The Pack is falling back after tough losses

Ross Litscher, Sports Editor

The Green Bay Packers fell to 3-3 on the season after a loss to the Jets on Oct. 16. But it wasn’t just the loss itself, it was how they lost. It was a 27-10 beatdown to a New York Jets team that on paper the Packers should be able to handle, especially in front of their home crowd at Lambeau Field.
Speaking of Lambeau Field, the loss to the Jets snapped a 15-game home winning streak at Lambeau Field in the regular season.
For yet another week, the Packers offense underperformed, gaining barely over 300 yards of offense, and scoring 14 points or fewer for the third time in six games. We’re at the point in the season where a 3-3 record has us right on the edge of playoff contention and right in the middle of the pack in the NFC, but if things don’t pick up soon then this season could soon become a forgettable one.
The position group that has gotten the most pressure from the media and the fans have been the wide receivers, something we all saw coming after Davante Adams left in free agency and speculation of this being Aaron Rodgers’ last season started to go around.
But I don’t think the offenses struggles are their fault, in fact I think the young receiving core is developing well and showing some real potential. Yes, there have been growing pains on the road to get chemistry with the future hall of famer Rodgers, but I still have hope that our receivers, especially rookie Romeo Doubs, will continue to get better as the season progresses.
Right now, the main issue with the offense is the lack of a running game. I do not believe that we are a team that is unable to run the ball, especially now that our offensive line is continuing to get healthier. Right now, we’re just not committed to it, and that falls on head coach Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich. I think LaFleur has done a great job as Packers head coach since he was hired in 2019, but this season is really going to test his ability to gameplan and make adjustments.
For starters, giving running back Aaron Jones only 12 touches in Sunday’s loss to the Jets isn’t helping the team at all. He is arguably our most versatile offensive player this year but has yet to have a game in 2022 with at least 20 touches, which is unacceptable to me and perfectly explains why the Packers are in the bottom 10 in the NFL in scoring. I believe this teams success starts with getting the running game established with Jones and AJ Dillon early in games, and getting Aaron Jones the ball in open space way more often.
I’m still very confident in the Packers’ defense this year. They held the Jets’ offense in check for the first two and a half quarters and held quarterback Zach Wilson to just 110 passing yards for the entire game.
In fact, other than struggling to contain Justin Jefferson of the Vikings in week 1, the Packers have held their ground for the most part, including an impressive showing against Tom Brady in week three, holding his Buccaneers’ offense to just 12 points.
In the last few weeks, they’ve let up in the second halves against both of the New York teams, but then again, it’s hard to hold your ground for an entire game when the offense can’t effectively score points or manage the clock.
Going back to the offense’s struggles, it’s an interesting debate whether the Packers’ front office should sign another receiver mid-season.
On the one hand you don’t want to ruin any chemistry that could be forming between Rodgers and this receiving core, but then again Rodgers’ second Super Bowl window is closing fast, and signing another receiver with veteran leadership wouldn’t necessarily stunt the growth of Lazard, who I think has done a great job in his first year as the No. 1 wide receiver, Doubs and Christian Watson, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury.
Injuries are another reason why GM Brian Gutekunst should make a move, as Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb have also dealt with injuries this year, although they are expected to return in the coming weeks.
Still, I believe looking into a free agent such as Odell Beckham Jr, DeSean Jackson or Will Fuller V would give the Packers some insurance and more offensive flexibility as the race in the wide open NFC tightens up.