The 2023 NFL season was not supposed to be an easy one for the Green Bay Packers – and yet, the results have been even more disappointing than expected. Their Week 8 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings was a prime showing of just how little this team has shown this season, even with low expectations.
The coaching staff has failed this young roster so far this year, especially with having a full offseason to prepare for. The lack of easy plays for the offense to help give Jordan Love some courage, the inability to rely on Aaron Jones specifically, and the inefficiency of the wide receivers to actually catch passes have bogged down this unit.
There are no words to use to describe Joe Barry’s defensive unit, especially since he should have never returned as the DC. Allowing 24 points to a Vikings offense is okay, but allowing 80-plus yards to Jordan Addison, TJ Hockenson, and KJ Osborn was pretty disappointing.
Time and time again, Matt LaFleur and Adam Stenavich continue to set Love up for failure by not installing easy plays to establish a rhythm. And Sunday’s game for Love was another showing of how the staff failed the offense.
Love’s 229 passing yards was the highest mark since Green Bay’s loss to the Lions in September, but another interception on a deep throw overshadowed his average passing performance.
The running game was never given a fair chance to get going, as Love (34 yards), Aaron Jones (29 yards), and AJ Dillon (11 yards) failed to establish anything on the ground. Dillon also led the team in receptions (5), a microcosm of how poor the passing attack went.
Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson received 17 targets combined from Love, but only hauled in seven. Inaccuracy has been a consistent problem for Love, but there have been plenty of drops by the receivers, and Sunday was no different.
2023 has been the year of Jaire Alexander playing like a shell of himself, and the ‘star’ Green Bay cornerback was routinely beaten by Addison and Osborn. Needing to be the defensive leader this unit needs, Alexander has fought through injuries this season, but still has not played up to the level he should be.
They got home and sacked Kirk Cousins (who looks to have suffered a season-ending injury) three times, as Kenny Clark (two) and Preston Smith (one) all found their way into the backfield. De’Vondre Campbell (14) and Quay Walker (10) once again led the team in tackles, and Devonte Wyatt recovered the lone forced turnover on one of Smith’s sacks.
Overall, the defense didn’t put forth its best effort, as the Vikings ran more plays on offense (69), allowed more plays (346), and controlled the ball much longer than Green Bay (36:22 minutes). For an offensive unit that has been finding its way over the past few weeks but still has struggled, they were pretty much able to do whatever they wanted.
This team has a very cloudy future, with 2023 being a crucial year for the development of Love and others. And so far, there have been no signs that this season will produce any constructive results for 2024 and beyond.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