We’re definitely trending in the right direction (at least on offense) now. The Packers lost, but your weekly Packers positives are still here.
- Jordan Love had his best game yet. He has a top 10 PFF grade over the past few weeks and would’ve broken 300 yards in this game if not for a few drops and weak attempts at 50/50 balls. If Love can keep up the way he has played in the last two weeks and progress over the last eight games, I doubt the Packers will take a QB in the first round of the draft.
- Aaron Jones was meh, but AJ Dillon continues to improve and had his career long run in the game. I don’t see a way for Green Bay to keep Dillon after this season, but good play from him now increases the chance that the team will get a comp pick for him and opens up the offense so that we can better judge other players.
- The rookie pass catchers have shown out the past few weeks. Jayden Reed lead the team in receiving yards, Dontayvion Wicks is always open, and Luke Musgrave keeps securing 20-plus-yard receptions. Even Tucker Kraft got in on the fun with a catch this week and he has looked good blocking. It has been a timely bunch if improvements for the team because Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs have both disappointed in what was supposed to be big second seasons.
- Zach Tom has been a top-5 o-lineman according to PFF’s wins above replacement metric. He’s looked very good when he isn’t tearing ancient special team coach rotator cuffs. If the Packers use their first-round pick on a tackle next season and actually decide to fix the center position, they’ll be right back in the running for top o-line. Which is imperative for a young QB.
- The defense was rough and we’re going to need to dig deep for some positives there.
- Despite having to start a 7th round rookie and a practice squad member (earlier in the season) as the two outside corners, the Packers severely limited the, admittedly poor, Steelers pass game. Of course, it didn’t matter a whole lot because the Steelers got whatever they wanted on the ground, but, hey, we’re looking for positives here.
- Keisean Nixon is back as the league’s premier kick returner. After a great couple of weeks with some big returns, he leads the league in both total kick return yards and average per return. The total yards number doesn’t surprise me – because he returns everything – but the average does. It’s probably worth trying to keep him long term to return kicks even if he isn’t a top slot corner.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.