The Packers got a win. Sure, it was against Chicago. But it was a W that Green Bay badly needed, moving them to 4-2 and holding ground in an NFC North race that still has undefeated Minnesota out front heading into the weekend.
But Aaron Rodgers answered the bell. The two-time league MVP set a franchise record with 39 completions — throwing it 56 times as the Packers all but abandoned a running game that was short Eddie Lacy and James Starks — leaning on their embattled quarterback to get it done with a supporting cast in desperate need of explosive plays.
So if you were wondering what was wrong with the former MVP, you only had to look at the running back next to him in the backfield. Because when the guy lined up at tailback is wearing No. 88, that’s when you know your roster is decimated.
But Ty Montgomery showed up, the 2nd year receiver out of Stanford carrying it nine times for 60 yards to pace the ground game. Randall Cobb had five carries as well, and Mike McCarthy put the rest of it on Rodgers’ arm.
The Pack aren’t fixed, not by a long shot. But for now, we can close the book on wondering if Rodgers is washed up, or disinterested. OR distracted. Or hurt.
What he is — is probably frustrated. What he is, is missing the weapons that he needs to make those explosive plays he and they are famous for.
Whether it was Jordy Nelson’s ACL injury, a running game that disappeared, or a lack of weapons on the outside, the Packers have become a horizontal offense … with the last two seasons Rodgers’ least productive from a yards-per-pass attempt perspective. Rodgers is one of the best ever to do it; but he can’t do it by himself. And he needs his coach and his receivers to be on the same page as he is.
And what we saw last night, is who they are… at least for now. As Rodgers dinked and dunked the ball down the field. That’s a guy doing what he had to do to win a game they had to win.
That’s not the Packers offense — that’s the NAVY offense. But that’s how Green Bay had to win.
This clearly is not the long-term answer — not without a running game. As good as he’s been and might still be, they’re not going anywhere with Rodgers chucking it around the stadium 60 times every week. But with an offense that was all hands on deck after a short week — it got the job done, and the Packers got a much needed win.
Impressive team win for the Pack. I’m not saying it saved their season. But losing it could have cost them their season.