The Green Bay Packers had a little hope gifted to them last Sunday when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-28 in overtime. This hope did not even last a full week when it was all crushed under the weight of another loss on Thursday Night Football when the Packers lost to the Titans. The Green Bay Packers are now 4-7 with six games remaining. They would have to win out to have a chance at the playoffs and even at 10-7 they would need help getting into “the Dance”. I’m not being pessimistic; I’m being realistic. Their chances are grim, so what now? What do the Packers do with the remainder of a lost season?
What now? Win!
“Winning is not a sometime thing… it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while…you don’t do the right thing once in a while…you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.” Vince Lombardi was talking about forming good habits. Winning doesn’t just happen. Winning has to occur in everything you and, in this case, the Green Bay Packers do. Be it studying, practice, or games, winning has to be at the center of it all for everybody. If winning is not what the culture of the team is about, then the franchise is dead. The Packers are the proud owner of Titletown for a reason. The first goal should always be to win.
So, why do I emphasize winning as the first thing the Packers have to do? Surely the team knows all of what I just mentioned above. Well, Aaron Rodgers has mentioned it many times in interviews over the past few weeks. Almost worried that players might check out early, so to speak. That they might start looking ahead to the offseason. That isn’t a winning attitude. A winning attitude has to be shown throughout the team. The players have to want it.
Another thing that has made the rounds is the hope and even desire for the Packers to lose out for a better draft pick come April. That isn’t the winning culture that Lombardi instituted all of those years ago. If the Packers want to keep having a winning franchise, then they must win even if wins don’t matter much toward the end goal of the season. Plus, technically, the Packers are not mathematically eliminated yet and still should strive for a run to the playoffs.
What now? Take inventory!
The Packers 2022 rookie class is looking really great. The Packers need to continue to see development of their rookies and give them opportunities to shine. Quay Walker as of late has been playing better and better and that showed throughout the Titans game against Derek Henry. He is going to be a centerpiece of the defense going forward. Devonte Wyatt has played okay with his limited reps. We are at the point in the season where the Packers should give him more opportunities to see what he can bring in a game.
Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure need more reps for growth than some of the veterans on offense. I know Doubs is injured, but Toure should be playing more than Sammy Watkins. Zach Tom has played great and seems like he will have a great future. I can see the Packers giving him some opportunities so as to give some rest to Bakhtiari and Jenkins. Kingsley Enagbare is getting more reps at Edge since Rashan Gary went down, and has shown a great amount of poise, delivering with pressure against opposing offenses.
What now? Defense!
I think the Packers could very easily fire Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry and be applauded for it. However, I don’t think this would benefit the Packers much at this point. It can be hard for the players to transition to a new coordinator in the middle of a season and the Packers are going to want to self-scout going into a new season. Of course, the argument could be made that everybody is capable of being fired for underperforming and by letting a coordinator go such as Joe Barry, it could light a fire under some of the defenders as a reminder of the business side of this league.
What now? Quarterback!
Aaron Rodgers will play well and then turn around and not play well. Against the Titans, he threw some passes that were just misses, especially toward the end of the game. How much of those misses were because of his thumb or how much of them were because of natural decline at the position? If Rodgers’ thumb is giving him this much problems where his accuracy can’t be trusted all of the time, then it might be time to see what the Packers have in Jordan Love.
The Packers this offseason are going to have to decide if they want to give Jordan Love his fifth year option and there is no way they can fully know if he should be given it without him playing any this year. I can see the Packers still playing Rodgers while the Packers are mathematically in contention but the moment they are out of contention, it has to be Jordan Love time. The Packers are going to have a lot to figure out going into this offseason, and the Quarterback position due to Aaron Rodgers is going to be at the forefront.
What now? Conclusion!
Everything has to be done with perspective. As a franchise, the Packers have to take care of the now and the future. At the center of the now and the future is winning. The Packers still have to win but they also have to see what they have on their current team to take care of the future.
So what now for us fans? We watch. We get to sit back and enjoy the process. We as fans have to continue to keep perspective and to support out team as true fans no matter what. We have to root for a win. We as fans, no matter how upset we can get, need to continue to support our team.——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.