The Green Bay Packers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-20 on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers passed for 325 yards and 2 touchdowns. Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught 4 balls for 149 yards, which included a 78-yard touchdown reception. Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith (Yes, a Preston Smith sighting), and Rashan Gary all had a sack apiece. Adrian Amos had an interception. So why in the hell does it feel like the Packers were the losers?
Perhaps it was because of the punt return for a touchdown, given up by Green Bay’s special teams? Maybe it was because of the early lack of pressure on a rookie quarterback in Jake Luton? Oh, it might’ve been the inability to stop James Robinson from running all over them? (23 rushes, 109 yards, with 2 touchdown runs called back because of holding. Yikes.) Or maybe, just maybe, it was the lack of “juice” on display by the Packers, once again. The same lackadaisical attitude that cost Green Bay a game to the Minnesota Vikings a couple weeks ago.
Give Jacksonville some credit here. They came into Lambeau, confident they had the blueprint to beat the Packers and nearly did so. They were physical on both lines of scrimmage, got a huge special teams play, had two leads, and still had an opportunity to win the game late. This is everything you’d want as a road underdog, yet, it still wasn’t enough to get the victory. The Packers found a way to win, albeit, ugly.
There is absolutely NO reason the Packers should have struggled this mightily, against a 1-7 squad on a 7-game losing streak. None. There are no valid reasons the same weaknesses that bit them in the ass against tougher competition, should have reared its ugly head against inferior competition. Yes, they found a way to win, but they shouldn’t have HAD to.
The Packers made a wall out of Jacksonville and nearly crashed into it. There is much tougher competition coming down the road (like Indianapolis in Week 11). Having no juice, being controlled at the line of scrimmage, and making games tougher than need be, isn’t the best recipe for sustained success. It definitely isn’t a good look for a supposed “contender.”
The Packers won the game, but they will be the losers in the long run if THIS is the way they go about business. You’ll take them however you can get them, but you won’t be getting many when it matters most, in this current form. Build bridges and roll over teams, not walls and crash into them.