Packers have an energy problem at empty Lambeau Field

USA TODAY Sports

The Packers have won three of four home games this season. In three of four home games, however, they came out flat and lifeless.

It happened in the home opener against the Lions, a game during which the Packers fell behind 14-3. It happened 15 days ago against the Vikings, a game the Packers lost. It happened against on Sunday, against a Jaguars team that nearly beat the Packers.

So what’s wrong?

“Well, if I knew, it definitely wouldn’t be a problem, right?” coach Matt LaFleur told reporters after the Week 10 win, 24-20 over Jacksonville. “I’ve got to do some investigating, obviously. And look at myself first. But that wasn’t good enough, there’s no doubt about it. In terms of just the energy, the passion.

“We’re playing football. These guys are playing a kids’ game, and getting paid for it, man. It’s disturbing to me. And it starts with myself and our staff. We’ve got to bring more energy for these guys.”

Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who had 149 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, acknowledged by phone to PFT after the victory that it took a while to get things going.

“We came out, we thought it was a little slow on offense,” Valdes-Scantling said. “That’s not who we are. We are usually good right out the gate. We came out, I think we had a three-and-out right on our first possession. So we just came out and started a little slow.”

Valdes-Scantling then was asked whether the lack of fans at home games influences the lack of energy.

“You’ve got to bring your own energy,” Valdes-Scantling said. “I think we did a really good job of that with the guys that we have. The support that we have on our sidelines. Obviously, it’s tough for everybody. We make the best of it. I think that we’ve done a very good job of trying to keep that energy up throughout the 60 minutes.”

They may do a good job of trying, but they’re too often struggling to make it happen.

With the game on the line against the Jaguars, it finally did.

“I felt like that was the first time our team came alive,” LaFleur said of the defensive stand that kept the Jaguars from taking a late lead. “You could feel it on the sidelines [with] everybody rooting for one another. We need that from the opening kick. That’s the standard. We can’t just pick and choose when we want to do that. . . . The game’s on the line, so it’s easy to get up for that. We have got to do a better job from before we start the game to show that kind of energy, show that kind of emotion, show that kind of support for one another that we saw at the end of the game. And if we don’t get that, we’re not going to be at our best.”

LaFleur is right. He, and previously quarterback Aaron Rodgers, generally have identified the problem. Now they need to get to the specific root of it, and change it.

Even if they can’t, the Packers currently hold the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The bad news to that otherwise great news is that the Packers would then have to find a way to muster the proper energy in a pair of postseason games at home.

Before then, the Packers still have four more regular-season home games. The next comes in 13 days, when the Packers host the Bears on Sunday Night Football.

26 responses to “Packers have an energy problem at empty Lambeau Field

  1. These poor muti-millionaires that can’t find the motivation to their jobs. Wait, while I shed a tear. Sob!

  2. The NFL can’t admit it but it is beyond obvious that the teams playing with zero fans are at a disadvantage compared to the teams that do allow fans. If it didn’t matter, then why is “home field advantage” a thing in the first place? It is what it is. My team isn’t allowed to have any fans either. Just have to work with what you’ve got.

    “You go to war with the army that you have, not the army that you want to have.”

  3. Never thought I’d see the day when sitting on the wall over the Lambeau endzone with his arms folded- was Dalvin Cook!

  4. Also, stop with the “kids game” thing. Why do people think this is such a wise and profound statement? The spend 48 to 60 hours a year playing a game and the rest of it being a professional athlete. The NFL isn’t a pickup league at the local park.

  5. Just do your jobs. They get paid too much not to show any effort. The only energy I’ve seen from them this year is when they’re strutting to the locker room to get dressed and the dances they do when they should be warming up…

  6. It was very windy. On a normal day the pass that sailed wide of Tonyan would have been a completion for a long gain and a first down.

  7. No fans does suck. But no football sucks more. That’s the world we live in this year. Hopefully that’s the last time we ever see it. There ain’t nothing better than going on the road and beating a good team ,in my opinion

  8. This is not an issue. As a pack fan, I can watch a first round playoff loss just as easily on my couch.

  9. I keep hoping the defense is holding something back but they aren’t. The defense is like swiss cheese. They are so soft. They cannot stand up to the real physical teams. Looks like they will get bounced early this year.

  10. dohczeppelin says:
    November 16, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    The NFL can’t admit it but it is beyond obvious that the teams playing with zero fans are at a disadvantage compared to the teams that do allow fans. If it didn’t matter, then why is “home field advantage” a thing in the first place?
    ——-
    Home field advantage *isn’t* a thing this year – Look at the numbers. The stadiums do not have enough people in them to make a difference.

    Home field is only a slight help during the regular season. What really matters is having a good team year after year. They win no matter where they are.

  11. More handwringing over nothing.
    Effort and overall play has to improve, but the sky isn’t falling.
    We’re in mid-November during a long and unusual season.
    If this was late December I’d probably be more concerned.

    This team is 7-2 and on top of the NFC Conference with an energy problem, which is a heck of a lot better than being 3-5, near the bottom with an overall talent problem.

  12. LaFleur says it starts with him. Most head coaches won’t hold themselves accountable for anything. LaFleur is different and that is why he wins. In his year and half as head coach he has won 21 games and lost 6 including playoffs.

    #GoPackGo!✊

  13. The Packers cannot tackle. I mean it. Maybe they’d be 9-0 and have the best record in the NFC and the drivers-seat position for the No.1 seed if they could. They have to settle for 7-2 and the best record in the NFC and the drivers-seat position for the No.1 seed, until they learn how. That’s shameful all right.

  14. The coaching staff needs to mentally prepare the players for the game without fans in the stands. There has to be motivation for players as they’re generally not self motivated. I mean, what’s to play for? Money? Nope, they get paid no matter how well or bad they play. Pride? Maybe they can be motivated that way. I don’t know what’s going on with that defense, but I would be embarrassed if I didn’t hold up my end at work.

  15. What LaFleur is doing makes sense. He can juat make the Packers more physical with the players they gave. He needs energy to make up for their physical shortcomings.

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