The Packers can get back on track if their best players actually play like their best players
When a storm threatens your house, you close the windows.
After a 27-10 loss to the New York Jets — one in which the head coach questioned the heart and fight of the Packers at halftime — then openly gloated about doing so in his postgame comments, Green Bay has to figure out if it can weather the storm while keeping their window open.
Tortured metaphors aside, if this Packers team is to fulfill its promise as a true NFC contender, they don’t need to make any panic trades or enormous schematic changes. They need their good players to be good players.
At first glance, this may feel like an oversimplification, but it’s not. Compare this roster to last year’s 13-win team, or the roster from the year before’s 13-win team … or the team from the year before’s 13-win team. It’s almost entirely the same group.
They have a little less depth on the edge without Za’Darius Smith, but they won 13 games last year without him and dominated in the NFC Divisional Round in a game he didn’t play much. They don’t have Davante Adams or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but they’re getting the best version of Randall Cobb they’ve had since 2014 (or at least they were before he got hurt), Robert Tonyan stepped on Sunday to have arguably his best game as a pro, and this offensive line boasts far more talent than the one that played the entire ‘21 campaign.
It’s not that different by names. In fact, the defense has more talent among the starters with Jaire Alexander back in the fold and more depth along the defensive line. Yet they’re status quo at best.
The offense can’t be almost 9 points worse thanks to the losses at receiver, down to 17.8 points per game from 26.5 a year ago. But they are right now because some of their stalwarts are flatly much worse than they’ve been.