect, said he should have kept his offense on the field and simply ran the ball.

"I should have went with my first (thought). My first reaction was to run it, because we obviously came out of the gate running the ball very well," he said.

Four running plays on the drive had gained 20 yards, and, considering how the rest of the game played out, chances are the Packers would have gained the necessary yard. Green gained at least a yard on all 21 of his carries, and neither Green nor Morency lost yardage on any of their 32 carries.

Fortunately for the Packers, their defense forced a three-and-out on Arizona's ensuing possession, and Green Bay was able to keep its early momentum by driving 88 yards in nine plays for the game's first touchdown.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

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