With a 2-2-1 record this season, the Green Bay Packers have yet to show how great they can be, but they also haven’t hit rock bottom. They’ve had two humbling losses and two great wins, and to top off their mediocrity, they have a draw. But with their embarrassing loss to the Lions, the Packers may be headed toward the worse end of the spectrum.
Sunday’s game against the Lions was riddled with mistakes, from Aaron Rodgers’ two fumbles to Mason Crosby’s devastating five missed kicks (four field goals and one extra point). Those are the kind of mistakes that make it difficult to win, and the Packers surely saw that. Crosby didn’t even need to hit all five kicks for the Packers to have won that game, just three. And Crosby, with a career 79.8% of field goals made, it’s shocking that he wasn’t able to get those necessary points.
Crosby isn’t the only one to blame for the loss, though. Rodgers had two fumbles, got sacked four times, and had a completion rate of only 61.5%, with 20 incomplete passes. The connection between him and his offense was not there, allowing the Lions defense to trample all over them. Although, Rodgers was still able to produce a solid 442 yards passing and three touchdowns, proving they have the ability, just not always the means to turn that into wins.
We saw this disconnect in the Packers Week 3 loss against the Redskins, too. In that game, Rodgers had 17 incomplete passes and threw for only 265 yards. He got sacked another four times in that game as well, which is an issue on its own considering Rodgers’ Week 1 knee injury against the Bears. If Rodgers’ offensive line keeps allowing him to get sacked, there could be bigger consequences than just a loss.
Looking at that Week 1 game, we see just how explosive the Packers can be, especially when they’re under pressure. Down 20-3, Rodgers and the Packers offense rallied to score 21 points in the fourth quarter alone, ultimately securing the win. The defense had a big part to play in that second half as well. They kept the Bears to only two field goals, one in each quarter, making big stops where they were needed.
Their best game of the season so far was Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills. In that game, the defense took the cake for the team. They sacked Josh Allen seven times for a total loss of 64 yards, they had two interceptions, a forced fumble, and several deflected passes. All of this worked together to shut the Bills out, giving the Packers a much-needed 22-0 win. But even in that big of a win, Rodgers only had an overall passer rating of 76.9, with an interception, 55% completion rate, and 2 sacks.
If the Packers plan to turn this season around and really show what an extraordinary team they can be, they need to fine tune some things. Rodgers needs protection first and foremost. 16 sacks in five games is not what any team wants to see, especially with an already injured quarterback. The offense also needs to strengthen their connection. Rodger’s 63% completion throughout five weeks is nothing of which to be proud. Not all of those incompletions are Rodgers’ fault, though; the wide receivers have been dropping important passes in every game. And with the offense being ranked 30th in the league for time of possession, the Packers defense is getting tired. They’re allowing bigger plays and not making stops when necessary, like we saw against the Lions. There’s still time for the Packers to turn it around, seeing as they’re second in their division. They just need to focus and not make the same mistakes they’ve been making.