Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been under fire this season because of the offensive struggles the Packer have had. While some of the criticism was warranted due to his disappearing act in the second half of games this season, it hasn’t always been the quarterback’s fault. Even though the Packers are still online NFL betting odds favorites in most of their games, if the team doesn’t improve its play, they might miss the playoffs because of the competitive balance in the NFC.
On Sunday, the Packers lost a one-point game on the road to the Atlanta Falcons, and this time, Rodgers can’t be blamed for the team’s failure.
In what was probably his best game of the season, Rodgers led the team to 32 points, and the team had the lead with four minutes left in the game, but still lost.
Aaron Rodgers finished the game against the Falcons with 246 yards and four touchdowns, he also led the team in rushing with 60 yards on 6 carries. Despite doing all he could to help the Packers win, their defense let them down at the end of the game.
The Green Bay defense went into the game short-handed, missing three of their best players. Despite not being at full strength, the Packers defense did a great job preventing Julio Jones, who has been the best receiver in the league this year, from hurting them, holding him to 3 catches and 29 yards.
Despite the impressive effort by the Packers defense against Jones, the fact that they were short-handed played a big role down the stretch. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was able to find other receivers that were open thanks to the attention Jones was receiving, including Mohamed Sanu, who caught the game-winning touchdown.
As expected, the Packers were disappointed with the loss because they had scored what they thought was the game-winning touchdown, a few minutes before Atlanta’s final drive. Rodgers, who was without his second favorite target, Randall Cobb, was able to involve the less experienced receivers in the game, and the defense put up a decent fight considering the injuries they were dealing with.
Fortunately for the Packers, the loss didn’t sting for too long because the Minnesota Vikings, who currently lead the NFC North, lost on Monday to the Chicago Bears. Minnesota’s loss means the Packers didn’t lose any ground to the Vikings in the division, and they still have a chance to win the division title.
Moving forward, things aren’t going to get easier for the Packers, who are still missing their top two running backs in Eddie Lacy and James Starks. The team traded for Knile Davis from the Kansas City Chiefs, but Davis, who is still adjusting to the Packers’ playbook, only had four yards on three carries against the Falcons.
Since the Packers aren’t sure if Lacy will play again this season, they are hoping for the quick return of Starks, who should improve the team’s dismal running game. If Starks returns to his old form, he will take some pressure away from Aaron Rodgers, who has been doing everything he can to keep the offense going despite all their injuries.