The Green Bay Packers are on their way to having an undefeated season.
If the offense wasn’t so explosive, some of their wins could have easily been losses. From an offensive standpoint, losing Greg Jennings could help other weapons having more targets. It’s hard to put your finger on who exactly will benefit the most from having a bigger role in the offense. Other teams around the league would love to have a problem with so many solutions.
Aaron Rodgers has carried the team. Chemistry between his receiving corps is easily noticed. He is averaging 9.4 yards per pass and has thrown 39 touchdowns to six interceptions. This isn’t due to his talent primarily, but having a deep roster of quality receivers has helped.
If you can be as accurate with the ball as Rodgers is, you can adapt to your receivers tendencies easier than a guy with a cannon for an arm.
While Greg Jennings is usually in the spotlight; the receivers in Green Bay make it very hard for a defense playing man or zone. Then a defensive coordinator has to identify when they are going to use Jermichael Finley in the slot or even as a decoy to open everything up downfield.
If they put a linebacker who has no true secondary zone defensive skills on him, the Packers offense capitalizes quickly using Jennings.
Will Jennings's loss effect the chance at an undefeated season?
Jennings' injury could end up being a blessing in disguise for the team in the future. Rodgers has enough weapons to keep a defense guessing whose day it will be. While people were thinking a year ago, “who is Jordy Nelson?” we have seen that he is a taller Wes Welker type. It’s likely that Jennings will be out at least until the start of the playoffs.
Having a bye will only give him more time to recover and Nelson can even get better in his absence.
Jordy Nelson has been a spark early and late in games. He has been targeted about 30 percent less than Jennings so those numbers should jump as well as other young standouts like the speedy Randal Cobb.
He has been a small piece of the offense but has shown instincts in the return game. The league has scores of players who were kick-return standouts that were also utilized as receivers. The blueprint doesn’t always pan out, but Cobb has shown to be developing skills of a possession receiver.
In all but one game Cobb has averaged double digit yards-per-reception. That’s a deceptive statistic though, because he only has 19 receptions. The Packers have been looking to get Cobb into the offense and the injury has created that out of necessity.
The Packers were injury prone last year, but players stepped up and learned on the fly, game-by-game. When the Packers enter the playoffs, they could have even better receivers from an overall skill and depth standpoint than before.
If the Packers end up losing some games before the season’s end, it might not all be in vain if a young star ends up getting hot in the post season.