After an embarrassing loss last week in Denver, the Packers looked to bounce back in Week 8 against their division rival Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay was coming off three straight losses, making it a calendar month since they’ve last won a football game. You would think that being back in Lambeau Field in front of the home crowd would help this team play better, but it did not. Week 8 was a just a lot of the same. Copy and paste. Same old Packers. Starting slow, no discipline, and no pride. Green Bay had only scored a field goal going into halftime down 10-3. Dropped passes, poor play-calling, and minimal execution in any phase plagued the team all afternoon. At least they are consistent at something right? The pitiful Packers strike again as the team falls to 2-5.
Going into 2023, the expectations for the Green Bay Packers were relatively low. It was known there would be growing pains. There was a forgone conclusion that a young team of this nature would have plenty of ups and downs as the season went on, but holy cow- this team is BAD. It would be one thing if they were taking steps forward. That way there would be some things to be encouraged about. Green Bay has only regressed on every level. Sunday afternoon they still couldn’t make anything happen. On the off chance they made a good play, it was negated by a penalty. The Packers finished the game with 11 penalties totaling to 99 yards. Most of them were on the offensive side of the ball. Despite the slow start, Green Bay managed to make their way into the red zone four times against Minnesota, however, they left with only one touchdown. Whether it was because they were short on time or because they averaged fewer than four yards per carry, the Packers couldn’t lean on that element. This then put the offense in a viscous cycle of being in long down-and-distance situations that they just couldn’t dig themselves out of.
Green Bay is in such a bad spot. The concerning aspect of it is that the same issues being discussed after this game are the same ones that have plagued the Packers for a month-plus now. This is easily the worst stretch of games for the franchise in the last decade. A part of it is the lack of production from star players. David Bakhtiari is hurt and out for the year. Who knows what his future holds. Aaron Jones has been hurt/they won’t give him the ball for whatever reason. Jaire Alexander has been hurt/not good. Christian Watson has been hurt/not getting the ball. Kenny Clark has been just OK by his standards. When that is the output from your cornerstone pieces, it’s incredibly hard to win football games.
Jordan Love played one of his best games so far this season. Unfortunately, the stat sheet won’t show that. Time after time he extended plays with his pocket awareness and scrambling ability. He had a ton of accurate passes, and just got unlucky with penalties and several drops from his receivers. Jordan Love does need to play better, he’s admitted that himself. How can he though, when he is being let down by everyone around him? He now has eight interceptions in the last five games after not throwing any in his first two games. I understand there is a lot of scrutiny surrounding him lately, and he deserves some of the blame for the struggles on offense. The more I watch this team though, it’s become clearer that there isn’t a quarterback on this planet who would play well under the same circumstances. He finished the day with a stat line of 24/41 attempts, 229 yards in the air with 34 on the ground, and 1 TD and 1 INT.
The loss to the Vikings yesterday was more than likely the final death blow to any potential chance of Green Bay making the playoffs this year. This team has a laundry list of problems that will need to be solved in the off-season. If things continue to trend the way they have been, the Packers will end up with a top 5 pick in the 2024 draft. It will be very interesting to see how they choose to improve their team with that pick. There is a plethora of talented players who could make an immediate impact for Green Bay. As this season continues to progress, I’m sure the team will have a clear indication on what position group needs the most help. Until then all we can do is watch and hope for the best. Go Pack Go.