In case you haven’t heard, the Packers lost again. As fun a game as it was to watch, the Green Bay Packers couldn’t pull through in a shootout against the NFC #1 Seed Philadelphia Eagles, with the final score being 33-40. The loss is by no means something to be frustrated over in itself, as it has grown quite familiar to Packers fans alike this season, but the fashion by which we lost is another topic altogether, which should infuriate those same fans. This reason is the fact that once again, this team cannot put together a complete and well-rounded game. When the defense is playing at full potential, the offense is stale and can’t produce enough to score more than 9 points against the statistically worst defense in the league, (see 9-15 loss to the Detroit Lions). When the offense finally starts to put things together, the defense turns into a Wisconsin delicacy, that being swiss cheese. Surprisingly enough, special teams has been consistently improved thanks to new Special Teams Coach Rich Bisaccia, but none of that matters when the offense and defense are flipping a coin each week to see who actually has to show up. This begs the question, are the Packers ever going to play a complete football game and blow out an opponent this season?
Why? Wish I could tell you. It used to be easy to identify the problems with this team. 2019? New system and head coach, and the defense couldn’t tackle. 2020? Not too many problems in the first place, but defense could’ve been better. 2021? Offense still produced but not nearly as much while defense improved. What about 2022? Well all of the above and more. Joe Barry for one has done a terrible job as a defensive coordinator, and seems to be a Mike Pettine clone. An aging Aaron Rodgers is only now getting some levity at the wide receiver position and has been injured the majority of the season now. The defense has not only been riddled with injuries, but also seem to be playing with very little heart. There are far too many variables to consider when evaluating this team’s problems, which is what makes it so difficult for fans to have playoff hopes. It is not an overnight fix, or a week long fix, or even a season long fix.
All of that pessimism aside, as long as there is statistical hope for Aaron Rodgers and this team to make the playoffs, I am ride or die. They have now proven that there is potential on both sides of the ball to perform at a near elite level, and with key players coming back in weeks to come, there is only room to improve on the base it took them 12 weeks to build. I’m always going to have my doubts about the defensive play calling as at this point not firing Barry must be a matter of pride, however other than him this staff has more than enough potential to get the players fired up to play their hearts out until there is not an ounce of hope left. It is also clear that Aaron Rodgers is all in on playing until he physically can’t as long as there is an infinitesimal chance for a playoff berth. Who knows, even if he can’t, Jordan Love looked pretty good on those last two drives against the Eagles. All that is to say, for Packers fans, stay on the horse until it drops, and for the non-Packers fans reading this, see you in the playoffs.