A bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Green Bay Packers. The team is coming off of back-to-back ugly primetime losses where they looked dis-jointed and out of sync. This marks the first time under Matt LaFleur’s tenure his team goes into its bye week with a loss. The 5th year head coach of the Packers has a whole lot of work to do if he wants his young team to get back on track. Green Bay goes to Denver next weekend for a seemingly ‘get-right’ game against the struggling Broncos. It will be interesting to see if the bye week blues can propel the Packers to return to their winning ways.
There has been a lot of pessimism surrounding QB Jordan Love. In his last two starts, the 4th-year man out of Utah State has greatly struggled. In the Packers Week 5 loss to the Raiders, he finished with a stat-line of 16/30, 182 yards passing, 37 rushing, 0 TD’s, and 3 INT’s. Yes, Jordan Love hasn’t played well over the last two weeks, but he doesn’t deserve 100% of the blame. His protection up front has been abysmal, and his receivers haven’t been doing him any favors either. Whether it’s poor route running, or dropping the football, they need to be better. Through 5 games, the Packers offense has yet to establish an identity. The issues aren’t due to a lack of talent, but rather a lack of experience. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are only in their sophomore seasons, and everyone else is a rookie. While it’s unfortunate to see them struggle, it is necessary for them to grow and get better. Packers fans will have to be patient, and let these guys cook, because the potential is definitely there.
Outside of the Week 4 loss to the Lions, the Packers defense has played well enough to win. I understand the scrutiny around defensive coordinator Joe Barry as the same issues in his scheme continue to show themselves. I think the defense is under the microscope because they’re on the field far too often. We wouldn’t be talking about the defense so much if the offense were playing better than it currently is.
I truly believe that if Green Bay can somehow get the offense to start games in a better fashion, a lot of the self-inflicted wounds we have been seeing will start to dissipate. A huge factor in the offense starting games faster would be the return of RB Aaron Jones. If you compare the way the Packers offense looked in Week 1 to the rest of their games, it is a night and day difference. The obvious missing factor is Aaron Jones. At this point, his presence on offense is vital to Green Bay’s success. I’m not saying that the Packers need to force-feed him the football, because that would most likely lead to him sustaining another injury. With that said, him simply being on the football field would lead to some better matchups for other players on offense. The treat he poses as a runner as well as a pass-catcher would force defenses to play more conservatively. Most importantly, it will take a lot of pressure off the shoulders of Jordan Love.
For any NFL team, playing complimentary football is the key to winning games. This bye week, the Packers have an opportunity to get to work in the lab, get healthy, and look to bounce back against a reeling Broncos team. This squad has a bad taste in their mouth, and a third straight loss would undoubtedly make matters worse. I fully expect the Packers to come out next week in Denver looking like a rejuvenated football team because in reality, things can’t get any worse than they have been.