Well the worst possible out come happened yesterday in the loss to the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers has a broken collar bone and may miss the rest of the season. Although our Superbowl aspirations may be done, there was a little good to come from the loss.
Hunter Van Asten
Well, that was rough. A breeze could be felt in Green Bay and across Wisconsin as all Packer fans had the breath knocked out of them simultaneously. As hard as it is to not overreact, that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you to do. Now, if Aaron is gone for the season, it’s 100 percent accurate to say that any Super Bowl aspirations the team may have had are no more than fond memories at this point. However, you shouldn’t write off Brett Hundley just yet. It’s not his fault he’s playing behind an offensive line that forced even Rodgers to pull out all the stops to be successful. it’s not Hundley’s fault that the running game came to a screeching halt when A-Rod went down. Give the guy time. He’ll have a week to prepare as the starter and then he’ll have a bye week to recalibrate and improve. The Packers can still win a few games, and if Aaron returns he may just breath life back into the season. Let’s see how a young team responds to what amounts to the most adversity Green Bay has faced in a season in quite some time.
Obviously, the loss of Aaron Rodgers affected your Sunday, but the injuries didn’t stop there. The Packers lost three starting offensive lineman, Lane Taylor (knee, ankle), David Bakhtiari (hamstring), and Bryan Buluga (concussion). Without their starting tackles, Brett Hundley was constantly running away from a big hit in his essential debut. He threw three interceptions, but also made a number of really impressive passes. With time to prepare, he has a chance to win the Packers games. That being said, it took prime phenom Rodgers play to carry the team to 4-1. Hundley is staring down a large challenge.
On the bright side, similarly to the 2013 season when Rodgers broke his collarbone, he left his team with a winning record. If Hundley really is an NFL starter, the Packers still have a chance at splitting their remaining ten games, ending the season at (9-7). Whether that’s good enough to make the playoffs will be seen, but that has to be the goal.
The Packers did few things well. The receivers specifically Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb tried their hardest to help the unexperienced quarterback but Hundley wasn’t given much time in the pocket to make those throws and when he could pass it off, a lot of those throws were sloppy. On the other side of the ball even though the defense looked horrendous, Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels were the diamonds in the rough. No sacks were recorded by the Packers but Clark had an excellent strip fumble and both were a force in stopping the Vikings’ run game.
There were many reasons the Packers were terrible besides Aaron Rodgers leaving early in the game. The most frustrating was the playcalling for Hundley’s offense. Establishing the run is important but against the Viking defense it won’t be successful and it doesn’t help a young quarterback having back to back failed rushing attempts followed by a third in long. It was the usual as well such as the short flat passes that never worked. When they did do quick passes up field it was successful but they gave up on that for no reason. They need Hundley to get the ball off quickly because the offensive line can’t do anything to protect the quarterback. Hundley was constantly pressured and he doesn’t have the vision, awareness and experience that Rodgers does to evade the blitz effortlessly.
Bad: Rodgers injury
It’s a tough pill to swallow but Brett Hundley will have to be our starting quarter back for the foreseeable future with Rodgers out. He may play well but there is no replacing the all-world quarterback. Rodgers was knocked out of the game in the first quarter after a suspect hit by Anthony Barr. The hit caused a broken collar bone to Rodgers throwing arm which should be more of a problem then the previous broken collarbone to Rodgers left shoulder. There have been reports that he has a chance to come back late but just a chance.
Good: Blake Martinez
I put the bad first this week to try and end this on a positive note. Last week Martinez led the team in tackles and was dominant against the Cowboys. This week not much has changed. He lead the team with 11 tackles, with 2 tackle behind the line. Martinez is starting to play like the way we hoped the last man to wear number 50 would have. Right now I have Martinez slightly ahead of Clark for most improved 2nd year player. If he keeps playing at this pace, I see him leading our team in tackles and easily surpassing 100 tackles.