Opinion Corner: Packers really need a winAs Mason Crosby missed the potential game-tying field goal Sunday afternoon, my brother Alex and I sat and hung our heads in disbelief, we didn’t speak a word of the third Packers loss of the season.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
As Mason Crosby missed the potential game-tying field goal Sunday afternoon, my brother Alex and I sat and hung our heads in disbelief, we didn’t speak a word of the third Packers loss of the season.
This was the football highlight of my trip to Wisconsin. Nothing beats going back home and enduring a Green and Gold loss.
After digesting Sunday’s horrific second half in Indianapolis I figured out why this preseason Super Bowl pick can’t close out the close games.
Let’s start at the beginning: Green Bay can’t score points in the first quarter of games.
If memory serves me correctly Aaron Rodgers and company are the only remaining team in the league to not score on an opening drive.
But why? Let’s go with the fact that Rodgers is playing behind an offensive line more porous than a sieve.
Behind Evan Dietrich-Smith the only other O-line backup is Don Barclay? Yeah that Don Barclay, the undrafted rookie who made the roster.
Jeff Saturday is a shell of his former self and Brian Bulaga plays sporadically at best.
Without a line it’s difficult for Rodgers to get the protection to read defenses, or establish a ground game. Cedric Benson was a pleasant surprise as a veteran back coming into a new system but he will miss eight weeks after an ankle injury.
With Benson shelved, James Starks and his turf toe, all means Alex Green will get the majority of carries. Green, who got lucky on one big gain against the Colts, appears to be basically a 1-or-2-yard-a-carry kind of a back.
The groin injury of Greg Jennings has made it official that the role of receiving corps leader is now up for grabs. James Jones did a fine job filling in and has made remarkable improvements in his six seasons with the Packers but it’s not enough.
Randal Cobb can be explosive and Jordy Nelson is still a big target, but with Jermichael Finley’s hands of stone a dependable Jennings type is a necessity.
Regardless of what anyone says the Green Bay defense is playing better than last year, on paper only however as the most important stat is winning.
Charles Woodson’s age, 36, is becoming a factor as mentally he is still the defensive leader, but physically his strong suit is the initial coverage of a route.
The defense is still feeling the loss of Nick Collins as M.D. Jennings has lost his head a few times in coverage.
Green Bay is on the verge of being behind a big 8-ball early in the season, although it could be worse.
The Vikings are red hot, but will they be in a month? The disappointing Lions are a mess without Calvin Johnson and there’s plenty of Jay Cutler left to happen in Chicago despite their fast 4-1 start.
So if there ever was a must-win for the Packers it’s Sunday night in Houston against the best team in the NFL.
I’m predicting another sack fest for J.J. Watt as Rodgers will go down multiple times, but Green Bay needs to figure out how to win this week or it could be a long and humiliating season.
Ben Rodgers is a frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner