Packers: Turnovers need to stop derailing offensive momentum
By David Ruiz
Turnovers in the NFL have withstood the test of time in creating momentum that teams have turned into points.
Or at least a self-inflicted turnover has seen teams weather the storm and return to normalcy once getting the ball back.
But for the Green Bay Packers, turning the ball over has doomed them through four weeks this 2022 season.
Turnovers are causing offensive havoc
The Packers have suffered from momentum swings from the word go when Christian Watson dropped a would-be touchdown on the first play from scrimmage back in Week 1.
Now, every team turns the ball over, it’s a part of football life, but when the Packers turn over the ball it comes in key situations.
In their Week 2 contest against the Chicago Bears at home, the two division rivals went head-to-head in a game that may not have seemed close by looking at the score alone but were anything but a runaway at Lambeau Field.
With the Packers leading 24-10 during the third quarter, Aaron Rodgers was sacked and fumbled at the Chicago 33-yard line, giving the Bears hope.
The Packers defense forced a turnover on downs and the offense only managed to put up three points in the final 20 minutes of the second half. Even with Chicago being a work-in-progress, the term “any given Sunday” exists for a reason.
The Packers are being derailed heavily on offense after a turnover and relying on the defense to bail them out time and time again.
So far, they have.
Week 3 featured the battle of Bays — and GOATs — as Rodgers and Co. visited Tom Brady in Tampa Bay for an early NFC powerhouse showdown. Green Bay had dropped the previous two meetings against the Bucs but looked poised to put a fleeting offense to bed on the road.
For the first time this season, the Green Bay offense looked fully in sync moving the ball against an efficient Tampa Bay defense to jump out to a 14-3 lead. With the Packers moving the ball at will into the Tampa Bay red zone, sure-handed running back Aaron Jones was popped and fumbled near the goal line which would’ve made the score 21-3 in the first half.
A potential first-half dagger looked potentially promising, but following the Jones fumble, the Packers offense would go on to score …nothing.
Nada. Zilch. Nothing.
The Packers’ offense never even came close to sniffing the end zone again for the remaining 30 minutes in the second half.
Surely, it wouldn’t happen again, would it?
Fast-forward to Week 4 with the visiting New England Patriots, and watch one more time as the Packers offense struggled to move the ball following a Romeo Doubs fumble.
In perhaps one of the worst halves of football that Rodgers has played in, the Packers’ offense looked lifeless against Bill Belichick’s defense that screamed trap game louder and louder following their quarterback woes.
Despite scoring a touchdown on their second possession following the Doubs fumble, the cherry on top came when Rodgers threw a Pick-6 to Patriots CB Jack Jones that put them in a first-half deficit, 10-7.
Rodgers threw for a measly 44 yards with a passer rating of 11.2.
Is there a way to fix the offense moving forward following a turnover?
The short answer? Yes.
Keep in mind this is an offense that is still finding its footing in terms of receiving. Short-term memory and the next play will be the mindset as Doubs, Watson and others make strides in a Davante Adams-less world in Green Bay.
With so much pressure to remain a prolific passing attack, there’s already a weight over Green Bay and turnovers seem to multiply it by the 100s.
Rodgers will continue to air it out and what we get is going to make or break the season in 2022.
At least the defense is winning games, right?