The Green Bay Packers playoff hopes finally were put out of their misery Sunday in Chicago. Here’s a look at who I thought played well and who didn’t in the Packers Week 15 matchup against the Chicago Bears:
Adams is a permanent stud. While everyone else on the offense stutters, Adams just keeps getting better. He had a good season playing with Brett Hundley, and he’s having a great season playing with an imperfect Aaron Rodgers.
Morrison has largely been a liability playing alongside Blake Martinez, but he did a fantastic job playing the run (especially against Jordan Howard). Morrison may lose some snaps the last two weeks, as Green Bay attempts to evaluate Oren Burks, but I think he has shown the ability to contend for a spot on next year’s roster. The key will be how redundant he is if Jake Ryan makes a full comeback.
Williams is limited in what he can contribute, but after being forced into the feature back role with the Aaron Jones injury, he performed very well. He doesn’t have the wiggle to make people miss in the hole, but he ran hard and found the openings in the line when they were there. The Packers will likely look to add a dynamic backup to Aaron Jones in the offseason, but Jamaal is the perfect number 3 back in the NFL.
Don’t get my wrong. Rodgers is still an all-world quarterback. His worst season since his first year as a starter is still better than two-thirds of the league. But when Rodgers isn’t sharp, this team isn’t effective offensively and he isn’t making the throws that he used to make look routine. Edge rusher is the number one need in the offseason, but 1B has to be offensive line. I would assume the Packers will invest both free agency money and multiple draft picks into right tackle and both guard positions to help protect Rodgers and allow him to feel comfortable in the pocket again.
Admittedly, I’ve been a huge Kentrell Brice fan for awhile. But his angles have made him a liability and I believe his time on the roster is about to come to an end. He may lose playing time in the final weeks to players who have just been acquired, such as Natrell Jamerson.
Jackson still has a bright future ahead of him, but his first season has taken some luster out of a guy that was widely thought to be a huge draft steal. He has been a step slow in coverage, so he hasn’t been able to take advantage of his ball skills, and his tackling has been very poor. He is still learning how to play cornerback after being a wide receiver convert late in his college career, so we will have to be patient as fans, but talk of him converting to safety has already begun.
I still think Graham provides a great deal to this team, but he has struggled this year. Both of Aaron Rodgers interceptions have deflected off Graham’s hands. Rodgers is afraid to step up in the pocket, and that certainly hurts Jimmy’s production but he hasn’t had the explosiveness to get open regularly, and hasn’t taken advantage when he has. Statistically, it will still be a really good year for Graham, but with his cap hit there will be some that call for this to be a one year stay in Green Bay.
While the season will end in disappointment there is still plenty of reasons to watch. Roster competitions will begin to play out, and young players will try to show they have what it takes to make an impact next year. It’s been a rough couple of seasons but there’s still a lot to love about the Green Bay Packers.