It’s a philosophical point as much as it is a football matter: At what point is the offense of the Green Bay Packers no longer the dominant, elite unit to which we’ve grown accustom?
More specifically, what’s missing that is causing the offense to sputter against the Jaguars, one of the league’s least intimidating defenses?
As I predicted in the week 8 game preview, the offense did not function well as Aaron Rodgers didn’t have either of his go-to-receivers. As though you didn’t already know, those receivers are Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings.
No one can say definitely whether Nelson’s absence was the cause of the many short drives the Packers experienced Sunday. However, 19 catches for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns went through Nelson his last two games. To expect normal effectiveness after that production is cut out without an adequate replacement is just an unrealistic expectation.
Coach Mike McCarthy said that Nelson was almost ready this past Sunday, so the Packers will likely perform better this week against the Cardinals. That’s only part of the solution, however.
As Ray Rivard touched upon earlier, Greg Jennings’ sports hernia surgery has been delayed as a result of Hurricane Sandy. It’s now expected that this will end up costing Jennings another game as he recovers.
That’s an additional week that the Packers are a Nelson injury away from reverting to the form they displayed against the Jaguars. In the rough NFC playoff picture, that’s not something they can afford.