Relax – It’s September

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.

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.

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
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3 thoughts on “Relax – It’s September

  1. Oh, oh, you ready to blow? … Well I’m a mushroom cloud layin’ M*F*, M*F*. Everytime my eyes touch NFL football, I’m Superfly TNT, I’m the Guns of the Navarone. In fact, what the F*** am I doin’ in the bar watchin’ this s***? You the M*F* should be on S****y NFL football watchin’ detail.

  2. I agree, no sense getting too worked up over these early season games. It’s not like they count towards the final season standings or anything.

    Oh wait…

  3. The title is not won in September. If we win this week then we’re quite likely in first place in the division at the end of the first quarter of the season.
    Nonetheless, there are some issues that are apparent. Chief among them is the health of Aaron Rodgers, who hasn’t practiced with the team since the season started until yesterday and wears a heavy brace that seems to make it more difficult to run the hurry up offense.
    I think that the PLAN should be to play conservatively on offense and wait for the defense to make mistakes rather than trying to hit a homerun on every other play and exposing Rodgers to contact.
    The bigger problem is on defense. Our gameday secondary is comprised of two rookies, an injured 2nd year guy, a 35 year old, a starting safety who is costing us with some key misplays and a 2nd year strong safety who is fast and a willing tackler who cannot cover.
    Ugh.
    Overall, I think there is a lot of talent on this roster on both sides of the ball, but we need more quality cover guys. When King is on the field, it helps a lot but when he’s not, we’ve got guys like Davon House and now Breeland matching up against opposing #1s. That’s hurting us, and when you throw in the bad safety play it’s tough.
    I would be willing to make a trade before the deadline and get a young quality corner from somebody in exchange for a draft pick, if necessary. I feel the same way about right tackle…trade for a guy who can play.
    The love for Aaron Jones………..I’ll just say this: Aaron Jones will be the starter/featured back when he earns it, but comments that he’s the best on the roster and one of the best in the league……that’s not based on what he’s accomplished so far.
    So far, he’s been hurt as a rookie and then again in training camp AND was suspended two games. But yeah, he looked good on six carries so we’ll just forget about the guy that was healthy as a rookie and healthy during training camp and wasn’t suspended. Sheeesh.
    The second four games of the season will bring us to the halfway point, and they’re at home against the Lions and the 49ers, and on the road against the Rams and Patriots. The Rams game is after the bye week.
    If you assume we win at home and lose on the road, we’ll be 4-3-1 and absolutely in the hunt for the division title….if Rodgers and most of our other key pieces on offense can stay healthy. Defensively, we’re going to be a work in progress all season, and if we can’t keep young, healthy corners on the field then we’re going to have to play guys who aren’t very good and we’ll get shredded by good QBs, just like everybody else.

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