Coming off a loss to a struggling Las Vegas Raiders team before heading into their bye week, the Green Bay Packers, in only their second game in 21 days, suffered a crushing loss to the Denver Broncos.
With extra time to prepare for a bottom two overall defense in the NFL that surrendered 70 points to the Miami Dolphins earlier in the season, this was primed to be a "get-right" game for Green Bay.
Unfortunately, the injuries continued to pile on, pass protection was a swinging gate, and the defense arguably went backward in their progress towards slowing down an opponent's rushing attack. The words "lethargic" and "unprepared" sufficiently describe the Packers' Week 7 output.
Very little went right for Green Bay outside of Jayden Reed's unbelievable touchdown catch on a ball that slipped through Romeo Doubs' hands, or Doubs muscling a touchdown catch away from Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II. Despite the team's struggles, a few players look more like true gamers as the season progresses.
Here are three standouts and three duds from the Packers' 19-17 loss to the Broncos.
Standout: Zach Tom
The Packers' struggles along the offensive line came from everyone except for right tackle Zach Tom.
Only Tom and center Josh Myers, who left early with an injury, didn't allow a pressure against Denver. According to Pro Football Focus, Tom's 84.1 PFF grade was third among all tackles in WeeK 7.
That grade would lead all Packers offensive players in the game and move Tom up to PFF's No. 9 overall offensive tackle this season. Despite some ups and downs, the second-year product out of Wake Forest is cementing himself as a permanent fixture in Green Bay's offensive line that is desperately searching for consistency.
Tom also played snaps at center in the game, relieving Josh Myers, who left with an injury. Without allowing a pressure and with having played the position in college, the Packers may decide to roll with Tom at center. He took snaps there during training camp, and with the offensive line struggling to find cohesion, the Packers may try to shake up their front. Yosh Nijman may spell Tom at right tackle, Tom slides down to center, and a new face might slot in for struggling right guard Jon Runyan Jr.
Dud: Elgton Jenkins
Staying with the offensive line, it's surprising to see Elgton Jenkins struggling to find the form that would award him a four-year contract extension in Green Bay last December.
With David Bakhtiari out, the Packers need Jenkins to be their rock along the offensive line. But against Denver, his performance was littered with missed blocks and a devastating holding penalty towards the end of the game.
Jenkins allowed two pressures on Sunday, and his 2023 season is quickly trending in the wrong direction. After sustaining a knee injury earlier in the season that sidelined him for a few games, Jenkins has not played as well since returning. In fairness to Jenkins, leg injuries of any kind typically make a player play a little more on edge, often negatively impacting their output until they feel comfortable again.
The Packers desperately need Jenkins to reclaim his two-time Pro Bowl form for the group and, quite frankly, the whole offense to get back on track. The Packers love running the football behind Jenkins and usually can rely on his stout pass-blocking. Neither has been realized so far in 2023.