As the defense failed to get one more stop yet again against the Eagles on Sunday night, the book was essentially closed on Green Bay’s disappointing 2022 season. And yet, Packer fans on twitter were the most positive I have seen in weeks. With Rodgers going out in the 4th, Cheeseheads got a real look at what this team could look like moving forward. If the recent games are any indication, the Packer’s young stars are going to shine very, very bright.
Let’s start with the offense.
The most talked about player is of course Jordan Love. Love stepped into a chilly, windy game with limited warmup and down two scores. He proceeded to go 6 for 9 for 113 yards and a TD while also leading to another field goal. The TD pass was nice, but the more encouraging passes were the far sideline out route to Lazard on time and on the money, the back shoulder to Jones on a perfect coverage read, and the scrambling throw to the endzone that was justttt behind Cobb. Yes I know two of those were incomplete, but they showed the reads and the playmaking ability that Packer fans have been waiting for.
On the receiving end of that game was Christian Watson, who turned the corner on his season almost as hard as he did on his TD catch this past week. Over the past 3 games Watson has 12 catches for 265 yards and 6 touchdowns. Those are phenomenal numbers for any wideout, not just a rookie. With Romeo Doubs returning soon, the Packers seem to have found two elite young receivers for the years to come.
The unspoken highlight player of the last game was Elgton Jenkins. Recovering from his ACL tear one year ago, Jenkins is finally returning to his premier level of play. So much so that he obliterated an Eagle’s defender to the point where the ref assumed it was a penalty because just how does a human do that to another human? News flash, it was not a penalty. It was a murder. As Jenkins continues to recover, he will soon be the veteran leading this offensive line and protecting Love.
Now on to the defense.
Quay Walker may have taken a step back this past week, but up until that point he was really coming into his own as the lead linebacker on this team. He has been flying all over the field and moving much more laterally rather than north and south, allowing him to stop plays near the LOS. Even if you look at the Eagles tape, which is ugly from a tackling point of view, he is still EVERYWHERE. He shows all the signs of a guy who will be dominant once he gains some experience and improves his techniques.
The biggest surprise of the year is 5th round rookie Kingsley Enagbare. Enagbare leads ALL ROOKIE edge rushers in pass rush win rate with a mark of 16.7%, a full 2.2% better than 5th overall pick Thibodeaux. With Gary out, Enagbare has had to step up to make some plays and he looks to be up for the job. Over the past few games we have also seen him show some better awareness around setting the edge and keeping runners inside. He is still very raw, but he shows a lot of promise to be a great pairing with Rashan Gary for years to come.
Lastly is Devonte Wyatt. This is more of a plea than a highlight.. the dude needs more snaps!! Lowry is routinely being attacked in the run game and has been a ghost this year. There is no reason Wyatt shouldn’t be getting those snaps as he has routinely graded out well this year.
It’s been a tough year for Packer fans, but we will not turn into the Jaguars in one offseason. The Packers have young, strong players at almost every position. The rest of this season should be about getting them more reps and preparing for a partial rebuild to be back on top of the North in a few years.
Then we will win.