Finishing the First Quarter Strong:
After Thursday night’s electric 31-14 win against the Chicago Bears, it is hard to believe that a quarter of the 2017-2018 season is already in the books. The Packers have already been faced with early season adversity and challenges. The offensive and defensive units have at times been decimated with injuries. These significant injuries to important members of the Packers roster has affected the game plan and forced less experienced players to step into more prominent roles.
The opening quarter of the season has seen the Packers not miss a beat at Home, and struggle in their only road appearance of the season. After a 3-1 start, the Packers are sitting nicely and resting comfortably during their mini-bye week. The Packers are hoping that the nine days off allows them to recuperate going into the next quarter of the season. These next four games will provide a more accurate glimpse into the identity of the team and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
Early Season Awards, Lambeau Leapers:
Aaron Rodgers continues to showcase his brilliance week in and week out. He engineers game-winning drives and hits his receivers with precision passes that no one else in the NFL can make. Aaron is on pace for yet another 4600 Yards of passing and a second consecutive 40 touchdown passing season. With a healthier offensive line and more chemistry with players like Lance Kendricks, Martellus Bennett, and Geronimo Allison, the Packers offense will only get more consistent and average more points per game.
With defensive standout Mike Daniels missing essentially for the last 3 games, the Packers run defense has continued to make plays and hold its own. This sustained stout run defense would not have been possible without the outstanding play of Kenny Clark, who has continuously pursued runners by dominating the point of attack. With Mike Daniels and others on the mend, look for the run defense to have another big effort in Dallas and Minnesota in the coming weeks.
Whenever the game is on the line, Jordy Nelson is at his best, working the sidelines and securing passes in tight windows. Over the years, Jordy has become Aaron Rodgers most trusted target and the two have built up quite a repour with one another. This season has been not been any different, as most of Jordy’s 17 catches have gone for first down yardage or touchdowns in key situations. Nelson is currently on pace for 68 catches, 864 Yards, and 20 touchdowns. (Not bad for a guy who Aaron Rodgers jokingly said, has lost a step) ????
Next four opponents:
10/22/17: vs. Saints
11/6/17: vs. Lions
The next four opponents will pose many different challenges to the Packers. The first and most obvious of these challenges that the Packers will face will be to sustain the effort and intensity at Lambeau Field when traveling to hostile environments like Dallas and Minnesota. The Saints and Lions will ultimately test the Packers young members of their secondary with their prolific passing attacks that are lead by Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. It will be important for the Packers to continue to get healthy and build off of their early-season progress.
10/8/17: @Dallas W 38-27
10/15/17: @Minnesota L 17-21
10/22/17: vs. Saints W 31-24
11/6/17: vs. Lions W 24-23
I see the Packers going (3-1) over their next 4 games, which would put their projected record at 6-2 at the halfway point of the season.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave