The Green Bay Packers are down, but not out, yet. Are the Packers playoff hopes slipping away? It sure seems like that. It would take some luck, and far better play. But if by the grace of Lombardi the Packers somehow wiggled into the postseason, you never know.
This season is a head-scratcher. It’s fair to say injuries and the timing of injuries is having an effect on the team’s success. Aaron Rodgers’ injured thumb, is clearly hampering his play. Some say it’s broken. That would obviously be problematic for a quarterback.
Injuries Hit Wide Receivers
Romeo Doubs going down just as Christian Watson is stepping up takes a dimension away from the offense. Allen Lazard being out at the beginning of the season and Randall Cobb’s four-week absence stressed the inexperienced receiving corp.
But the injuries to Rodgers and the receiver’s room are just a fraction of the players that have gone down or have been out during the course of the season. While the past couple of games the offensive line has had their best five guys in the right positions on the field, that was not the case early on. Bakhtiari, and Jenkins both missed time. This messed up the chemistry and quality of that unit.
Defense Lost Key Contributors
On defense, they lost Rashan Gary to an ACL injury. It’s hard to replace his production and presence. Although he wasn’t playing as well as he did his rookie season, the loss of cornerback Eric Stokes puts a dent in the Packers’ depth and talent at the back end of their defense. And don’t forget Inside Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell being off the field.
Besides the injuries, there are players either regressing or not living up to expectations. Amari Rodgers, a third-round pick just a year ago set the Packers back countless times with his poor special teams play. He of course has since been removed from his duties. Darnell Savage has been anything but savage at safety.
Coaching Decisions are Questionable
By all means, also a part of the equation is coaching decisions. How many times have the Packers abandoned or simply just not run the ball? The Titans gave a tutorial on how to not get away from the run.
The Packers were holding Derrick Henry in check or at least containing him. But the Titans kept giving him the rock, and in doing so chewing up the clock. Whereas the Packers went away from the tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon against Tennessee. Two talented backs who have carried the Packers to victory. Scroll back to the Dallas game.
And then you have the Joe Barry saga. The Packers’ defense is loaded with talent, specifically first-round pick talent. Yet they are not playing like most believed they would coming into the season. Is Joe Barry not scheming up the right game plan and calls? His track record before joining the Packers is not an indication of projected success. And it feels like he’s living up to his past.
Packers Playoff Hopes Slipping Away – Every Game A Must Win
Despite all this, is there still something special in front of the Green Bay Packers? Packers Nation certainly hopes so. I mean what else is there to do in January? However, here’s the deal. We’re running out of runway. It’s now or never. The playoffs? Yes, we’re talking about playoffs. They start on Sunday against the Eagles. And they continue until the Super Bowl or until we get mathematically eliminated. Whichever comes first.——————
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.