I honestly don't think that this year's team is all that different from any of the other Matt Lafleur "led" teams. None of them were very talented but usually very lucky. Especially Lafleur's first season. The offense has been inconsistent each year. In the lucky games they only have one bad and useless quarter. If they're really lucky they'll get some major pass interference calls going their way or even the free play. If they're not lucky they look like how they did against the Jets. The worst. The defense has been overrated each year, but never as much as this year. Even though it's the exact same team as last year aside from two guys. They always look like there's only 10 guys on the field. And the special teams are still kind of bad.
So who's to blame? I think it's gotta be the players. So let's just go down the list.
QB. Aaron Rodgers. I think he's still the same player as last year. Aside from his poorer performances with his bad thumb. But even in his two straight MVP seasons something has not seemed right with him. Over and under throws. Plus seeming even more cautious than a regular Aaron Rodgers, which is saying something. In the past he'd get into a killer instinct mode when the team needed him. This year he seems more interested in proving to his receivers that they're wrong or he seems interested in getting Lafleur fired. But is he to blame? I don't think so. If he had Davante Adams everyone would be thinking he's an MVP candidate still. So many of his amazing plays from previous years happen when he throws the ball through the defense to where his receivers are going to be. Often before they even cut to the spot or look. He's definitely not confident to do that with Romeo and Amari. Though it has definitely been a positive to see him continue to look Doubs's way. It shows a certain amount of trust which is a great sign for the rookie. Is there hope here? I think so. I wouldn't be surprised if Rodgers still has another MVP season ahead of him (not this season) before he's done. We need to remember that everyone thought he was getting too old during McCarthy's last seasons. He wasn't. And I still don't think he is.
RBs. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. They're not to blame. Jones looks as good as last year, when he really got even better as a receiver. AJ is a pretty decent receiver too, but it would be awesome if AJ Dillon could step up more as a receiver (which would require him to get some more opportunities) that way we could just convert Aaron Jones to a wide receiver.
OLs. John Runyan Jr is good. And he shows a ferocious attacking nature which is great. I'm sure he's making Bahktiari proud. Bahk himself though? Can't seem to get fully healthy. But he better still be in those O lineman meetings putting the pressure on the young guys. Because he has the intensity that can help turn those guys into diamonds. Yosh is playing pleasantly well. Good enough. And definitely the 2nd best guy right now, though that is not saying much. Elgton has been a saviour even though he's not playing that great yet. Imagine the line without him. His play is almost up to the Yosh level of playing and will get better. I'm way down on Josh Myers. He's pretty good as a pass blocker but rarely ever pushes his guy. He more often than not is giving ground. Sometimes allot which is so surprising cause he's a big guy. Royce Newman is not a good starter. But I feel like he must be better than anyone else currently on the roster except for maybe Zach Tom. Otherwise he wouldn't have started for so many games. Tom does provide allot of hope though. He looks like he's at least more ferocious than Newman. And hopefully stronger. He definitely seemed to hold his ground alright, but it was only one game. Hopefully he's the next Bahktiari.
Wrs. Lazard is not to blame. He's a future hall of famer... For the Packers Hall of Fame. Wish he wasn't getting randomly hurt. Hopefully it's not a broken collarbone. Cause the rest of these guys probably aren't going to win us a super bowl. Doubs and Cobb are doing alright. Which I think is all that we can expect from them. But unless Doubs becomes Justin Jefferson-like the rest of this season, we'll need allot more from Sammy Watkins. Can't really say that he's to blame yet either because he has been hurt. But he needs to produce more. He does seem to have Aaron's trust at least. Samouri Toure brings hope. Amari and Juwann not so much.
TEs. Robert Tonyan seems to be returning to form. I think he's the x factor in this offense. If he can become peak Tonyan then he and Aaron Jones can duke it out between them to see who gets the 2nd most receptions behind Lazard (if he's healthy). Mercedes Lewis is still looking good and reliable, but I don't think the Packers are going to get him his Super bowl. And he probably won't be back next year. Josiah Deguara basically is not on this team. Dunno why. But when you're less useful to the team than Jake Hanson, things aren't good.
ILBs. DeVondre Campbell is starting to look like a pro bowler again and it's needed. Cause, though Quay Walker is super gifted, he's not very consistent yet. Quay is so fast though. Did you see him lead block for DeVondre? Made him look like a snail. I think these LBs are on the rise.
DLs. Kenny Clark is such a stud, but I think he's making fewer high impact plays because he's out there so much and needs to conserve himself a little. Jarran Reed and Dean Lowry seem to be doing what they need to do, but aren't really above average. Which you don't need to be to be a starter, but they both can be blamed some for the poor run defense.
OLBs. Preston Smith is having another decent year. And he's still pretty versatile. Rashaan Gary is having a great year! But only rushing the passer. It is so frustrating that with all of his talent he cannot set the edge. So much of the poor run defense is a result of this. I say bench him for Enagbare any time that he doesn't set the edge. Not because Enagbare is better, but maybe that way he'll force himself to learn or he won't get to do what he loves. Enagbare has shown some flashes which is great, but he probably still has a ways to go. And he's probably not going to get there this year so don't hope on it.
Safs. Amos has all of my love. He's not a super star. But he's super reliable. If it wasn't for him cleaning things up our defense would not have a chance. His feel for football is great and he's always around the action. Savage is usually around the action too, but never close enough. He's always about 5 or more yards away as if he's afraid to tackle. I don't know what his problem is, but I blame how terrible this defense is almost all on him. We need to give other guys a chance. Maybe Micah Abernathy becomes the next Adrian Amos. Maybe not. But Darnell Savage is only a good backup. Not even as good as Haha Clinton-Dix. I don't have much hope that he'll turn out to be the next Nic Collins.
CBs. Jaire Alexander has the it factor and is a man. So I don't know why none of the cornerbacks are having a good year, not even him. And I honestly don't think it's the coaches. Good cornerbacks can play off of their receivers and still make plays. And the coaches know them best and don't think that they can play press man. And they're probably right. Look at the wide receivers flying by them even when there's a cushion. It's probably not a great idea to have Eric Stokes or Rasul Douglas get beat right off of the line and have some team's #2 receiver going down the field with only Savage there to make a play. Cause Savage will wait for help all of the way until that receiver is scoring a touchdown. And even then his tackle won't bring the guy down unless someone else shows up. I do have high hopes for the cornerbacks though. Jaire will be Jaire. He might give up a catch or two, but he won't really let them gain yards afterwards. There are few guys as good as Jaire. And Rasul is surprisingly playing alright. He looks like he's having fun. And he looks like he likes to tackle. I have some hope because it's looking like he's not just a one year wonder. I think Stokes will improve too.
STs. Pat O'Donnell is killing it out there. The team MVP right now. We need to start putting in all of the offensive lineman and Mercedes for punt and field goal protection though. I don't want another blocked kick again this year, whatever it takes. 9 or 10 lineman and a punter/kicker and sometimes holder. And someone else needs to return punts. I feel so bad for Amari Rodgers, but it seems like the NFL game is too big for him right now. His brain scrambles when the ball is near him. Don't let him return any more. He can't even figure out when a fair catch is needed let alone actually catch it. Just don't. I do have hope, because no one can be worse than Amari right? Maybe just as bad, but not worse right? I would also love it if Gutey gave up like a 6th round or conditional 5th round pick to the Falcons for Cordarelle Patterson. He'd probably score touchdowns just as often as our offense has been sofar this year, so that would be useful. Mason Crosby is a future Hall of famer... For the Packers Hall of Fame.