I remember high school — I was never striving for a C, you know? Let’s face it, it’s average, at best. Is this really what we are seeing from our beloved Green Bay Packers? Off to another disappointing, average 1-2 start?
According to the recent first quarter NFL grades, that is exactly what is happening.
I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize that we have seemed to have hit some (albeit large) bumps in the road. Yes, we are experiencing 2010-like injuries to our star players. Yes, our core positions are largely inhabited by rookies. Yes, our defense has faced some of the league’s toughest offenses and our offense has been harassed by top-tier defenses.
The C must stand for Challenged.
This Packers squad has been battle-tested for three straight weeks. Off-season workouts, training camp and pre-season games were clouded by an imminent week one foe. We were challenged to take back our dignity and our dashed Super Bowl hopes, left lying at Candlestick Park in the wake of the “Kap Attack.”
We were challenged by the deficiencies at backup quarterback, challenged by the injury bug that ravaged our secondary and stalled our offensive line flip. Our green left tackle has been continuously challenged with the league’s best pass rushers, and our $130 million quarterback has already been tossed to the ground 17 gut-wrenching times.
The C must stand for Changing.
This Packers squad has been changing its identity from draft day. This pass-first high-flying offense is trying to achieve balance, taking two running backs in the draft and committing to challenging opposing teams’ front seven.
Flipping our offensive line from left to right, developing our defense into a run-stopping machine, changing into a physical, hungry football team and leaving our “soft” persona way behind. Cautious, read-option pass rush in two of three games has still generated seven sacks, and five takeaways have come from our debilitated defense.
Our run game has seen a 100-plus-yard rusher in all but one game, ending a drought dating back to the days of Brandon Jackson.
The Green and Gold is dynamic and change is good.
If it’s not your thing, cling to our best stable attribute: Aaron Rodgers isn’t going anywhere. Yes, this team is transitioning and change takes time. I prefer to look at this grade as more of a progress report and if all of these positives grade out to an average C, then I am very excited about our post-bye week quest for an A.