This was the heartbreaker of the week. Not only for Packers fans, but for all football fans watching this game. We as sports fans, love nothing more than watching the best players in sports have the ball placed in their hands to potentially win the game. That chance never came for Aaron Rodgers this past Sunday, after Ty Montgomery fumbled away a kickoff return, and any chance for the Packers to win the game. An Aaron Rodgers led, game winning field goal drive seemed to be the final puzzle piece missing to take down the still undefeated, Los Angeles Rams.
In this article, I’d like to provide an optimistic outlook on the Packers this week, since most news surrounding the Packers has been everything but lately. The rest of this read will consist of what went right for the Packers this Sunday, and hope for the second half of the season to come.
1. The Packers’ Pass Rush Was Phenomenal
The number one positive take away from this game for the Packers has to be the play of the front seven. After re-watching the game on NFL Game Pass, I recorded each passing play as either Pressured or Not Pressured for the Rams’ quarterback, Jared Goff. Here were the results; under pressure Goff was only able to complete 31% of passes for 60 yards, while with no pressure he completed 74% of passes for 238 yards.
This pass pressure came on a whopping 16 of Goff’s 35 attempts. This data also does not include the five sacks the Packers defense recorded. To be able to make a quarterback feel uncomfortable every other time he drops back to pass is an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses. If the Packers front seven was able to terrorize this great Rams’ offensive unit, the damage to be done on other future opposing offenses by this front seven seems promising.
2. The Packers Running Backs Came to Play
Both Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams burst their way into the end zone this week, but it was Aaron Jones who truly stole the show. On the day Jones had his number called
12 times on the ground, producing 86 rushing yards for the day. This stat line included Aaron Jones’ longest run of the day, an ironic (his number is 33), 33-yard touchdown scamper. The rushing total was the most by any Packer’s running back this year. That quick statistic presents the need the Packers have for a dynamic rushing attack. The good news is that concern may very well be an issue of the past if Aaron Jones can continue his great play in the second half of the season.
3. The NFC North Race is still WIDE OPEN
With the Bears winning against the Jets, and the Vikings Sunday primetime defeat against the Saints, (although the two teams possess different records) mathematically they are now tied atop the division. The Packers trail by only half a game, while the Lions creeping up the rear only one full game out of the NFC North lead.
Although this week’s loss was disheartening, to say the least, these three reasons and more provide plenty of optimism for Packers fans moving forward. The next game will be another tough test, as the Packers head to Foxborough to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday Night Football.