Sunday, October 28, 2012

Packers Hold On, Defeat Jaguars, 24-15

It wasn't pretty and the Green Bay Packers didn't cover the 15 point spread over the Jaguars, but with 2:54 left in the first period, QB Aaron Rodgers threw a 5 yard TD pass to WR Randall Cobb, and the Packers led for the rest of the game. There were a couple points to take from this game.

The Packers offense is underwhelming without WR Greg Jennings and WR Jordy Nelson. They had survived Jennings's absence while Nelson still played, but obviously something was missing without both of them. With TE Jermichael Finley not playing nearly as well this season (due to injury or some other reason) it leaves Rodgers fewer options. WR James Jones and WR Randall Cobb are still good, but it's not the same offense. Still, Rodgers had a solid game (2 TD passes, 95.7 QB rating) despite his late second quarter fumble that led to the Jaguars only touchdown. However, a lot of problems would be solved if Nelson can return next week.

The pass defense misses CB Charles Woodson. I pointed out last week that Woodson isn't having a statistically strong 2012 season, but the downgrade from him to more of CB Davon House and CB Jarrett Bush appeared to hurt. WR Justin Blackmon and WR Cecil Shorts made some plays, but they also made some bad decisions too (that blown route by Blackmon on 4th down with 3 minutes left is one example). QB Blaine Gabbert is playing better this season (4 starts this season with a QB rating over 80) so it shouldn't be a surprise that he was somewhat effective against the Packers's defense minus Woodson.

It's a discouraging win (if that's possible) but the loss of Jennings, Nelson and Woodson is significant and they'll all return over the next few weeks. With their third win in a row in the books, they can focus on getting healthy and preparing to face the Cardinals (who could be on a four game losing streak if they can't upset the 49ers on Monday night).


Stroh said...

An ugly win for sure, but its a win in the NFL. Rodgers was off his game too. He missed more throws than he had the past couple weeks. Nelson being out had a palpable effect on the offense, its clear we can do w/o one of our top WR, not both. Was hoping Finley would have a better game, but I think his shoulder is still limiting him.

On D, Woodson being out meant that Jennings and McMillan had to step up and neither did. Hayward seemed good enough in the slot. Thought House and Hayward were ok, but need to be better, but the inexperience of Jennings and McMillan was noticable. Woodson, I think was calling alot of coverages as a Safety. The big step down was from Wood to them more than to House/Hayward. Thats how I see it anyway.

Brandon said...

I agree completely on McMillian and M.D. Jennings. The Jags game reminded me of the season opener against the 49ers, when they seemed to rely a bit too much on Jennings (I'm thinking of a wide open TD pass to Randy Moss). The best I can say is that he seems to be getting better.