Back-to-back losses for the Green Bay Packers sounded some alarms that the team wasn't as ready to win the Super Bowl as many thought, but an 18-16 loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 10 raises questions as to whether the team is even good enough to earn a spot in the playoffs.
Losses to the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers were forgivable, considering both teams were undefeated at the time, but the Lions entered Week 10 with a 1-7 record, the NFL's worst mark and zero wins at Lambeau Field since 1991. No team had allowed more points through the first nine weeks than the Lions, but the Packers tallied all of three points in the first half before finally scoring a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
But just like Week 9, it came too late and the Packers couldn't seize opportunities when they came, eventually losing after Mason Crosby missed a 52-yard field goal that would've been a game-winner.
The lack of points on the scoreboard came in spite of the fact that Aaron Rodgers managed to complete 35 of 61 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. But similar to his game against the Panthers, Rodgers didn't find a rhythm until the fourth quarter and couldn't quite finish a rally that just started too late.
When the Packers lost to the Broncos, there were problems that Denver was able to expose. The Panthers followed that blueprint to success, but the Lions weren't supposed to be able to. And if Detroit can, a pair of games with the Minnesota Vikings that could very well decide the NFC North don't look like the most comfortable matchups for the Packers now. At 6-3, the Packers are still in good shape, but only if things turn around fast, because teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks could punt Green Bay from the postseason.
With Eddie Lacy sidelined with a groin injury -- although he may have been the backup to James Starks even if he played -- the Packers struggled to run the ball against the Lions' defense. Starks managed just 42 yards on 15 carries while the Packers heavily emphasized a passing attack that simply couldn't find big plays.
The problem for the Packers' defense most of the year has been its inability to stop the run, but Ameer Abdullah, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick combined for only 33 yards on 22 rushing attempts. Matthew Stafford made up for it with 242 passing yards and two touchdowns, and was aided by poor tackling.
Ultimately, though, it was Green Bay's inability to score that proved to be the difference.
Sixteen points just isn't going to win many football games and up next for the Packers is a game against the NFL's No. 2 scoring defense. The Vikings entered Week 10 having allowed only one point more than the Broncos in 2015, and while Minnesota preyed on weak competition to build a 6-2 record, it's beginning to look like many of the wins for the Packers came the same way.
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SB Nation presents: Jim Caldwell can't save the Lions