Coming into this season with Jordy Nelson back and a viable Tight End in Jared Cook, it seemed like this could be the year the Packers would stay healthy and finally become a serious Super Bowl threat. ESPN even had the Packers as the favorite in every single game this year. Half of the Packers schedule consisted of the NFC East, known for being a disaster with a different division champion just about every year, and then the AFC South, with no real threatening teams between the Texans, Titans, Colts, and Jaguars.
What we all thought could’ve been eight wins and no losses has panned out to be just two wins and four losses, with two games coming up against the Eagles and Texans.
So what happened?
Well it’s quite the combination…
The offense starting off slow is the first issue. Scoring first seems to be big for this Packers team, and three drives lasting a minute a piece and only totaling 9 yards is a big problem, especially when the defense is managing to get stops of their own.
Digging the team into a hole in the first quarter is not ideal, obviously, but it goes further than that. In the long run, the offense is there… Passing-wise that is.
Add in the fact that one of the three interceptions thrown was a hail mary and those stats aren’t too bad. The run game has been far from impressive as well, but that’s been a common theme as of late. That’s when it falls on the defense.
Green Bay managed to get a 10-7 lead with 5 minutes left in the first half, but from there let up 15 unanswered points including a late first half touchdown and got outscored 29-14 in the second half.
Why NFL fans blame Aaron Rodgers is because he’s normally able to overcome the Packers’ streaky defense. But when you’re letting up 153 points in just four games, there is only so much you can do. Putting up 32 points followed by 26, 25, and 24 should put your team in a good position to win, but when you’re letting up 33, 31, 47, and 42 there’s no shot.
Yes, the defense is hurt. Clay Matthews returned last night after missing multiple games while CBs Sam Shields and Damarious Randall haven’t seen much of the field this season battling injuries of their own, hence why Green Bay has been susceptible to the deep ball and 3rd down conversions, but there’s no excuse for letting up that many points or that many big plays.
If pointing fingers is the only option at this point, it’s hard not to mention Mike McCarthy who has been getting burned late in the first half by calling timeouts to try and get his team the ball, but ending up with 7 points for the other team. It’s frustrating yes, but he’s trying to put his guys in the best position to score and win and I’m glad he’s trying.
The only real answer to these problems is getting healthy(if that’s possible), or making some moves in the offseason whether it be free agency or the draft. This team needs to solve it’s defensive issues before the 2017 season starts.
This season is just about over and one to forget. Two games back on both the Lions and the Vikings, a 6-10 finish is looking more realistic than anything else.
It’s really frustrating seeing Rodgers’ talent being wasted in his prime and the Packers need to make some major moves before it’s too late.