Will the Return of Greg Jennings Make Green Bay Packers the NFL's Best Offense?
Jennings will go through a run test Thursday, and if he passes he'll be given an opportunity to practice Friday...It's possible Jennings will go through the process this week, practice and then still be held out against Jacksonville Sunday.
Over the past four weeks, Aaron Rodgers has busted out for 16 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions, and he has been clicking with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones. Jones, in particular, has benefited from Jennings' absence, and he is now playing better than he ever has before.
This same unit struggled over the first three weeks of the season as Jennings was in and out of the lineup, and the offensive line wasn't blocking anyone.
Finding success through the air in the NFL is all about timing, rhythm and trust. The only way to develop those things is by putting in hours and hours of practice, and since the beginning of the season, that is the one thing that Jennings hasn't been able to do.
Jennings' ailing groin has taken him out of the loop, and though there's no doubt that Rodgers still has plenty of trust in him, the timing and rhythm are not there right now.
Of course I'm not suggesting that the Packers are better off without Jennings, but the fact of the matter is that this offense is bound to experience a few hiccups while reintroducing him into the lineup.
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What will become of Cobb and Jones? The two of them have caught 10 of the team's 20 total touchdown passes this season. When Jennings is reinserted into the starting lineup, will they be able to be as productive in lesser roles?
Jones, in particular, has a history of disappearing when he is not a big part of the game plan. As a starter this season, he has already matched his career-best touchdown total with seven, but if Jennings comes back to reclaim his starting spot opposite Nelson, there's a strong chance that Jones' production will take a nose dive.
By the time December rolls around, I expect the Packers to feature one of the best—if not the best—passing offenses in the NFL.
In the meantime, though, we will surely witness another period of difficulty, not unlike what we saw during the first few weeks of the season. The reason why Rodgers has caught fire the past few weeks is because he has gotten in sync with his receivers, and when Jennings returns to the starting lineup, he'll have to start all over again.
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