Monday, December 25, 2017

End Zone Remains Impassible for Hundley at Lambeau Field

By Eric Goska

Brett Hundley is the Jerry Tagge of Generation Y.

Neither quarterback threw a regular-season touchdown pass at Lambeau Field.

The Green Bay Packers failed to pierce the end zone in a 16-0 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Saturday night. It was the second time Minnesota has blanked Green Bay in the series and the second time the Packers have been shut out at home this season.

Hundley, who has been filling in for the injured Aaron Rodgers, has been playing like Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde. On the road, he has posted a respectable passer rating of 97.6 At home, his rating is a miserable 50.6.

Against the Vikings Saturday night, Hundley was again ugly. He completed 17 of 40 passes for 130 yards with two interceptions (30.2 rating) and no touchdowns.

So ineffective was he, that on each of Green Bay’s first five drives, the team never moved beyond its 47-yard line. Not until Play No. 22 – a 24-yard scramble by Hundley – did the team cross midfield.

Only twice did the Packers penetrate Minnesota’s red zone. Hundley was intercepted by safety Harrison Smith on the first journey there. On the second trip, the young quarterback failed to connect with tight end Lance Kendricks and receiver Michael Clark on third and fourth down from the 13.

Hundley’s longest completion of the evening was merely 19 yards. With the Vikings allowing very few yards after the catch, those two red-zone possessions were Hundley’s best opportunities to end his touchdown drought at Lambeau.

Oh, yes, the drought. Hundley has yet to throw a regular-season touchdown pass at Lambeau Field.

Little wonder, then, that the Vikings joined the Ravens (23-0) in shutting out Green Bay this season. Little wonder, then, that Minnesota held the Packers scoreless for the first time since blanking them 3-0 at Metropolitan Stadium in 1971.

Hundley’s woes at home have been well documented. He has struggled as no Packers quarterback has in more than a generation.

In fact, one must be older than Hundley himself (born June 15, 1993) to recall such angst-ridden days.

This season, Hundley has attempted 162 passes at home without a touchdown pass. Add to that his three attempts as a rookie, and that’s 165 straight without reaching the end zone, a Lambeau Field record.

Third down has been a challenge. Hundley has completed 20 of 40 passes for 149 yards with two interceptions (38.4 rating).

He hasn’t completed a pass longer than 15 yards on third down at home. That “long gainer” went to Davante Adams against the Ravens.

Only eight of Hundley’s 40 third-down pass attempts resulted in first downs (20 percent). The elusive quarterback has done better when he takes off running as seven of his eight third-down scrambles moved the chains.

The red zone and fourth down have been nightmarish. His rating in regard to both is zero.

He’s 1-for-6 on fourth down with an interception. He’s 2-for-9 in the red zone with two picks.

It’s no secret. Hundley has been frozen out at home.

If there is one quarterback who can empathize with Hundley, it might be Tagge. Tagge played three years for the Packers (1972-74) and never threw a touchdown pass (in 93 attempts) at Lambeau Field.

Tagge’s rating at the stadium was an anemic 25.9. It remains the poorest by a passer there with at least 50 career attempts.

Passing at Lambeau Field has been a source of pride for the Packers over the past 25 seasons (1992-2016). Only three times did the competition earn a higher passer rating than the Packers (2000, 2004 and 2006). The Green and Gold finished on top in each of the last 10 seasons.

That streak has ended. Green Bay’s passer rating at home this year was 72.7. Opponents compiled a rating of 96.3.

That’s a difference of 23.6. Not since 1991 have the Packers (50.1 rating at Lambeau Field) been outgunned to such a degree by the competition (90.6).

Shooting Blanks
Players who attempted 50 or more passes at Lambeau Field without throwing a touchdown pass.

Atts.    Player                   Career Rate at LF
165      Brett Hundley                49.7
93        Jerry Tagge                    25.9
88        Charlie Batch                42.4
77        Rodney Peete                44.7
56        Mike Phipps                  33.9
50        Dave Brown                  48.7

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