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Mike McCarthy: Packers playing below expectations

INDIANAPOLIS -- Everything seems to be a struggle for the Green Bay Packers these days. The offense just doesn't resemble the record-setting unit from 2011. The officials certainly haven't helped. Injuries are piling up.

The Packers collapsed Sunday in a 30-27 loss to an inspired Indianapolis Colts team after taking a 21-3 lead in the first half. The Colts scored 19 unanswered points in the second half as the Packers' offense fell silent.


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"My football team is not playing the way we are capable of playing," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "I feel like we underachieved, to be frank, and that starts with me. That's my responsibility.

"I think our production as a whole, like I told the team, we're not playing with clarity. We're not taking advantage of clean plays. If you have a clean play, you expect execution and productivity. We didn't get it done."

The Packers already were playing without Pro Bowl wide receiver Greg Jennings (groin). They lost running back Cedric Benson (foot), tight end Jermichael Finley (shoulder) and nose tackle B.J. Raji (ankle) during the game. McCarthy didn't have an injury update, though Finley said he expects to play next week.

Rodgers just couldn't find open receivers in the second half. Jordy Nelson, who caught 15 touchdown passes in 2011, had just two receptions for 29 yards. Finley had three catches for 11 yards before he left the game. James Jones (four catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns) continues to be the most consistent option.

Green Bay's offensive line was pushed around after halftime, and Rodgers was sacked five times. Mason Crosby, who holds the franchise record with 23 consecutive field goals, missed his only two attempts, including a 51-yarder to tie the game with 8 seconds left on the clock. The Packers were 1 of 7 on third-down conversions after the break.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that the loss was the fourth-largest collapse in franchise history; the Packers gave up leads of 22 points in 1952 and 21 points in 1957 and 1983.

"We just didn't play very well out there," Rodgers said. "We turned the ball over. We didn't change field position, and we didn't score any points until the end. We didn't play well."

Something just isn't right with the Packers right now. Rodgers isn't quite as crisp as he has been, and he hasn't made the kinds of deep completions that have broken teams in the past. Jennings' absence seems to have had a larger impact than most expected. Teams just don't seem afraid of Green Bay any longer.

The season is far from over with a 2-3 record, but the Packers now sit in third place in the NFC North, two games behind the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. In 2010, Green Bay started 3-3 before going on to win the Super Bowl. With a trip to the undefeated Houston Texans next week, the Packers would like to have things corrected soon.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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