The Packers now enter a much-needed bye week in Week 4. They'll likely use this week to attempt to get healthy and prepare for the rest of the season.
Here, we'll break down a few things you need to know heading into Week 4, including updated division standings, an injury report and what needs to improve from here on out.
|Chicago Bears||3-0||@ Detroit Lions|
|Detroit Lions||2-1||vs. Chicago Bears|
|Green Bay Packers||1-2||Bye Week|
|Minnesota Vikings||0-3||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers|
With Sunday's loss, the Packers have fallen two games behind the Chicago Bears for the top spot in the NFC North. The Bears have a chance to expand that lead even further with a win over the Detroit Lions in Week 4. If the Lions win, however, they will move into first place in the division.
The good news for Green Bay is that the Minnesota Vikings are continuing to lose, which is keeping the Packers out of the cellar of the NFC North. With the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town, it's possible the Vikings will enter Week 5 without a win.
While the season is still young, it's clear the NFC North is going to be quite the exciting division this year.
The injury bug hit the Packers hard in their Week 3 loss to the Bengals.
Injury review from Sunday-Clay Matthews (hamstring), James Starks (knee), Jermichael Finley (concussion), Johnathan Franklin (foot) #Packers— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 23, 2013
The injuries to Clay Matthews, James Starks and Johnathan Franklin don't seem too serious, but the same can't be said about Jermichael Finley's concussion. After taking a big hit, Finley got up and staggered around a bit before falling back to the ground.
Losing Finley for an extended period of time could be a huge loss for the Packers offense. Neither Andrew Quarless nor Ryan Taylor was overly impressive as Finley's replacement in Week 3.
With so many significant injuries, the bye week couldn't have come at a more ideal time for the Packers. They'll need the extra time off to get as healthy as possible for the remainder of the season.
If the Packers can get key players healthy heading into Week 5, they should be poised for a big run late in the season.
What Must Improve
Simply put, the play of left tackle David Bakhtiari is what needs to improve.
In Week 3, Bakhtiari finished with the fourth-worst grade among offensive tackles, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). As you can see below, Bakhtiari was simply dominated throughout the game.
Searching for explanation for Packers loss? Cincy DE Michael Johnson vs. Packers LT David Bakhtiari = 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 QB hits.— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) September 22, 2013
In three games, Bakhtiari has given up five quarterback hurries and three sacks. He's done a horrific job at protecting Aaron Rodgers through the first three games of the season.
Even worse is the fact that the rest of the offensive line has been playing well. Every single other member of the Packers offensive line finished Week 3 with a positive grade.
If the Packers truly want a chance to be competitive this year, Rodgers can't be under constant pressure from his blind side. Bakhtiari's play absolutely needs to improve.