Meaningless or not, Packers’ shutout loss does little to save face in lost year

ETRob DemovskyESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Packers for Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1997-2013
Two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters AssociationFollow onGREEN BAY, Wis. — It’s a good thing this was a meaningless game for the given their inactive and injury list.

Or maybe the Packers shut down so many key players before things started on Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings Jerseys because it was meaningless.

Either way, what looked like it might be a marquee Week 16 game in prime time when the NFL put out its 2017 schedule back in April turned into a glorified exhibition game with players looking to make an impression for next season and coaches perhaps trying to justify their employment.

Yet very few did.

Other than , the second-year defensive tackle, who had a couple of sacks — giving him 4.5 for the season, all of which have come in the month of December — and first-year outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert, who was promoted this week from the practice squad and hit Vikings quarterback more than once, there wasn’t much else anyone could claim as progress in the Packers’ 16-0 loss at Lambeau Field.

The Packers were shutout second time at home this season. Before this year, no teams had been shut out twice at home in a season since 2006, when both the Packers and Raiders did it.

Quarterback Brett Hundley Jerseys Jerseys, making his eighth start of the season, did nothing to change the narrative that he’s not capable of taking over a game. He threw two interceptions, meaning his home season ended with zero touchdowns and seven interceptions at Lambeau.

Dropping to 3-5 as a starter, Hundley failed to throw a touchdown pass at nfl jerseys cheap hot sale Lambeau Field once again. He set the record for most pass attempts (162) without a touchdown at home in a single season, according to Elias. Along the way, he threw his third red-zone interception this season, tied with for the second-most in the NFL this season. Only DeShone Kizer Jerseys (with six) has thrown more red-zone picks, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

In Hundley’s defense, the Packers dropped five of his passes, their most since Week 15 of 2014 at Buffalo, where they dropped six, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

When it comes to the roster, general manager Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy likely wanted to use this game — and the regular-season finale next Sunday at Detroit — to evaluate who stays and who goes in the offseason.

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But after missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2009, McCarthy might have already made up his mind about changes to his coaching staff even though Dom Capers’ defense actually looked respectable for a change.

Still, the most likely change this offseason would at defensive coordinator — unless, of course, team president Mark Murphy decides it’s time for Thompson to go.

Yes, the game was surprisingly still in play into the fourth quarter, as ugly as it was for the Packers’ offense, despite five starters — receiver Davante Adams Jerseys Jerseys (concussion), linebackers Jerseys (ankle/shoulder) and Jerseys (hamstring), cornerback Jerseys (knee) and guard Jerseys (knee) — on the inactive list. And that did not include Jerseys, who went on injured reserve earlier in the week after the Packers decided to shut him down a week after he returned from his broken collarbone.

Who knows how many, if any, of those players could have played if the Packers were still in the playoff race? But it didn’t get any better when receiver Jordy Nelson Jerseys Jerseys (shoulder), tight end Jerseys (shoulder), running back Aaron Jones (knee) and right tackle (knee) were lost during the game.

As bad as Saturday night’s game looked with all those players out, the finale in Detroit might be even tougher to watch.

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