Green Bay Packers: 7 Reasons Not to Panic
The Green Bay Packers went 15-1 last season before losing to the Giants in the NFC playoffs. The Packers played great football and had one of the best offenses in recent history. Packer fans were treated to an amazing year (until the playoffs).
This year has been a little different. The Packers had more losses after Week 3 than they had in the whole season last year (if you count the "Fail Mary" debacle as a loss).
While the Packers may not look like the Packers of recent history, have no fear, Cheeseheads and Sconnies, there is no reason to panic.
Here are seven reasons why.
1. 'A-Rodg' Is Back
The first reason that Packer fans should breathe easy? Aaron Rodgers.
He was up to his old tricks Sunday, putting up more than 300 yards passing and four touchdowns with just one interception after throwing only three touchdown passes in the first three games.
The Green Bay offense lives and dies on the arms and legs of "A-Rodg.'' If No. 12 has enough time to get the ball away, something great will happen.
While he may have looked like an impostor in the first few weeks, he certainly looks like he's back to his former MVP self. With that, fans can take a deep breath and relax.
2. An Actual Running Game!
Another reason that Packer fans have nothing to sweat is the running game.
Last year, the Packers had James Starks and Ryan Grant sharing most of the workload on the ground and never really had a consistent rushing attack. Rodgers and the high-powered receiving corps were able to make up for the lack of a running game.
This year, it looks like Rodgers might have help out of the backfield. While the new addition Cedric Benson hasn't looked like a 1,000-yard rusher yet, he's offering the Packers enough of a threat to distract defenses from Rodgers and the receivers.
This season, when Benson gets at least 18 carries, the Packers win.
Fear not, Packer fans! With an experienced and productive back, the Packers will hang around in the postseason.
3. James Jones Can Catch
James Jones is the third reason the Packers have nothing to worry about this season.
Over the last few seasons, Jones has become notorious for dropping big passes and not being able to make big plays.
This season, it looks like Jones is ready to become a big part of the Packers offense. Already this season, he has 16 receptions after hauling in only 38 passes all of last year. Jones has had more than 50 yards receiving in three of the first four games.
Along with Jones, the rest of the receiving corps is starting to pick up their play. We saw Jermichael Finley make a few big plays Sunday, and Jordy Nelson found the end zone for the first time this season.
4. Should Be 3-1
Whether you're a Packer fan or not, you have to agree that the Packers were cheated out of a win against the Seahawks in the "Fail Mary" debacle.
Even though the Packers played a terrible game for the most part, they were still making big plays when they needed to (including a game-ending interception).
Without the loss to the replacement refs and the Seattle Seahawks, the Packers would be sitting 3-1 right now.
So things aren't as bad as they look on paper. This early in the season, 3-1 is a lot better than 2-2.
5. Friendly Schedule
While the Packers have already had close games, the rest of their schedule is a little more friendly.
Packer fans shouldn't sweat this 2-2 start because there are some good matchups coming.
Next week, the Packers take on the young Indianapolis Colts, who are 1-2 and are giving up a lot of passing and rushing yards. Coming off their win against the Saints, this game comes along at just the right time for the Packers.
The remaining Packers schedule also includes games against Jacksonville, St. Louis, Arizona, and Tennessee, along with their NFC North rivals in a season in which the division seems to be not as strong as in years past.
6. McCarthy Is Making Plays
Reason No. 6 is simply Mike McCarthy. He is one of the NFL's best coaches who has been known for his conservative approach on offense.
In the past, most Packer drives followed this simple pattern: Run on first down, run or take a shot downfield on second down, a draw or pass on third down and a punt on fourth down.
This season, however, McCarthy has been willing to take more risks. We saw the fake field goal for a touchdown in Week 2 on a 4th-and-20 play, which surprised everyone (especially the Bears). Last week, we saw the Packers call and convert a fake punt on a crucial 4th-and-1.
That McCarthy and the Packers coaches are taking these big risks and making these huge, game-changing plays has to be reassuring to Packer fans.
McCarthy looks like he'll do anything to help the Packers find a victory.
7. They've Been There Before
My final reason is also simple: They're the Packers.
The Packers are a close team. GM Ted Thompson has kept most of the roster together for a long time. These guys know how to play and how to win as a team.
Last season, they went 15-1 with an underachieving defense. The Packers are all about making more big plays than the opponent. Heck, they could still end up 14-2.
Just look at the Packers' Super Bowl season. When they won the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2010 season, they started 3-3.
Could 2012 have the same result?
So there you go, Packer fans, there's nothing to worry about. Your team will be just fine. We are only a quarter of the way through the season, after all.
Let me know what you think about the Packers.
Thanks for reading!
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