The Green Bay Packers are not going to be the same team in week 17 as they are now, in week 3. They’re going to be better, much better. The Packers have all the ingredients to be a championship team, they just need to simmer in a season to savor.
A bold prediction for a 1-1 team, I understand. Just like preparing a meal, or as the Brits say a dig, the various ingredients need to be sliced and diced, sauted and time for the flavors to meld together before they are ready to be served to Packer Nation as a championship team.
The season opening loss to the Vikings did not provide a lot of insight into what this team was capable of. It left a bad taste in the mouths of many and looked like a team that had not played together, it also was a team that lost its mojo on the first offensive play of the game.
Although the Packers defense got off to a bit of a clunky start, the week two win over the Chicago Bears provided some insight into what this team is made of.
The Run Sets up the Pass
A running game that features a lightning quick and shifty, yet gritty back in Aaron Jones. And a punishing bull of man in AJ Dillon. These two are the tandem that will make opposing defensive coordinators drink coffee into the wee hours of the night drafting schemes to slow the Pack Attack. Despite having the reigning back to back MVP Quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, the Packers in 2022 are a running team.
The run sets up the pass. Although Rodgers would prefer the ball in his hands more times than not. He’s going to be more successful handing off to Jones and Dillon. As the Packers offensive line begins to cook, having Elgton Jenkins back, and at some point David Bakhtiari is brought into the mix opposing defenses are going to need to stack the box to defend against Jones and Dillon. Sprinkle in the short passing game to keep the defense off balance and then, voila a deep pass to take the top off the defense.
Wide Receivers Provide Rodgers a Plethora of Options
Speaking of the wide receivers. This is a group that most certainly will be better as the season progresses. Early on they will need to lean on the veterans of this group. Sammy Watkins had a presence against the Vikings, so did Lazard and Cobb. Of the wide receivers, not one is a main course as Davante Adams was in years past. This works to the Packers advantage. Forces Rodgers to spread the ball around keeping the defense in the dark. Rookies Christan Watson and Romeo Doubs will take a while to ripen. By season’s end Rodgers will have a full cupboard of resources at his disposal.
The Defense too is Still Cooking
The defense is in a similar position as the offense. There are some steady veterans and playmakers. But there are some young first and second years players that need to age before their flavor is realized. Quay Walker looks the part and has flashed play making ability. But is he a finished product, certainly not. As the heat turns up as the playoffs approach Walker and the defense will have congealed into a satisfying whole. The defense is sure to benefit from being on the sidelines as the offensive running attack controls the time of possession.
As for special teams…it’s a unit that in years past has caused many Packers fans to lose their appetite. Rich Bisaccia’s group hasn’t spoiled yet, but few are lining up for seconds either. This is certainly the part of the squad that has the most to prove.
It’s human nature to want to see the Packers begin the season, a masterpiece already taken shape. The reality is a championship team is fine dining, well worth the wait. If it’s fast food you’re looking for, maybe you’re at the wrong restaurant.——————
Patrick Hughes is an owner and life long fan of the Green Bay Packers. He is passionate about immersing himself into the Green Bay Packers community in Wisconsin and around the globe. A landscape designer and marketer by day and a Packers writer by night. You can follow him on twitter at @phughespdx.