The Green Bay Packers have now lost three consecutive games. After disappointing showings against the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, Aaron Rodgers and Co. played abysmally against the Detroit Lions.
With the expectation that taking on a 1-7 Lions squad would help Green Bay’s offense get back on track, Packers fans came away extremely disappointed. Losing 18-16 at Lambeau Field, it was a baffling performance by a team many viewed as the Super Bowl favorite three short weeks ago.
Despite Green Bay’s recent difficulties and the unprecedented boos from the Lambeau faithful, there’s still no reason to panic.
The Packers still have one of the top two quarterbacks in the league in Aaron Rodgers and a strong defense led by Clay Matthews. While Rodgers and the defense haven’t played exceptionally the past three weeks, their running game has been the biggest issue. The duo of James Starks and Eddie Lacy has averaged 52.3 rushing yards per game over the past three weeks, and much of that is due to the offensive line’s struggles.
Without a reliable running game, too much pressure is being put on Rodgers and the receiving corps. The Packers have become completely one-dimensional, with Rodgers airing it out 109 times in the last two games. This has allowed defenses to leave seven men in coverage, making it more difficult for Rodgers to pick apart the opposition.
Green Bay is feeling Jordy Nelson’s void more than ever, as Randall Cobb, DeVante Adams and James Jones have struggled to create separation against man-to-man coverage. As great as Rodgers is, he can only complete passes to his teammates when they actually get open.
While many are quick to say the Packers aren’t Super Bowl contenders, this feels awfully familiar to last season’s 1-2 start. The Packers found their groove shortly thereafter, and went on to finish the season 12-4.
With a showdown against the Minnesota Vikings carrying major NFC North title implications this week, it serves as the perfect opportunity for the Packers to return to form. There’s too much talent on Green Bay’s roster for them to continue to play this poorly. Unfortunately for Vikings fans, Minnesota will be the recipient of this harsh reality.
R-E-L-A-X Cheeseheads, the Packers are still as dangerous as ever.
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated