Are the Packers a Legit Contender?

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Sam Lanier, Sports Opinion

The Green Bay Packers are just coming off a dominant 34-17 victory over the injury-riddled San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. A much-needed bounce-back victory after falling to the now 2-5 Minnesota Vikings 28-22 in a small effort performance by the Packer defense.

The Packers have been led by the triple A’s: (A)aron Rodgers, (A)aron Jones, and Davante (A)dams all year long. They have all had remarkable seasons so far, with Davante Adams totaling 112.5 yards per game and leading the league in receiving touchdowns while only playing in six games. Aaron Rodgers is off to his best start into a season since his first MVP award in 2011. Aaron Rodgers is leading the league in QBR with an 86.9 rating while totaling a career-high 24 touchdowns through eight games. Aaron Jones, on the other hand, has a combined 7 touchdowns and 600 all-purpose yards on the season. 

Yet Aaron Jones and Davante Adams have missed a combined five games with injuries along with Allen Lazard being sidelined since week four having to get core muscle surgery. This calls for a next man up mentality with guys like Jamaal Williams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling having to step up. Even with these troubles, the Packers have still managed to score 30+ in every single game except for the two losses vs the Buccaneers and the Vikings.

The offense is not even close to being the problem with the very talented yet underperforming Green Bay Packer defense. With Jaire Alexander being the league’s best corner by allowing zero catches in the month of October and Za’Darius Smith who is tied for third in the league with 7.0 sacks. Even with the All-Pro nose tackle Kenny Clark, the Packer defense cannot manage to defend the run. That showed when Dalvin Cook totalled 200 yards and 4 TD’s as he absolutely torched the Packer defense. 

The Packers have to improve in stopping the run if they want to be real threats to win the NFC and the Superbowl. The linebacking core has to improve on tackling with Christian Kirksey being sidelined with an injury for a couple of weeks. If Mike Pettine can turn this Packer defense around by the time playoffs come around, the Green Bay Packers should be your NFC champion favorite