Positives and negatives from the Green Bay Packers’ Week 14 victory against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Packers finally got a win in the first game of the post-Mike McCarthy era.
Here are some positives and negatives from the loss:
The Packers offense still needs a new offensive mind who has some creativity to his name. Joe Philbin makes for an experienced, logical interim, but the Packers are still an entire offensive staff away from being a well-rounded offense.
Against the Falcons, they finally had themselves a performance where they were able to play with a certain level of consistency from play to play. Aaron Rodgers seemed a bit more light on his feet and a bit more confident as the offense slowly rounded into form.
While still not at the level it needs to be for the unit to be among the elite in the NFC, it is already clear how much Mike McCarthy was holding back the offense.
It wouldn’t be a Packers season without numerous season-ending injuries. So far, Byron Bell, Mike Daniels, Muhammad Wilkerson, Jake Ryan, Nick Perry, and Ibraheim Campbell have all been placed on injured reserve. The Packers simply can’t go a single season without all kinds of terrible injuries that hamper the progress of the team.
Green Bay will not be able to make the playoffs unless an insane streak of results go their way. In all likelihood, the injuries to the team have again prevented the Packers from being able to play to their true capabilities. The team needs to begin drafting more durable players that were not injury-prone in college.
Positive: Randall Cobb
Randall Cobb can still do some damage when healthy. He has only played in seven games this season, but in each one he was instrumental. Against the Bears on opening night, Cobb outran the Bears for a career-high in receiving yards.
While Cobb doesn’t provide the offense with any speed whatsoever, the Packers still are better with him on the field.
Cobb must stay healthy if the Packers want to make a run down the stretch. Davante Adams has been the offense’s only consistent receiver all year, but Cobb can provide Aaron Rodgers with a true number two receiver if healthy.
The Packers likely won’t bring back Randall Cobb after the season on a new contract, but the offense still needs him on the field.
Negative: 2015 draft class
It has been three years since one of the worst draft classes in years. No one on the entire draft class has contributed to the entire team overall. Jake Ryan is the only player from the class still on the roster, and he of course is on injured reserve.
The Packers roster has not gotten a single infusion of talent from that draft, which has continued to cripple them trying to round out a competitive roster.
The Packers had been heralded as an organization that was among the best drafters in the NFL. In recent memory, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They have become one of the most overrated organizations in all of sports, and firing Mike McCarthy is the first of many steps towards fixing that reality.
Positive: Aaron Jones
Joe Philbin understands that Aaron Jones is his best running back. Mike McCarthy didn’t. In a draft where the Packers passed on Alvin Kamara merely to draft Josh Jones, they were fortunate to find Jones late in the draft.
The Packers are desperate for balance in their offense. Jamaal Williams is a nice depth option to have, but he is not going to be able to be any sort of bell cow for the running game in the future. Green Bay appears to have finally gotten themselves a running back that they can give the ball to consistently in the future.
Negative: Jaire Alexander
Much has been made of the rookie season that Jaire Alexander is having so far. However, Julio Jones and several other receivers have more or less had their way with Alexander in recent weeks.
He has all the physical tools necessary to be an elite corner in the NFL, but certain consistency issues remain with Alexander.
Alexander talks up a pretty big game on the field. So far, he has mostly backed it up. The Packers so badly need to find a cornerback who can start on the field from play to play given how bad their secondary has been in recent years.
Alexander has the confidence to play the position well, but his recent play hasn’t been as convincing.