Packers’ early season woes continue

Sunday Oct. 16 saw the Green Bay Packers host the New York Jets at Lambeau Field, with both teams looking to cement themselves as legitimate contenders in their respective divisions. The Packers and Jets each entered with three wins from five games, leaving the former second in the NFC North behind the 4-1 Minnesota Vikings and the latter second in the AFC East behind the 4-1 Buffalo Bills. The Packers had so far fallen well below their normal standards in the Aaron Rodgers era, as the offense has really struggled to get going. Normally dominant with the ball in order to overcome the immense amount of points they concede, this year, Green Bay just hasn’t been able to outgun opponents the way they have in the past.  

It was the same story today, as the Pack fell 27-10 at home to the New York Jets. The first half was a defensive slug fest, with each quarterback under constant pressure. Rodgers was sacked twice and Zach Wilson of the Jets once, with neither team really able to move the ball. Even on special teams, the defense outshone the offense, with New York blocking a Green Bay field goal attempt, only for the Packers to return the favor by blocking a Jets punt soon after. Both teams would go on to kick a field goal apiece, leaving the half time score at 3-3.  

The momentum of the game swung early in the third quarter as the Packers failed on third down for the eighth time in the game, as Aaron Rodgers was sacked yet again. Given the ball back, the Jets then went on a drive from deep inside their own half to score the game’s first touchdown. The Green Bay defense finally broke open, with Zach Wilson completing a pass of over 50 yards to Corey Davis. On the very next play, a trick play saw Braxton Berrios take a hand off and run into the end zone. 

Green Bay got the ball back hoping to be able to tie the game, but boy were they wrong. Aaron Rodgers was sacked for the fourth time in the game though less than three quarters. Then on the punt that resulted from another failed third down conversion, the Jets blocked the kick and Will Parks ran the ball in to see the Jets go up by two scores. Finally awoken by the resulting 14- point deficit, Green Bay drove down the field on their next possession with the help of a few key Jets penalties on third downs before Rodgers found receiver Allen Lazard in the corner of the end zone to reduce the Jets lead back to 7.  

But the fourth quarter started as poorly as it could have for the home team. The Jets concluded their drive from the previous period with a touchdown on yet another trick play with the first snap of the fourth quarter, as Breece Hall managed his first score of the game. After the Packers then failed on a 4th-and-14 conversion, the Jets once again drove down the field like the Packers defense wasn’t there, settling for a field goal this time to seal the game with only 2:37 left in the game. That would conclude the scoring as the Jets sealed their third win in a row, condemning the Packers to a second straight loss after they fell to the New York Giants in London.  

Through six games, a 3-3 record looks to be about in line with the statistics the team has put up thus far. They’ve put up 15 more total first downs than opponents through six games, but have struggled on third down, converting only 28 out of a possible 73 third down attempts. They’ve completed 14 sacks for an average of over two a game, but have conceded 15 through that same period. Across all major statistics, the Packers seem to give up just as much as they gain, which to me means the .500 record is fully deserved. We may be about to witness the first sub-10 win season from the Green Bay Packers since 2018.