This Team is Playoff Caliber
After having 6 of our best players out (Alexander, Campbell, Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Watson, Jones), the Packers were able to come back from a 17-point lead in a single quarter and win. The absolute grit and determination of this squad is something you can only dream of. This team has lacked energy for years and it’s so refreshing to finally see them get rowdy. The first three-quarters of this game were absolutely atrocious, but they never stopped fighting. Jordan Love stayed composed the entire time and everything clicked at the right time. He certainly needs work on his deep ball, because outside of the DPIs he pulls in, almost all of them are way off. I will take back what I said about Walker because he definitely proved me wrong. He played way better than last week and I’m genuinely surprised at that. Reed had a rough day but came up clutch with a great snag to set us up to score. Gary is still the guy we thought he was even after the injury. I was excited to see LaFleur get into his bag of tricks again even though there was a huge lack of success in that area. If we were healthy and didn’t have dumb penalties (I’ll get into that later), this game wouldn’t have been close.
Penalties Are Going to Kill Us
This is probably the biggest takeaway, but they need to clean up the penalties. 11 for 90 yards is atrocious and will lose us games. It nearly cost us the game against the Saints, and when we play harder teams they will capitalize on these mistakes way more effectively. I don’t know if there has been a Packers team that has had this many penalties. The team is extraordinarily young, so there is a lot of inexperience, but I didn’t expect the penalties to be killing us this badly. Hopefully, LaFleur hammers it home during practice just how bad it was on Sunday.
The Defense is Bizarre
I don’t get it. How this unit can go from forcing 3-and-outs to looking like Swiss cheese is insane. All we’re asking for is a little consistency and that seems like too much to ask for. They did technically only let up 10 points, but I’m counting the special teams unit as a part of the defense. I understand we were missing key players, but our offense seems to do just fine without our 3 best players. Barry needs to stop giving a 6-9-yard backoff on short-yardage situations. It’s ridiculous to see it every single game. There is not a single time that it has ever worked. Barry’s playcalling is an enigma, and I cannot stand it anymore. I will compliment him just this once, his aggression with the pass rush is phenomenal. The Packers are killing it with pressures and getting to the quarterback. However, Preston Smith not being able to pass rush anymore is concerning. He’s great at stopping the run and being a great presence in the locker room. But the extension we signed him to seems egregious. He is getting paid way too much money to not be able to get to the quarterback. Jonathan Owens is also atrocious to watch. The guy simply cannot do much of anything right, and I hope he turns it around during the year. The special teams unit was fine for Green Bay standards. I’m not even that mad about the punt return touchdown because that feels like a given for Green Bay. It’s a given this will happen a few games out of the year that it happens, so great it got out of the way early. All in all, this game could have been way worse for the defense, but they really held their ground against a solid Saints offense.
Jordan Love Learned A LOT From Rodgers
Jordan Love is our guy. I can confidently say that after seeing these first 3 games. Studying behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of-all-time has really helped him. The way he throws looks like an altered Rodgers form. His play-actions are straight from the Aaron Rodgers textbook. So many throws he made against the Saints made him look like his adopted son. He still has more to learn, but I am impressed with Love. The kid is a great leader and never faltered for a second against the Saints despite the situation. The way the team supports this guy and revolves around him is actually beautiful. Everyone in the locker room has his back, and is shown during the games. The only way from here is up, and if he keeps performing at this level, Love could have a very decorated career.