We all knew before the season began what we were getting into when Aaron Rodgers was traded to the Jets this off-season. We’ve heard it many times, “this season is going to have a lot of highs and a lot of lows, and the lows will be real low.” Heck, we all, as Green Bay Packers fans, have probably said that to ourselves. This was our attempt to be realistic heading into a massive unknown season. But it was so much more than that. It was our attempt to lower our expectations and reduce our hope.
As a teacher, I have to assess my students to determine whether they’ve mastered the goals and standards that a particular unit requires. Through the assessment, I can gauge if my students learned the material, and they can find out how well they have mastered the subject thus far. When it comes to my high-achieving students, there is a tendency for them, prior to a test, to talk down about themselves and how well they will perform on the test. This is a way of reducing their own personal expectations and an attempt to lower mine. This is what we, as Packers fans, have been doing.
Why The Lack of Hope
“Expect disappointment and you won’t be disappointed.” -Michelle Jones-Watson (MJ) Spiderman – No Way Home
And just like when my students are trying to lower their expectations on how well they will perform, they, maybe subconsciously, still expect to do well. No matter how much they talk, they expect to perform well. Our fandom of the Packers is the same. We can try all we might, but we expect our organization to win. The Packers are synonymous with winning, and we should still hope for wins, but we need to adjust our thinking about what Packers success looks like this season.
Expectation, Hope, and Success
The end goal doesn’t change. The Green Bay Packers’ goal is still to win championships. It always will be. But that doesn’t change what success looks like in 2023. That success is what we said it would be in the off-season. So what does success look like for the rest of this season? What should the Packers hope to see?
Expectation and Hope Number Five:
Of course, we want the Packers to win, but that shouldn’t be the sole reason we proclaim the season as successful. For the Packers’ 2023 season to be successful, the Packers need to learn and finally show complimentary football. What do I mean by complimentary football? Well, here are two examples of complimentary football:
- The Packers’ defense gets a huge stop and gives the ball back to the offense. The offense then proceeds to go down the field and score points. The Packers currently are more like this: the Packers’ defense gets a huge stop and gives the ball back to the offense. The offense then proceeds to go three-and-out.
- The Packers’ offense has a huge drive and scores a big-time touchdown to get the team in position to win. The defense needs to get a stop to give the ball back to the offense for a chance to win, and the defense does just that with a three-and-out. The Packers currently are more like this: the Packers’ offense has a huge drive and scores a big-time touchdown to get the team in position to win. The defense needs to get a stop to give the ball back to the offense for a chance to win, and instead, they let up a huge drive themselves.
Packers need to show growth in complimentary football.
The Packers need to know if Joe Barry is the guy to continue to man that defense. We, as Packers fans, can easily be frustrated by some of the play calls on defense and the lack of consistency. It is also extremely frustrating when it is 3rd down and less than three yards to go, and the defensive backs are playing ten to fifteen yards down the field. This is the type of play call that keeps the defense on the field.
The Packers’ defense has been averaging 22.6 points allowed per game, which is roughly the middle of the league. This means the defense is doing their job for the most part but still has a ton of room to grow. If the Packers’ offense can score 24, the Packers will win most of their games. That being said, this team has defensive talent all over and should be way better than the 18th best defense in the league.
I know several fans who have hope that he will be gone sooner than later.
The defense is by far not the biggest problem as of late for the Packers. The offense has been a huge issue. The offense can’t be consistent, and a lot of that seems to stem from play calling. Yeah, I know that the offensive line hasn’t played well, but the play calling has not been good. This season, there truly needs to be an evaluation of Matt LaFleur’s offense and how it works with these young offensive players. Speaking of the young guys…
Through the last part of this season, it is extremely important to evaluate much of this young talent on this squad. Specifically, this must be done on the offensive side of the ball. The Packers have a ton of young weapons at that pass-catching position that the Packers hope will develop into stars. They need to be evaluated to see if they will be a part of this team long-term. It is already very apparent that the Packers need help at the offensive line and at the running back position. What about the rest of the offense? The rest of this season has to be used to evaluate depth for the offense.
Expectation and Hope Number One:
And finally, the lowest hanging fruit of this article, Jordan Love. Is Jordan Love the guy going forward? Through the first five games, it seems like it still might be a mystery. There is just too much inconsistency from Love to really know yet. Then again, if he stays inconsistent, then maybe the Packers do know. Love has already shown some great throws. However, Love has also shown a great amount of inaccuracies. He is toward the bottom of the league in passing accuracy.
Now, what the Packers should be looking for is whether or not Love is improving. If he shows improvement throughout the season, then they will probably stick with him. If he shows no signs of improving, then the Packers are probably going to be having a high draft pick in a great quarterback draft. The Packers will for sure know their answer then. Jordan Love better hope to show continued improvement.
So as it stands, the Packers are 2-3 in the middle of the bye week and have much to play for. The Packers and us fans need to choose a different perspective throughout the rest of this season. What does success look like?
If this team shows improvement and the Packers get answers, then it is a successful season. If there are no signs of improvement and the Packers get no answers, then this season will be a wash. Either way…
Go Pack Go!——————
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.