Things could go from bad to worse with Packers upcoming schedule

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 06: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on in the first half of a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 06, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 06: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on in the first half of a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 06, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

In a must-win game and with their season on the line in Detroit, the Green Bay Packers could muster just nine points against a one-win Lions team with a historically bad defense. At 3-6 and with their playoff hopes all but erased by early November, it feels like the Packers have hit rock bottom.

Unfortunately, at least from a record standpoint, things can and likely will get much worse for the Packers in the coming weeks.

Next up, the Packers return home to face the 6-2 Dallas Cowboys, who are coming off a bye. Then on a quick turnaround, the 5-3 Tennessee Titans come to Green Bay for a Thursday night matchup, followed by a road game in Philadelphia against the 8-0 Eagles.

All three defenses rank in the top 10 in points per game allowed this season, presenting a bad Packers offense with some difficult matchups. Offensively, the Eagles rank second in points per game scored, Dallas is back to full strength, and while the Titans are averaging just 18.6 points per game, they have a run game led by Derrick Henry that could very well give Green Bay fits.

Before we know it, the Packers could be staring at a 3-9 record. The next game where the Packers might be favored is in Chicago on December 4th. Following their bye week, they play the Rams at home and close out the season at home against Detroit with matchups against Miami and Minnesota sprinkled in there as well.

If the Packers are going to win some more games, these matchups with Chicago, Los Angeles, and Detroit are where those victories are most likely coming from–although, with how this team is playing, nothing is a given.

Green Bay isn’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, but it feels like it’s only a matter of time, and may happen sooner than later.

For Matt LaFleur, who just signed an extension in the offseason, if there is going to be any hope of carrying some sort of positivity into the offseason, Green Bay can’t crater at four or five wins. So a big unknown is whether or not LaFleur can get his team to play more disciplined football even when they are out of contention. If not, there is the potential for this season to really spiral out of control.

Despite their record and performance, there is still plenty of talent on this Packers team, but if they are going to find any sort of success, it will begin with this offense being closer to what LaFleur envisions than Aaron Rodgers. For three-plus seasons, these two have married their ideal offenses together, but with some adversity hitting, that pendulum appears to be swinging more towards what Rodgers wants, and that just isn’t working.

The final four offensive plays against Detroit sum this up perfectly, as we saw Rodgers throwing up prayers hoping for the best rather than running LaFleur’s system. It’s as if Rodgers was trying to pick up a 50-yard gain when the Packers only needed 17 and had time as well as timeouts at their disposal.

There were also a lot of five-wide looks from the Packers throughout the game, which given Rodgers’ play this season, along with the inconsistency at receiver, asking those players to win one-on-one matchups with regularity isn’t a formula for success. Rodgers also wants less motion, wants to play from shotgun more often as well as up-tempo–none of which are core concepts of LaFleur’s offense.

If Green Bay continues to lose, LaFleur is also going to run into the difficult decision of whether or not to bench Rodgers for Jordan Love. The simple answer is, yes, the Packers should absolutely do this once eliminated from the playoffs. Love has seen minimal action, and Green Bay has to decide whether to pick up his fifth-year option in the offseason. This would provide them with an extended look and give LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst a better idea of where he is at. However, the big question is, will the Packers go this route?

As of now, the Packers have the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and in all likelihood, it is going to improve in the coming weeks. Green Bay could even be inside the top five by the time we hit the month of December.

As bad as things have been, they may be getting worse over the next few games, and from there, who knows? It all depends on how this team responds to getting punched in the mouth.