To be sure, the Packers played awful last Sunday versus Washington, after playing poorly in the second half against the Vikings. The run defense was awful. Safety play was awful. The pass rush was minimal and the offensive line was leaky. Randall Cobb played the worst game that I can recall him ever playing. Lance Kendricks had a crucial drop. On top of all of that, Rodgers didn’t play his best. He missed a few open receivers and didn’t see open receivers on a couple ofther occasions.
The reaction to the game by Packer fans and bloggers was extreme. Jason Perone at Cheesehead TV, had an epic, in-game, tweetstorm on Sunday that can summed up in one tweet.
There is no remedy for this roster at this point. There are no good players on the street, let alone elite that aren’t costing a fortune in draft capital or premium players. And do the Packers have enough of those?
— Jason Perone (@JasonPerone) September 23, 2018
Jason is speaking for many Packers’ fans. And it is a common theme. The talent just isn’t there. Are they correct? First of all, they actually did pick up a good player on the street in Basaud Breeland, who signed a three year $24 Million contract this offseason with the Panthers before failing his physical due to a foot injury and infection. They signed him for the league minimum and he is an immediate upgrade over Davon House, and a large upgrade at that. With Kevin King on the mend (he practiced yesterday), their cornerback situation is strong. Having Breeland in the mix, Peter Bukowski at Locked on Packers has an interesting and realistic idea, considering Williams and Pettine’s past together and that Pettine is seemingly open to new things.
Would love to see the #Packers sign Bashaud Breeland, move Tramon Williams to FS (where he’s played some for Pettine) and play HHCD more in the box.
King/Breeland/Jaire/Jackson would be a potentially awesome young secondary.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) September 25, 2018
But more to the point, what about the rest of the roster? The number one thing is simple statistics; Regression to the mean. Everyone played bad vs the Redskins. They also, for the second straight week, were a net negative regarding the way the officiating went. Not just the Matthews penalty, but the lack of a call for the hit on Rodgers, the holding call vs Bulaga and the pass interference on Alexander. They just haven’t gotten those 50/50 calls or poor calls that go in their favor yet. Those things, will get better on their own. Rodgers will play better. So will Cobb. They will get some calls.
Also, Aaron Jones in his first game back bareley saw the field. He had six carries. To most observers this is inexcusable, considering that he is easily the best running back on the roster. He is actually one of the best runners in the entire league. But while us fans are understandably skeptical of McCarthy, Aaron Jones will be the leading ball carrier from this point forward. There is no question. It was his first game of the year. Unlike an injury, while suspended, you are not part of the team. You can’t go to practice. You can’t attend team meetings. That does have some effect even for a player who knows the system. But in the end, his talent is too immense, Rodgers is openly advocating for him, and with one more week back in the building he will be the #1 running back. This also figures to be a boost and one that is especially helpful with Rodgers’ knee still an issue.
In 2016 and 2014, the Packers started very poorly and those seasons ended with a trip to the NFC Championship Game. In 2014, the New England Patriots after lost a game in September to the Chiefs 41-14. And it looked liked it was over, not only for the season but for the Brady era of the Patriots. They went on to win the Super Bowl. The Packers still have the best quarterback in the NFL. Their main competition in the division, the Vikings, are 1-2-1. They also have a lot of young talent, and are coming off a low point. So let’s all breathe, and give this team another month before going totally nuclear.
Originally from Glidden Wisconsin, Jason Straetz is a lifelong Packers\' fan, who has lived in Maine for over 30 years. He is a writer for packerstalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @jsnstz