Darren Woodson: ‘Ain’t Nobody Scared of the Packers’
By Jamie Wright
Dec 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers (82) runs past Detroit Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs (28) and middle linebacker Tahir Whitehead (59) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Packers win 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
The Green Bay Packers aren’t worried about what is circulating outside of their own lockeroom, nor should they be.
They will leave that tedious task to its faithful fan base.
Former Dallas Cowboy turned media analyst, Darren Woodson, was a feature on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday morning, and he had some very interesting insight on the current view of the Packers.
“Nobody is scared to go into Lambeau Field anymore. Nobody is scared to go in there and get a win. The Packers are not a team that scares anybody.”
Dec 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a hail mary during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Packers win 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
A harsh diatribe for a team that is just 5-years removed from a Lombardi Trophy. SuperBowl title aside, this Packers team still boasts an All-Pro, 2-time NFL MVP QB in Aaron Rodgers. This is the same team that was unstoppable at home in 2014, winning every contest. It’s the same team that hobbled into the playoffs and knocked off Dallas (the same team coming to Lambeau this week) and dominated the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game (for approximately 56 minutes).
What Woodson, and many other analysts are seeing in 2015, is a Green Bay Packers team with a whole bunch of accolades and not much follow-up.
This Packers offense is decimated.
Feature running back Eddie Lacy has battled an ankly injury, weight and off-field issues. Star WR Jordy Nelson won’t play a single meaningful snap in 2015, with an ACL tear. Randall Cobb has been banged up; at James Jones‘ age, he’s always going to be “banged up.”
Promising wideouts Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery have missed significant time with high ankle sprains. Jared Abbrederis hurt his shoulder just as his performance caught coaches attention. Andew Quarless has been on short-term IR and the entire offensive line has been limping in and out of each contest.
It’s been a bloodbath out there, each and every week. In 2010, the Packers placed 16 players on IR before making a run into the playoffs and winning the SuperBowl, against all the odds.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17). Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
This team doesn’t have the same look as it once did. It doesn’t truly look like it can sustain itself after so many injuries, so much loss.
Maybe after 2 straight home losses to the bottom dwelling NFC North rival Lions and Bears, the Lambeau Mystique has faded. Maybe the home winning streak ended and the home interception streak ended and the Packers haven’t been even close to as dominant at home as they once were.
But are we still the only ones who believe in this team? THIS team, the 2015, won-six-straight-but-lost-four-of-the-past-six-in-ugly-fashion- Green Bay Packers?
Yes, the Packers come into Sunday’s tilt with the Dallas Cowboys a favorite to win the game. Yes, the Vegas spread will give the Packers the edge because Tony Romo is out, Dez Bryant is still recovering from foot surgery and Matt Cassel has been consistently bad. But can we truly take away some pride from that stat line?
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) gets past Dallas Cowboys strong safety Barry Church (42) to score a touchdown in the third quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Woodson wasn’t speaking alone. In fact, according to an article on BleacherReport today, many AFC and NFC coaches, scouts and personnel guys have drawn the same conclusions about the current state of the Packers.
“Eddie Lacy is overweight and lacks burst.”
“YOU could cover Davante Adams.”
“The Packers probably have the slowest receiving corps in the league.”
How did we fall so far? At one time, not too long ago, this Packers passing attack was giving defensive coordinators nightmares. Much has changed, without much really changing.
If the Packers want to be true contenders in the post-season, they will need to find a way to shake this new, unflattering, persona.
They will have to find a way to regain their championship form and prove to all the naysayers out there that Aaron Rodgers still has what it takes, this team still has what it takes and that Lambeau Field is more than just a historic landmark to fill the stadium passports for opposing teams.