Once a fortress where even the elite fell prey, Lambeau Field has lost its aura.
Following a fifth defeat in nine home games, nobody fears playing the Green Bay Packers inside their historic home.
Staring down the barrel at defeat against Indianapolis, a local squirrel took it upon himself to show the Packers receivers what it looked like to gain separation in the end zone. To no avail: Mason Crosby and the field goal unit entered the game two plays later.
The Packers are now 3-2 at home this year with losses to Dallas and Indianapolis, but their home record over the past year is far more alarming.
“Excluding the games Rodgers missed with a broken collarbone in 2013, the Packers went 37-2 at Lambeau from 2010 until Week 6 of the 2015 season. Since their bye week last year, they are 4-5 on home turf.”
Win your home games and split the road games. It’s a successful formula the team executed en route to the NFC’s No. 2 seed in 2014. When you lose multiple games at home, your odds of earning a playoff bye, or even reaching the postseason, drop considerably.
Excluding the games Rodgers missed with a broken collarbone in 2013, the Packers went 37-2 at Lambeau from 2010 until Week 6 of the 2015 season. Since their bye week last year, they are 4-5 on home turf.
In the past two seasons, only one team has reached the postseason by winning fewer than five games at home. That team was Dallas, and they made it by going an incredible 8-0 on the road.
Before the season ends, Green Bay welcomes Houston, Seattle and Minnesota to Lambeau Field. Not one of these opponents will be a walkover.
Mike McCarthy’s Packers aren’t accustomed to dropping multiple games at Lambeau. Since he became head coach in 2006, his regular season record at home is 62-22-1. A stunning 23 percent of those losses have come since Week 10 of the 2015 season.
Losing in Green Bay hasn’t happened a whole lot in the Mike McCarthy era, but its rapid increase is concerning for the 2016 Packers.
McCarthy must find a fix and win out at home to avoid his underachieving Packers, tipped by many for the Super Bowl in August, missing the postseason altogether.