For the first time in recent memory, the Packers are on the outside looking in. The bye week did nothing to change the Packers’ position in the Power Rankings, but it did see them lose ground in both their division and their conference. At 1-2 and still stinging over their Week 3 loss at Cincinnati, they are looking up at both Detroit and Chicago.
If Packers lose to Detroit this weekend in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field, will they make the playoffs? I say no.
If something goes wrong this weekend, it is going to mean for a long remainder of the season. With such an early bye week, it means 13 straight games, taking into account that there is going to be a ‘short week’ at the end of November when they play on a Thursday night (in Detroit of all places).
It wouldn’t be the end of the world if GB comes up short this weekend vs Detroit, but at 1-3 and heading to Baltimore, you could see it fall from there.
Usually the Pack are up at the top of the pack when it comes to ranking each team in the league after each week. Not this week.
The Packers haven’t had a bye this early since 1999, when they also were off in Week 4.
Carolina was the only other NFL club off this past weekend; they are also on the path to a season from hell. If the Pack had been counting on the weekend rest to help get them back into shape, then yesterday was a bad day for the Cheeseheads.
One of the problems with having the earliest possible bye week, like GB did in last week, is how long the season might seem from here on out.
They are dealing with a handful of injuries.
There are still at least six players who are still out. They are:
CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring)
• CB Casey Hayward (hamstring)
• FB John Kuhn (hamstring)
• RB James Starks (knee)
• OLB Clay Matthews (hamstring)
• TE Jermichael Finley (concussion)
RB Eddie Lacy could technically still be on this list. The rookie second-round pick out of Alabama received the majority of the carries in their season-opening loss in San Francisco before he got knocked out in Week II against Washington.
He has been cleared to return to play, that is the good news. What no one knows is, will his role be the same? Since Lacy suffered the concussion, James Starks and Johnathan Franklin ran for 132 yards a week later. Starks then suffered a knee injury against the Bengals. That means GB could go into the Detroit game running on the power of a pair of rookie RBs (Lacy and Franklin).
“Man, that would definitely be a blessing and hopefully an inspiration to a lot of people,” Franklin said Monday, when the Packers returned to work following their bye week. “We’ve just got to keep working. We can’t get caught up in the one-two punch or caught up in the rookie this or the rookie that. We’ve just got to get better. This is bigger than us. This is about the Green Bay Packers.”
The other good news for GB is they have a quarterback who has been through losing before.
GB went 1-2 last year too, before rebounding for a one-point victory at home against New Orleans in Week IIII.
In 2011, they absolutely decimated almost everybody, starting at 14-0 before falling at Kansas City in Week 14.
And in 2010, GB had lost 3 games by Week 7.
Rodgers knows what he is doing. I hope.
Green Bay is off to a 1-2 start. A 1-3 start is not exactly out of the question. Not when Detroit is next on the schedule.
“Thirteen straight (games) is going to be a grind for sure,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday during his weekly radio show on ESPN 540 in Milwaukee.
IF GB is going to have any chance of getting back into the win column vs Detroit, they are going to have to find some way of stopping Reggie Bush. And WR Calvin Johnson. And contain QB Matthew Stafford.
Bush is averaging 5.7 yards per rush between the tackles this year, fourth-best among running backs.
Bush had 13 interior rushes for 121 yards recently.
The other problem that Detroit will pose is they are playing to potential on all fronts. These Lions are appearing more legitimate by the week. They also have an offensive line that is blocking well for both the running and passing games.
Prediction: Rodgers will bounce back with a strong performance on Oct. 6 against the Detroit because that is what he usually does after a rare poor outing. Since becoming a starter in 2008, he has followed multiple-interception games by combining to throw 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions in his next outing.