Outside of their Week 10 upset win over the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers have failed to produce any sort of meaningful football over the last few months. Their Week 11 27-17 home loss to the Tennessee Titans is just another game to add to the category of disappointment, an all too familiar feeling.
Airing out all of our issues on national tv for Week 10’s Thursday Night Football affair is a great way to show everyone how disappointing this team really has been this year so far. Regardless of bad throws from Aaron Rodgers or a defense failing to stop a below-average QB in Ryan Tannehill, to questionable play calling from Matt LaFleur and Joe Barry, this team has a lot going in the wrong direction that needs to be fixed.
Another week, another misuse of Aaron Jones and the rushing attack – in a game that easily should have seen the Packers feed Jones at least 20 carries, they barely fed him half that.
12 carries (18 total touches) is just another notch in the argument that Jones and his abilities are criminally underused, and this team would be much better off if they fed their best offensive playmakers. The Tennessee defense is not all that known for shutting down opposing rushing attacks, so the fact that LaFleur consciously went away from Jones speaks to a much larger issue.
The main offensive shortcomings need to be placed on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers, and he even took that responsibility in his post-game comments. 227 yards and 2 TDs (with no INTs) is an acceptable stat line, but 15 incompletions and countless misreads is the bigger issue here.
Rodgers was able to find TD machine Christian Watson for another two scores and welcomed back Randall Cobb with a peppering of targets, but outside of that, he failed to establish a consistent rapport in the passing game. A lone positive outcome through the passing game was that Rodgers was only sacked once, and both David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins looked good on a short week.
Before their Thursday Night win, Tannehill had a season-best in passing yards set all the way back in Week 1 with 266. So not only did Tannehill throw for over 300 yards, his average yards per completion (12.3) more than doubled that of Rodgers (5.8) on the night.
At times, Tannehill looked like the QB that made him a first-round selection by the Miami Dolphins a while back, only throwing five incompletions on the night. Routinely finding rookie Treylon Burks or Robert Woods, he was able to pick apart a pass defense that was supposed to be one of the best in the NFL when the season began.
A lone bright spot on defense was keeping Derrick Henry under 100 yards on the day, an impressive feat considering how poor this defense typically is against the run. Barely averaging three yards per carry is a win for this Packers run defense, even if he did account for both a rushing and a passing score.
There are plenty of shortcomings that this unit needs to improve, but by allowing Barry to remain as the defensive coordinator, LaFleur is committing to this unit consistently failing to meet expectations. Barry has routinely shown that he is not – and never was – the right choice to lead this defense, and will be the focal reason why this unit never reaches its full potential.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