1) The Packers played well against the unexpected
Coming into this game, there was some uncertainty on how the Packers were going to play against a Buffalo team that just throttled a talented Vikings team on the road. It wasn’t just any Buffalo Bills team, it was a Buffalo Bills team with a rookie quarterback. Having a rookie quarterback can be energizing for a young team, but it seems like Mike Pettine used the weaknesses of a rookie quarterback to his advantage. Pettine, an experienced defensive mind, clearly wanted to put a ton of pressure on Bills QB Josh Allen. This would force an inexperienced NFL QB to make quick decisions, and most of all, mistakes.
The mistakes that QB Josh Allen made were critical to the effort by the Bills. The Packers defense came away with two interceptions, something they have not done in a single game this season. Throwing one INT due to pressure to rookie CB Jaire Alexander, and another with a great read by safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Packers got two turnovers the inevitably led them to victory. The Packers defense is no doubt the highlight of the afternoon sacking Allen 7 times.
2) Defense looks hot, the offense looks cold
One thing that the Packers defense has not had this season is a game where almost everyone contributes. It seemed like almost everyone made a play or two. Kenny Clark with a strip and Jaire Alexander with an INT shows that the Packers played heads-up football on Sunday on the defensive side of the ball.
Offensively the Packers looked unorganized or at least not on the same page for the most part. Too many dropped passes by WR Geronimo Allison and TE Lance Kendricks would cost the Packers the game if they were playing a team with a better roster than the Bills. The Bills may have beat a solid Vikings roster last week, but if the Packers expect to make a run in the playoffs the offense still has to consistently produce and dropped passes will kill any teams season.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t have his finest day either. Missing on a few throws, and even one that wasn’t entirely his fault, but ended up becoming his first interception of the season. Rodgers’ stat line was 22/40, 298 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and a 58.1 quarterback rating. With veteran WR Randall Cobb out with a hamstring injury, Rodgers had to look for rookie WR Marquez Valdez Scantling. Scantling had just one catch for 38 yards. WR Davante Adams came away with 8 receptions for 81 yards, which are normal production numbers from an All-Pro receiver. In his press conference after the game, Rodgers said: “We were terrible on offense”, citing the fact that there was no camaraderie between them. If the offense looks like this in the future against a stacked roster like the Los Angeles Rams, they are in trouble.
3) The positives
There were a few definite positives for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. One positive was the spark plug of the offense, Aaron Jones. The Packers certainly benefit from his grit and running style, rushing for 65 yards on 11 carries, averaging out to 5.9 yards per carry. The Packers need to get Aaron Jones the ball more often because there is no doubt he makes a positive impact on this team.
The Packers defense stepped up today, even if it was against a rookie quarterback. The Buffalo Bills showed up against the Minnesota Vikings, and Mike Pettine figured out how to manipulate Bills QB, Josh Allen, forcing him to throw two interceptions to the Packers defense.
Once again, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers came away from the game with no further known injury to his left leg. It may not seem significant, but they can’t afford to lose Rodgers for a significant amount of time, just look at last season.