To this point, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have looked well short of their Super Bowl expectations
The current iteration of the Green Bay Packers is not to be feared.
The Packers entered the season as Super Bowl contenders with what appeared to be a strong defensive roster and an offense still led by Aaron Rodgers. Instead, they look like a competitive team instead of one that has a chance to take home the Lombardi Trophy.
The Packers blew a 17-3 lead on Sunday to a New York Giants team that has struggled to generate any offense outside of Saquon Barkley — until they faced the Packers in London. Even when Barkley was briefly out of the game with a shoulder injury, the Packers were unable to slow down the combination of Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton.
"We've got to handle adversity a little bit better," Rodgers said. "We're a bit of a roller coaster team at times. Our best teams have been a little more steady."
There’s still a long way to go before the playoffs start, so the Packers could end up getting their act together and playing up to their perceived talent level. The defense is still waiting for rookie defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, a first-round draft pick, to make an impact, and the unit as a whole certainly has room to improve. That's a saving grace for the Packers and their fans, but their pitfalls on offense are alarming.
Green Bay has failed to score 30 points in a game this season and it goes for long stretches without scoring any. The Packers needed an intentional safety in the waning moments of their loss to the Giants to score any points in the second half. Rodgers is clearly a proven quarterback in the modern NFL, but Green Bay's offense is built like an old school offense at heart.
Outside of Rodgers, the Packers' two best offensive skill players are running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. They have two star offensive linemen in left tackle David Bakhtiari and guard Elgton Jenkins, but Bakhtiari has been rotating in the lineup as he recovers from a 2020 knee injury. Jenkins has been forced to play out of position at right tackle as the Packers try to find their best grouping of linemen. That has caused inconsistent play, making life harder for Rodgers, Jones and Dillon.
Breaking in two rookie wide receivers has added an extra learning curve to this offense. Second-round draft pick Christian Watson has been in and out of the lineup with hamstring injuries while fourth round-pick Romeo Doubs is promising, but raw. Those two may end up being a star wide receiver duo for the Packers, but right now, they’re just young.
Elsewhere in the corps, Sammy Watkins is on injured reserve and their most proven targets, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, aren’t really threatening defenses like Packers receivers in the past. It has created a situation where even someone as great as Rodgers ends up running a pedestrian offense that has a ton of room for improvement.
The Packers have too much experience and talent at quarterback to not be a factor the rest of the season. They still have a winning record and a few divisional games to separate themselves from the rest of the NFC North. However, they need to start coming up with answers soon because in their current state, they aren’t serious Super Bowl contenders.