“Certainly they were the better coached team today, the better prepared team,” interim coach Joe Philbin said afterwards. “They played better, they coached better and that’s why the scoreboard reads like it (does).”
Playing without injured wide receiver Davante Adams, Green Bay went three-and-out on its first three possessions and then lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a concussion. He finished the day 3 of 5 for 26 yards before giving way to DeShone Kizer. The second-year passer wasn’t able to get much going either as the Packers were shut out at home for a third time since last November.
Defensively, Green Bay allowed 402 yards, including giving up 93 yards and a touchdown to backup running back Zach Zenner. Wide receiver Brandon Powell had 103 yards receiving, while fellow wideout T.J. Jones had a pair of touchdown catches.
Even the special teams, which have been far from special this year, got in on the disaster, allowing kicker Matt Prater to throw a touchdown on a fake field goal in the second quarter.
All of it led to the third-worst home shutout for the Packers since 1940 and sends them to an offseason that’s likely to set the groundwork for the final years of Rodgers’ career, including finding a new head coach.
Philbin, who team president Mark Murphy said would be a candidate for the job, declined to say when or if he would interview for the opening. The team has already reportedly interviewed former head coaches in Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano, and have reportedly reached out to Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Green Bay must also make decisions on several veteran players. Linebacker Clay Matthews, wide receiver Randall Cobb and defensive lineman Mo Wilkerson are among 12 players that are unrestricted free agents.