Commentary by Jalen Cole
Nov. 16, 2015
Are the Green Bay Packers really an elite team? That is one of the questions that hasn’t really been answered at all this season. Despite a 6-2 record, the Green Bay Packers have struggled on the offensive side of the ball, and the defensive side of the ball.
The Jordy Nelson injury was a big blow to the Packers offense, who is currently ranked 28th in total yards per game. The Packers try to use the next man up theory, but there isn’t a next man. Aaron Rodgers just doesn’t trust any of his rookie receivers, or maybe he has lost confidence in his ability. Throwing for only 77 yards in his last game, Rodgers hasn’t been playing well since he threw two Interceptions against the St Louis Rams.
Randall Cobb and James Jones are the only two reliable options for Rodgers outside of Devonte Adams, who has been injured for the first five games of the season. This offense has been running in place throughout the season, but Rodgers not having a reliable Receiver isn’t the biggest problem on offense.
There have been many debates about who is the better quarterback between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, but the difference between the Rodgers and Brady right now is the strength at the Tight end position. Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end in the NFL; this is what makes Brady so good in many situations. A good tight end would help Rodgers and those Receivers, but right the Packers just don’t have a lot of production from that position; this is the biggest problem on the offense.
The defense on the other hand is a different story, in the first four games of the season Green Bay were ranked in the top 10 of every defensive category. The last two games against The San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos have been horrible for the defense; unlike the first four games the Packers weren’t able to put pressure on either Quarterback in those games.
The Packers have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but the problem is the general manager isn’t spending money to make the Packers better on defense and more experienced. Having experience on the defensive side of the ball puts you ahead of the opposing team, look at the Denver broncos for example. This team spent millions on experienced players to make their defense better, they are currently ranked 1st in total defense. Defenses like the Seahawks and Broncos put fear in their opponents, the Packers don’t put fear in their opponents.
The defense not only lacks experience, but the biggest need on defense is a middle linebacker. For years that position has been a need for Green Bay, especially after releasing AJ Hawk. Imagine if the Packers had a linebacker like Luke Kuechly lining up next to Clay Matthews, a lot of teams would be forced to respect the defense. For now, the defense can get as many sacks and interceptions that they want, but the fact is a lot of offenses just aren’t afraid of you.
Although the Packers have struggle early, there are still nine more games remaining in the season. The NFC is the Packers to lose this year, no matter what the Panthers are doing right now. Aaron Rodgers has to rely more on his Receivers and the Packers need more production on both sides of the ball, that’s the only way they’re going to make it to the Super Bowl this year.