With apologies to the great Vince Lombardi, it appears winning is NOT the only thing. How you win seems to be equally, if not more, important. The hard-core “Rodgers has never been properly supported” people easily look past mistakes they don’t want to talk about and make-up narratives that are debunked in front of everyone’s eyes, every Sunday. The facts are pretty self-explanatory. The Packers are indeed 3-1 and sit tied atop the NFC North. They are back up to 4 in the NFL Power Rankings, 5 slots ahead of a 3-1 Minnesota team that destroyed them in Week 1. They are 7th in the league in rushing and 2nd in the league for “explosive plays” (whatever the hell that is). They are exactly in the middle of the pack for total passing yards. They are 7th in team defense. Gone are the days of Rodgers to Adams and the hell with everyone else. That dog just wouldn’t hunt anymore. Here to stay are the days of establish the line of scrimmage…control the clock….run the football and then the run sets up the pass….throw it to whomever is open and throw it on time…and play enough D to win the week. I, for one, am happy to see the Pack finally running LeFleur’s offense…but I’m not sure everyone is as happy as I am.
It was astonishing to see that not only were a lot of people not celebrating last Sunday’s win, it appears they’d actually rather lose their way than win LeFleur’s way. It is hard to wrap my head around that. Allen Lazard had an excellent game, with really good receiving numbers, and did his usual amazing job of blocking from the WR position and was the veteran leader the Packer’s need him to be. He got next to no credit. Why? Because every 116-yard game he has, shoots holes in the “we can’t possibly win without Adams” theories. On the surface, they are disappointed Doubs couldn’t complete his catch for a TD, but deep down inside it feeds the “see, I told ya so” narrative they cling to like grim death. I just don’t get it. In the NFL, a W is a W. There is a finite number of games and getting a win gets you closer to an invitation to the playoffs and you can’t win a Super Bowl unless you are in the playoffs.
And now the Pack jet off to the UK to play a not-so-good 3-1 Giants team that is almost as light in the QB department as the team they beat last week. Can the Packers play better than they have? One would assume so. Life after Adams is obviously a work in progress and even though none of the games thus far are winning any awards, aside from the Week 1 drubbing at the hands of the Vikings, the Pack has played pretty well. The dual-threat RB set has been relatively successful. The new additions to the WR corps look to be catching on. Rashan Gary has been as disruptive as any edge rusher in the league, and the Special Teams looks to be at least a little better on the surface. The next phase of one of the cornerstone organizations in all of sports, looks to be once again on the right track. Why does it seem so quiet?
I wonder what the number is that the Pack need to get to before the skeptics say “this may actually be working”? The Pack play the Giants in Timbuktu, then the woeful J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets in Lambeau and then travel to DC to take on an equally horrible Commanders team who will likely have benched Carson Wentz by then. Three very winnable games. They sit poised to enter Week 8 with a 6-1 record when they travel to Buffalo when they will likely be an underdog for the first time in 6 weeks. Or they could be scuffling having lost some winnable games which would make them a major dog in Buffalo and the haters will have been having a field day. Only time will tell, but I am cautiously optimistic that the 6-1 record will be a reality and then they see where they really stand when they face Josh Allen. Win or lose, they will undoubtedly be a better version of what they currently are…and that current version ain’t too bad. Have a little patience…have a little understanding…have a little faith.
To the “Rodgers don’t have any WRs” contingent, Tom Brady won a fistful of rings throwing 7 yard passes to James White, running the ball and playing D. Spreading the ball around really does work. Winning games by actually asking your QB to do less is not only possible, it is preferred. AR12 does not need to save the franchise every time he takes the field. He does not need to pull a rabbit out of his helmet on every play. He just needs to make the right reads and deliver the ball on time when he throws. And that, unfortunately, is pretty much a 180 of how he lives his life. It’s like he believes that the best way to make sure they talk about him is by dressing up like Nick Cage as opposed to winning a Super Bowl. And if Nick Cage is your objective, so be it, I personally could care less, just be a true leader. MAKE these guys around you better. Show them you believe in them. Then the catches and TDs take care of themselves. Let’s get back to celebrating wins and not tearing into guys wearing the Packer colors because you believe they aren’t good enough to help a 3 time MVP win games. They are, and they always have been. And they’ll make mistakes and make incredible plays and reality lies somewhere in the gray area between a TD and a TO.
This Sunday I’ll be cheering for the Packers….the whole team. You should too!