Green Bay Packers: 5 Reasons Why Packers Still Shouldn't Hit "Panic" Button
Certainly, this is not the same league-dominating 15-1 team that everyone was used to seeing last season. The Packers show many signs of inconsistency on both sides of the ball. This is not what was expected from the team that was predicted by many to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at season's end.
However, the three losses they have suffered this season should not constitute the pressing of the "panic" button just yet. There are a few positives that the Packers can hold on to and use to get back on track.
Here are five reasons why the Packers should hold off on pushing the "panic" button.
5. Still Early
Week 5 is coming to a close, meaning it is only the second week of October, meaning it is still early in the NFL season. A 2-3 record is a little surprising for a Super Bowl favorite. However, it is only one game under .500 with still 11 games to go.
The last two Super Bowl Champions—Green Bay being one of them—did not win more than 10 games in the regular season. The Packers of 2010 and New York Giants of last season won their last two games of the regular season to squeak their way into the playoffs.
That goes to show: It is not how you start, but how you finish.
4. Faced Top Defenses
Yet, they have still managed to put up 22 points a game. Not bad when you are facing the stingiest defenses the league has to offer.
Yes, the offense has looked out of sync and their running game is non-existent, but how much of that is due to the defenses they have played? The answer is much of it.
Let's see how the offense executes as the season progresses before we say it has lost its firepower.
3. The Road Gets Easier
The Packers have had to face the two toughest defenses in the league in Week 1 and 2, and then they had to travel to Seattle and the "12th man" on Monday Night Football.
There is no doubt that is a tough way to start off a season. However, the schedule gets a little lighter as the season goes on. The combined record of the opponents they have left to face is 31-22.
Five of those games are against division opponents, which they have owned since Aaron Rodgers took over as starter. Since 2008, the Packers are 19-6 against division opponents.They are already 1-0 in the division this season.
We will have to wait and see how the Packers play against weaker opponents before they can be counted out.
2. Team Has Faced Adversity Before
Many would say the Packers backs are against the wall. They face the undefeated Houston Texans in Houston on Sunday night.
RB Cedric Benson and TE Jermichael Finley statuses are unknown, WR Greg Jennings is out indefinitely with a groin injury and their defense is struggling to stop anybody.
Count Green Bay out if you want, but this team knows adversity. It placed 16 players on injured reserve—Finley being one of them—en route to its Super Bowl in 2010. It also lost its two veteran playmakers in the first half of the Super Bowl with CB Charles Woodson and WR Donald Driver going down.
In midst of all of that, the Packers walked off the field as Super Bowl champions. This team is led by veterans and remarkable playmakers such as Woodson and LB Clay Matthews, so righting the ship is very much possible.
1. QB Is Reigning MVP
Until further notice, the Packers have the reigning regular season MVP on their roster with Rodgers.
So far, he is not having the extraordinary season he had a year ago, but he is still putting up top-tier statistics. Rodgers is currently top five among quarterbacks in completion percentage and touchdowns, despite facing some of the most ball-hawking defenses in the league.
Only two of their remaining opponents have defenses that are in the top 10 in passing yards allowed. Rodgers and the offense have a solid chance to kill teams with their aerial attack the rest of the way.
Rodgers has never really had a running game to accompany him, so not having one this season will not stop him. However, one thing he will need is proper protection from his offensive line. Rodgers is currently the second most sacked QB in the league and is taking unnecessary hits.
If he gets that protection, there is no question that Rodgers will lead the Pack back to the promise land.