Have Rodgers and the Packers turned a corner in postseason pursuit?


Green Bay snapped a five-game skid with a 31-28 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys and in so doing avoided a first six-game losing streak in over three decades (1991); watch Titans @ Packers on Thursday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL at 1.15am, Friday morning

Last Updated: 17/11/22 5:46pm

Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones celebrate during the Green Bay Packers' 31-28 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10 Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones celebrate during the Green Bay Packers' 31-28 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10

Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones celebrate during the Green Bay Packers’ 31-28 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10

The Green Bay Packers have been one of the biggest disappointments – if not the biggest – in the NFL this season, sitting 4-6 through 10 weeks.

But, does Green Bay’s 31-28 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys (6-3) on Sunday hint to the team having turned a corner? The Packers still trail some 4.5 games behind the Minnesota Vikings (8-1) in the NFC North, but in terms of a Wild Card playoff berth, the San Francisco 49ers (5-5) are only 1.5 games ahead currently occupying the seventh and final seed in the conference.

November 18, 2022, 12:00am

Live on

The Packers snapped a five-game skid with their impressive comeback win over the Cowboys – the first team in NFL history to beat Dallas when trailing by 14 entering the fourth quarter – and in so doing avoided suffering a first six-game losing streak in over three decades (1991), spanning the tenures of Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

Green Bay Packers 2022 season

Week Opponent Result
One @ Minnesota Vikings L 7-23
Two vs Chicago Bears W 27-10
Three @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 14-12
Four vs New England Patriots W 27-24 (OT)
Five vs New York Giants (London) L 22-27
Six vs New York Jets L 10-27
Seven @ Washington Commanders L 21-23
Eight @ Buffalo Bills L 17-27
Nine @ Detroit Lions L 9-15
Ten vs Dallas Cowboys W 31-28 (OT)

Rodgers is the two-time reigning league MVP, and a four-time winner of the award, but the 38-year-old has been at the heart of Green Bay’s struggles in 2022, averaging a career-low 231.5 passing yards.

Highlights of the Dallas Cowboys against the Green Bay Packers from Week 10 of the NFL season

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Dallas Cowboys against the Green Bay Packers from Week 10 of the NFL season

Highlights of the Dallas Cowboys against the Green Bay Packers from Week 10 of the NFL season

Rodgers was improved in Week 10, registering season highs in touchdown passes (3) and passer rating (146.7), while the team also topped 30 points for the first time in 2022, prompting head coach Matt LaFleur to say the veteran QB played his best game of the year “by far”.

Some are yet to be completely convinced, however. Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms said on NBC’s Pro Football Talk (Sky Sports NFL, weekdays, 6pm): “I don’t think they totally trust Rodgers.

“They don’t trust that he’s going to make the plays that are there.

“I know he had a good game last week, but he’s not played good this year. It’s a little bit like the Tom Brady conversation; people don’t really want to say it, but it’s the truth.”

Simms added: “I’m not sold on this Green Bay offense by any stretch of the imagination.

A look at some of the biggest blunders that led to Rodgers and the Packers' five-game losing run

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

A look at some of the biggest blunders that led to Rodgers and the Packers’ five-game losing run

A look at some of the biggest blunders that led to Rodgers and the Packers’ five-game losing run

“They made some plays the other day, ran the ball fantastic. But I’m not ready to say they’re fixed yet, just because they ran the ball and got a few one-on-one shots with Christian Watson.”

Watson was certainly one of the bright spots from the Cowboys win, with the rookie receiver tallying four catches for 107 yards and three receiving touchdowns – his first in the NFL.

The second-round draft pick from North Dakota State had only 10 catches for 88 yards all season before his coming out game, including a bad drop for what would have been a certain touchdown in their season-opener against the Vikings.

“I think Christian Watson made one of the biggest statements of the weekend,” Simms said. “Have Green Bay finally got something here?

Dante Hall and Avery Williamson discuss rookie Christian Watson's three touchdowns for the Green Bay Packers against Dallas Cowboys

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Dante Hall and Avery Williamson discuss rookie Christian Watson’s three touchdowns for the Green Bay Packers against Dallas Cowboys

Dante Hall and Avery Williamson discuss rookie Christian Watson’s three touchdowns for the Green Bay Packers against Dallas Cowboys

“Can Rodgers now feel comfortable to push the pull down the field? This guy can fly. I loved him in the draft.

“He’s big, physical, and he can really run – as we saw. There’s really not going to be many people in football who can run with this guy.”

While Watson’s breakout game can only be a positive, especially for a green receiver room that has sorely missed the production of All-Pro Davante Adams – who left via trade for the Las Vegas Raiders in the offseason – it has actually been the Packers’ run game that has stepped up in recent weeks.

Aaron Jones returned 138 rushing yards, and one TD, off 24 carries in the win over the Cowboys, his fourth 100-yard rushing game this season – compared to tallying that many combined over the 2020 and 2021 campaigns – while the team have rushed for 200-plus yards in two of their past three games (at the Buffalo Bills in Week Eight and against Dallas).

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (L) has a career high 966 scrimmage yards through 10 weeks Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (L) has a career high 966 scrimmage yards through 10 weeks

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (L) has a career high 966 scrimmage yards through 10 weeks

Jones’ 966 scrimmage yards through 10 weeks is also a career high, while he can move into third place on the team’s career rushing list with a big game on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. The 27-year-old currently has 4,901 career rushing yards, with John Brockington’s 5,024 within striking distance.

What does not help Jones and the Packers’ run game, however, is the visit of the Titans’ second-ranked rush defense. Tennessee give up just 85.1 yards per game to the run this season, second only to the 49ers’ 82.7.

“The run game and the Packers’ offense have been one of the best things going in the NFL over the last few weeks,” Simms said. “But now it’s the clash of the Titans, literally. Because the Titans’ [defensive] line, you simply can’t move some of those guys they have there.

“They did it against Buffalo, but it was the fourth quarter and they were in pass defense mode. Plus, we’ve seen lately that Buffalo’s run defense isn’t quite what we thought it was – it’s kind of all over the place.

“What they did against Dallas was special, but they’re a small defense, the Cowboys. I think it was a favourable match-up.

Watch the top plays of 2022 from Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch the top plays of 2022 from Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry

Watch the top plays of 2022 from Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry

“That’s where this game [against the Titans] is interesting. Rodgers and the team want to run the ball and be really efficient in the passing game… well, they might not be able to run the ball – at all.

“That might mean that Rodgers has to drop back and throw the ball against a team that can rush the passer really well and can play really good pass defense.

“You’ve got to think that Green Bay have a little more confidence [after the Cowboys win]. But I’m certainly not going to say it’s all fixed. [Rodgers] looking at the rush and being too conservative is still an issue there.”

Watch the Tennessee Titans at the Green Bay Packeers on Thursday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.15am on Friday

Source


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *