As expected Green Bay Packers fans storm London. What was unexpected was they departed cheesed off. And for a good reason. The Packers simply stunk in the second half on both sides of the ball.
With just over a quarter of the season accounted for the Green Bay Packers have not put together a complete game all year. Their record says they are 3-2. But they easily could be 2-3. They struggle in the second half, scoring seven points or less in four of their five games.
It’s understandable that this team has its challenges early in the season. The offensive line has been in flux. With Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari trying to adjust to playing after long layoffs post ACL surgeries. Not to mention Aaron Rodgers gaining chemistry with a young group of receivers and no safety blanket superstar to depend on.
Packers Can’t Get Out of Their Own Way
What’s disappointing is they can’t get out of their own way. From the view from the couch, it’s looking like Aaron Rodgers is the root of the problem. Furthermore, they have two dynamic running backs. Aaron Jones can flip the scoreboard in one play. And AJ Dillon can punish and wear the opposition down. Yet game after game Rodgers is taking shot plays trying to be the hero.
Against the Giants, the Packers started the second half up 20-10. Notably, when the game ended Rodgers had 39 passing attempts and Jones and Dillon combined for 19 rushing attempts. Especially, up ten, you think the logic would be to run the ball and control the clock against a banged up Giants team. Instead, the Giants controlled the clock by ripping off three straight drives of at least six minutes. And the game-tying drive, they had the ball for over eight minutes.
Fans Storm London – Rodgers Fails to Put on Show
Prior to the game, Rodgers spoke of putting on a show for the Packers’ fans from across the pond. The way he played in the second half you’d think he meant HE would put on a show. Particularly by forcing passes, missing passes. Markedly not running the ball once two yards from the goal line.
Moreover, Rodgers needs to understand that this is a running team. That doesn’t exclude him from making plays in the passing game. Running the ball should set the table for the passing game. Specifically the short passing game. Because the shot plays, going for it all in one long pass is not working.
Aaron Jones is averaging 6.39 yards per carry, first in the NFL. However, he ranks 19th in overall rushing attempts with just 61. AJ Dillon against the Giants had mere 6 carries for 34 yards. Which was good for 5.7 yards per carry. It’s not like they were not able to run the ball against the Giants’ defense. Matt Lafleur and Aaron Rodgers just chose to throw the ball.
No Pass for the Packers Defense
The defense doesn’t get a pass either. They have not been able to stop the run all season. On paper, this should be a good run defense. But they are not. Furthermore, when the opposition makes adjustments Packers’ Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry does not. Same story week after week. They don’t stop the run, and the defensive backs get gashed in the passing game.
It’s frustrating because this is not a team void of talent. The defense is loaded with big, fast first-round draft picks. Guys with big contracts. The offense may be light at wide receiver, but there are plenty of playmakers.
The Packers are a talented team with Super Bowl aspirations. It’s time they get out of their own way, play to their strengths, and realize their potential. Because if they don’t Packers fans could leave Lambeau on Sunday cheesed off about a loss to the other team from New York.——————
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 @PHUGHESWI.