There's one way to look at the season so far for the Green Bay Packers: disappointing. They sit at 2-2 and are 2.5 games behind the Vikings. The offensive line is a sieve and the defense is inconsistent. QB Aaron Rodgers is playing well, but he won't be in one piece for much longer. And where did the RB Ryan Grant from 2007 go?
But I'm very optimistic coming off the bye week. Especially coming off the loss in Minnesota. I don't believe in good losses. A loss is a loss. But the things that went wrong in Minneapolis are things that can be fixed, and the things that did work last week are strong foundations going forward. I'll talk about the good in a post later today, and I'll start out with what needs to be fixed.
Fix the Pass Protection: It's been miserable, and it's the worst unit in the league. Everyone, Rodgers included, deserves some blame. But as JJ Cooper pointed out last week, the middle of the line seems to be doing their job. RT Allen Barbre isn't playing well, but he seems to be getting better. If he doesn't, or even if he does keep getting better, he might be replaced soon by RT Mark Tauscher. LT Chad Clifton should be returning from his ankle injury next week. Although he's not as good as he was two seasons ago, he's still better than LG Daryn Colledge, who has just had a terrible season. Moving Colledge (and possibly Barbre) to the bench could improve this group quickly.
Fix the Secondary: After dominating QB Jay Cutler in the opener, each successive QB has had better luck against them. But this is another unit that has been experimenting a lot lately, without much success.
- Against the Bengals, SS Aaron Rouse had a bad game and was released shortly thereafter.
- Against the Rams, the defense tried out their Big Okie defense and LB Brandon Chillar (who was basically playing safety as the 5th or 6th LB) got burned for two TD passes.
- Then SS Derrick Martin made his 2nd career start at safety in Minnesota, he was obviously confused in coverage, and benched mid-game.
Martin was replaced by CB/S Jarrett Bush, who has to be considered the top backup at this point. Even better, SS Atari Bigby could be returning next week from his knee injury. After three straight games of personnel changes, Dom Capers should know what is working and be ready going forward.