The Green Bay Packers have enjoyed a few seasons of excellent football, led by All-Universe QB Aaron Rodgers at an offense that is, at times, unstoppable. Despite a deadly offense, a defense laden with stars, and a head coach that has already led them to a Super Bowl, the Packers have had their troubles this year. The national media had a field day with Green Bay’s 2-3 start, reveling in the speculation of a team in decline. The Packers laid a 42-24 thumping on Houston the next week, silencing their critics once and for all.
That’s the thing, though.
The Packers have had contentious games with the Rams, Jaguars, and Cardinals, and while it is certainly a testament to the team that they won, those games are still concerning.
The Packers had a solid performance over the Rams, leading 30-13 until a touchdown at the 15 second mark made the game more respectable. Against the Jaguars, however, there were problems. Rodgers threw for only 186 yards against a defense that the Bears’ offense was able to dominate with ease. The Packers led only 14-12 at half and managed 10 2nd half points as they survived the 24-15 affair.
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At the end of the day, all that matters is winning. It can seem fairly silly to criticize the way the Packers won; after all, they are a recent Super Bowl champion who are in position to potentially take hold of the NFC North or at least claim a wild card spot. The problem isn’t just that the Packers haven’t won the way they are supposed to win. They simply don’t look like an elite team most weeks, and for a team that must want to be put in that category it could be argued that they have fallen short.
The Packers defense is incredibly banged up. That is well documented. Even when healthy, though, Green Bay hasn’t shown that they can make stops when it counts. The Packers’ offense certainly shows flashes of brilliance, but other than the game against Houston they have not had a complete game on the offensive side of the ball.
This article is being written because the Packers have earned these high standards. It is fair to question the 6-3 Packers because they aren’t just supposed to be good. This is a team that fully expects to contend for a Super Bowl every season as long as they are being led by Aaron Rodgers. They have earned respect off the field, and now it’s time to earn it back on the gridiron.