As much as it pains me to say it, I think there’s no more excuses to make for the 4-7 Green Bay Packers.
Simply, they aren’t a good team.
This realization is a culture shock for many Packers fans, including myself, who’ve been spoiled for the last 10-15 years, and even for fans before that who watched the team when Brett Favre was the starting quarterback.
But, after a 27-17 home loss on Thursday night to the Tennessee Titans, who deserve their flowers for how impressive they’ve been this season, the Packers are truly a tier below the competitors in the NFC.
Everyone has something to blame for the Packers’ downfall this season. Someone who’s getting a majority of the blame is defensive coordinator Joe Barry. While yes, he deserves some of the blame, I think some are too harsh on him.
What I will say is Barry’s main issue is what fans are used to seeing when Mike Pettine was the defensive coordinator from 2018-20. Having three cornerbacks in Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, and Eric Stokes play mostly zone coverage when they all excel in man coverage is an issue.
At the same time, I will say the defense hasn’t even been noticeably bad compared to other Green Bay defense’s in past years. While players may be playing below their standards, the unit as a whole is what’s kept the Packers competitive in some of their losses.
For example, arguably two of the worst losses for the Packers this year are to the Commanders and the Lions. In the former from October, the Packers may have given up 23 points to a lackluster Commanders offense, but they were dominated in time of possession due to the ineptitude of the offense.
On top of that, a De’Vondre Campbell pick six put the Packers up 14-3 in that game early in the second quarter. From that point on, the Packers offense didn’t score until there was 3:26 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 23-21. The defense can only do so much when they get no help from the offense.
It was more of the same against Detroit. The Packers got down to the goal line twice in the first quarter only for Aaron Rodgers to throw two interceptions. They then were stopped in Lions territory on their last drive of the first half.
With how poor the Packers were, they were lucky to only be down 8-0 at half in that game. The 2022 Lions have a historically bad defense, and the Packers failed to put up even double digits in the 15-9 loss.
This doesn’t excuse the defense’s performance against the Titans. They made Ryan Tannehill look like Tom Brady from start to finish. They made the game way too easy for the Titans passing offense ranked 31st in the NFL prior to the game.
But even then, I think the defense did enough in the second half to keep the Packers in it with little offensive support. From when the Packers went down 27-17 early in the fourth quarter, Rodgers and the offense only got two first downs the rest of the game.
After the first three-and-out, Douglas intercepted Tannehill to get the offense the ball back with still 10:55 left in the game. However, the Packers, once again, went three-and-out.
The Packers defense didn’t quit and forced a punt shortly after. Heck, the Packers special teams unit even tried to help when Kisean Nixon returned the punt into Titans territory.
However, Rodgers failed to capitalize on the field position and they were stopped on fourth down, all but ending the game. Yes, the defense could’ve and should’ve played better, but there’s only so much they can do.
So now, at 4-7, the season is all but over barring a miraculous upset in Philadelphia next week. Everyone will be looking for a specific reason as to why this season didn’t go to plan. But, when it boils down to it, everyone has to face the facts that the 2022 Green Bay Packers are not a good football team.