Who are these 4-6 Packers the Eagles play on Monday night? – Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
The last time the Packers finished a season with a losing record was almost a decade ago. It was 2008, and Aaron Rodgers’ first season at the helm.
Since then, it’s been difficult to imagine Green Bay as anything less than a Super Bowl contender, consistently right up there with the class of the NFC. That’s not the same team the Eagles will be welcoming to Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night though. This team, while still led by Rodgers, has a 4-6 record, and with losses in four consecutive games, could be on the verge of a freefall. This is not the Packers we are accustomed to seeing.
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what’s wrong, but a closer inspection at the roster suggests injuries, perhaps some age-related decline and a little bit of tuning out the head coach may all be occurring at the same time to conspire against Rodgers’ Packers.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers
There’s a widely held belief that Aaron Rodgers is struggling mightily these days. True, his efficiency numbers (yards per attempt and passer rating specifically) are down the past two seasons, and there’s certainly something to the idea his supporting cast is lacking. Watch him play though, and Rodgers still has all the traits that made him a two-time league MVP. He still has one of the biggest arms in the league. He still is one of the most accurate passers and has an unbelievable rapport with his receivers. He can still extend plays with his feet, and he still very rarely makes a stupid decision with the football. The Packers’ problem isn’t Rodgers, who only turns 33 next month and has plenty of good years ahead. This is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, period.
Strength: Wide receivers
None of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams are taking individual NFL leaderboards by storm. That being said, together they form one of the most well-rounded trios in the league. Nelson and Adams somehow have an identical 53 catches for 663 yards, Cobb isn’t far behind with 48 grabs 517 yards, and combined they’ve found the end zone 18 times. Would any of the three be stars on their own? Maybe not, but Rodgers is extremely comfortable with them all and as a result will send the ball their way even if the coverage is perfect. That kind of trust and respect tends to make any receiver far more dangerous.
Weakness: Running back
Eddie Lacy was enjoying a resurgent season and well on his way to cracking 1,000 yards before landing on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Normally steady James Starks was there to take his place, but he too was hurt for awhile, and despite being back, the 30-year-old is averaging a sad 2.5 yards per carry. Since Lacy went down, it’s been one bandage after another. Wide receiver Ty Montgomery takes a lot of snaps in the backfield. The club traded for and release Knile Davis in a matter of weeks. Now they’ve added Seahawks leading rusher Christine Michael off of waivers, though he has yet to take a handoff. It’s not so much that the Packers can’t run the football as much as they don’t seem to have anybody who can do the job at a high level or even average right now, and it’s crippling the offense.
Strength: Run defense