There was a certain defiance, a hint of hubris, in the way Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers dismissed the very suggestion they should try to sign the best veteran back-up possible after losing Aaron Rodgers for at least two months to shoulder surgery.

They seemed to scoff at the very inference, because they had Brett Hundley already in their system. So why ever think to look elsewhere? Hundley was their guy and he'd been around their offense for years. Nothing to see here. We've got it covered. And don't you dare have the temerity to mention Colin Kaepernick, a Wisconsin native who ran roughshod all over the Lambeau turf in the playoffs as the 49ers quarterback not all that long ago. This is not going to be another Kaepernick column – I promise, sort of – although you will never get me to believe that a staff as astute as McCarthy and his assistants couldn't find a way to cull more out of an established starter like him than they have been able to extract from Hundley.

Sometimes, it takes a little more than familiarity to be a winning quarterback in this league. Sometimes the most convenient transaction and the easiest decision – go with the guy we already have – isn't the right one. And when the Packers miss the playoffs – Sunday's ugly, 23-0 drubbing by a middling Ravens team giving them three straight home losses for the first time since 2006 – there should be plenty of second guessing about their response to the Rodgers injury. It didn't have to go this poorly, and even something close to competent quarterbacking this weekend could have kept them in a game Baltimore's suspect offense repeatedly refused to put away.

Hundley was downright difficult to watch, and save for a few throws against the Bears in Week 10, that's been the rule and not the exception since he took over. He holds the ball for ages. He has little to no presence in the pocket. When he does drift outside the pocket, he takes brutal sacks (Green Bay's injury-riddled offensive line is already as issue). He doesn't run forward with the ball in his hands for first downs as much as you might expect, and he was nothing short of overwhelmed on Sunday.

The sacks came in droves, the turnovers began on the opening possession, a poor pick that Eric Weddle easily corralled in the end zone ending what turned out to be the only promising drive of the entire afternoon. He followed that up with an even worse decision, floating a ball up for grabs that Weddle was able to run 30 yards to catch uncontested (that's how long it lingered in the air), and the day of defeat was well underway. There was no going back, now.

But against an offense as poor as Baltimore's. this was still a game. The Ravens converted three first-half giveaways into just six points and had Green Bay been able to muster anything close to a score or two, they could've made this a game. Instead, they ended up getting blanked and giving the Ravens all of those short fields finally led to more points going on the board for the visitors. Passes flew wild to no one in particular, the sacks came in droves and at no point in time did this look like a professional grade offense. That's largely been the case. Didn't have to be that way.

Green Bay's first eight drives went: INT, INT, Fumble, Punt, Punt, Downs, Punt, Downs. By then the game was effectively over. Hundley finished 21 of 36 for 239 yards with three picks. In the five games he has played, the Packers are 1-4, with 67 total points scored, an average of 13.4 points per game. On the season he is 96-for-158 (60.7%) for 940 yards (6 yards per attempt/188 yards per game) with 2 TDs and 7 INTs and a rating of 63.26. That's as bad as it gets.

Don't get me wrong, the Packers season was always in peril the moment the best player on the planet suffered a season-threatening injury. But adding a decent veteran (reports of them expressing any real interest in Brian Hoyer were not accurate) may have been enough for them to go something in the vicinity of .500 without Rodgers, which might have been enough to keep them in the playoff hunt. At 5-5, you could pretend they still have a shot, but not with this type of QB play. The Steelers loom next, then the Bucs, who have played much better defense the last month or so before they face the winless Browns. It's all been a stretch that, given the defense has been good enough, could've kept the team very much in the hunt until Week 15, when Rodgers could return.

Now they'll be lucky to be on the cusp of the periphery of a Wild-Card spot. Though it didn't have to be this way.

Time to panic for Chiefs

The Chiefs are in trouble. Once they had a stranglehold on the AFC West, and they still might win the division, but they are a reeling team that has lost its mojo and no longer exude confidence. For an Andy Reid team to come out that flat and lacking from the bye is something I've never seen before, and with four losses in five games, they suddenly lack an identity. The run game has whittled away, Alex Smith isn't making big plays downfield at the rate he once was, and their only win since that 5-0 start is over hapless Denver. A loss to a Giants team that was beyond reeling and in crisis means the Chiefs can't take anything for granted from here on out, and any chance at a top two seed in the AFC has slipped away as far as I'm concerned. I still think the Chargers can give them a run in the division, too.

Bortles will cost Jags in January

Jacksonville will win the AFC South, but their ugly display in Cleveland confirms all fears about Blake Bortles and their inability to move the ball through the air. Bortles would've lost to maybe any other team in the NFL Sunday – lucky for him he was playing an outfit with one win since the start of 2016. He threw ugly sidearm passes that could've been picked. He had ball after ball knocked in the air or to the ground. His throws misfired and sputtered. He will ultimately un-do this season in January. You can almost see it coming. Not good enough.

Around the League

  • Case Keenum to Adam Thielen has to be one of the five most exciting connections in football right now. Maybe top three. These two are sharing one brain right now – as evidenced by a key early sequence against the Rams when Keenum put one up for grabs in traffic under duress almost sensing his WR would bail him out as he did – and they absolutely turned Sunday's win over the Rams for good with another big play. It's not a fluke.
  • I don't get the sense the Bucs are in some super big rush to get Jameis Winston back on the field. Let that shoulder heal up for a good while. They have a little something going with Ryan Fitzpatrick and have strung a few wins together and Winston needs time to get his head together as well as his body with all that's gone on this season with him.
  • This was a Sunday that Rams rookie receiver Cooper Kupp will quickly want to put behind him. Some bad drops and a critical fumble played a big part in the Rams' toughest loss of the season. Jared Goff got knocked around more than we've seen in a while as well, with his shoulder and shoulder pads under constant scrutiny on the sidelines. Worth keeping an eye on.
  • If I am the Miami Dolphins, David Fales starts for me at quarterback. I don't need the worst offense in the NFL bogging down with 34-year old QBs like Jay Cutler and Matt Moore at the helm. Get a look at something different. Shake it up. I know coaches there don't think the quarterbacks are a big part of the problem … but the ones we've seen this season ain't the solution either. Cutler completed six passes to his team and three passes to the opposition in the first half before leaving with a concussion. The football gods are telling you something. Listen to them.
  • I can't recall any quarterback with a worse debut than Nathan Peterman. Threw a pick six on his first drive – off a tipped pass, so not really on him – and then followed it up with three more picks and a dropped snap all before the midway point of the second quarter of his first NFL game. Going to be hard for someone to top that.
  • All that hype about Adrian Peterson's supposed rejuvenation in Arizona. Hmm. Remember that thing? Never bought it and the truth is he is at the end. Ran 14 times for 26 yards on Sunday. Has gained 55 yards on 35 carries over the past two weeks (1.6 per carry). For the season he has carries 136 times for 450 yards (3.3 per carry) with two rushing touchdowns, which both came in the same game.