Not much can be said negatively about the performance of the Green Bay Packers through the first four games of their 2020 season. Having gone 4-0 and now in their bye week, HC Matt LaFleur and company have a lot to hang their hats on so far this season.
The MVP-like play of QB Aaron Rodgers seems to be coming out as his familiarity with LaFleur and his offensive style gels even more, Aaron Jones looks to be picking up exactly where he left off last season, and the defense, while still struggling a bit, looks to potentially have turned a corner.
But any good team understands the job is never done, which is why these main points should be focused on during the team’s bye week in Week 5.
Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Kenny Clark, and Rashan Gary are the big names that have missed some time so far this year.
All 4 missed the MNF affair against the Falcons, with Adams looking like he may have been the closest to coming back. But not rushing their star WR is the exactly right decision to make, especially going into a bye week.
Lazard is out for the foreseeable future after his core muscle surgery, so Marquez Valdes-Scantling and the tight end group will need to step up in his absence. On Monday, without Adams or Lazard, Robert Tonyan decided to be AR’s favorite target, connecting on three TD passes.
The hope is that Adams is for sure healthy coming out of the break, with both Clark and Gary’s health a little murkier. With an extra week of rest, hopefully GB can be closer to full strength in Week 6 and beyond.
With the lacking WR department, the running backs have taken over, specifically Jones and Jamaal Williams.with Williams reaping the most positive feedback of any rostered player for the type of offseason work he put in, it is encouraging to see LaFleur use him in a justifiable way.
But relying on the RB group can spell trouble, and that reliance can make a dominant GB offense one dimensional, something that burned LaFleur a bit last year. His commitment to sharing the love on offense has been eye-opening in a good way so far, and as the season progresses, that type of game plan will only help this team continue its successful ways.
TE and RB involvement is going to be how they overcome injuries to their WRs, and AR is going to have to continue his torrid start, all things that have healthy potentials of happening.
Get the Defense Right
The lone pitfall (outside of injuries) seems to be the shootout defense that GB seems to be running on the field so far this season. Outside of the Atlanta game, the GB defense has looked rough on all facets, something that led to their downfall (mostly) in ‘19.
DC Mike Pettine had a stud in pretty much every facet of his defense besides LB (with Christian Kirksey hurt), putting it on him to move his chess pieces in the right ways.
If this defense can become even league average for the remainder of the year, it will help keep the pressure off of LaFleur, Rodgers, and the offense, so this team can get back to its playoff-advancing ways to help put their disappointing NFC Championship game appearance behind them.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23