What Else Can Go Wrong For The Green Bay Packers?

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Entering the season, the Green Bay Packers were the trendy pick for the NFC’s representative in the Super Bowl. I would be interested to see how many of those people would like to go back and change their predictions after watching the team lose three key starters to significant injuries. To make matters worse, the Packers failed at pursuing RB Marshawn Lynch and now have to play the Vikings’ Randy Moss (historically a Packer killer) at least twice this season.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the Packers’ early misfortunes and what they need to do to win the NFC North.

By: Nick Grays


1.) It all starts with RB Ryan Grant who was placed on Season-Ending IR after sustaining a right-ankle injury. At first glance, the Packers felt back-up Brandon Jackson and fullback John Kuhn could shoulder the load. However, this has not been the case at all as neither back has been able to put together a solid performance yet. In the Packers’ last three games, Jackson nor Kuhn have been able to eclipse 40-yards rushing.

With a 3-1 record and Aaron Rodgers, who needs the running game, right? Wrong!

Those who have watched the Packers the last couple of years probably know how underrated Grant was in the Packers’ offensive plans. Every year, he had an uncanny ability to turn it on towards the end of the season when the team really needed him. When defenses start to scheme against Rodgers and the passing game, a non-existent running game could become a huge problem.

Where can the Packers go to fix this problem? Well, Marshawn Lynch would have been a perfect fit in the Packers’ system, but Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks decided to scoop him up in a pretty good deal (2011 fourth round pick and conditional pick in 2012).

On the trade market, their next best option would be to look into acquiring the New York Giants’ Brandon Jacobs. He’s not happy in New York and could most certainly provide a spark in Green Bay. Another option would be to grab a guy off someone’s practice squad. The Washington Redskins’ week five starter Ryan Torain is a perfect example of hidden talent roaming the league’s practice squads.

2.) More disheartening news came this week when rookie safety Morgan Burnett and linebacker Nick Barnett were ruled out for the season. Burnett suffered a torn ACL while Barnett injured his wrist in similar fashion to the Bears’ Brian Urlacher’s season-ending injury last season. This is not good news for the defense considering they were already struggling to put guys on the field. Safety Nick Collins is battling a knee injury while Al Harris and Atari Bigby have yet to see any action this season.

Rumor has it the Packers are looking to use budding star Clay Matthews and linebacker Brandon Chillar in packages which would feature them at the safety position. I’m not an expert on defensive packages like defensive coordinator Dom Capers, but I’m pretty sure Matthews or Chillar at the safety position could be a concern against teams with speedy receivers. The Packers should be looking long and hard at bringing in a veteran safety if not a running back.

3.) Lastly but not least, the latest buzz around the league has been about this Randy Moss guy returning to Minnesota. At 1-3, the Vikings were falling fast behind the Bears and Packers in the division. I’m not sure if the move propels the Vikings to the top of the division, but it does make them a better team. Can you imagine coaches preparing to stop an offense with Favre, Moss, Peterson and Rice when he returns?

With the Packers’ current defensive woes, Moss can create huge match-up problems versus the Packers.

With these three obstacles in the way of the Packers winning the NFC North, I think it’s fairly obvious they must make some kind of deal soon. If not, they could falter to the Minnesota Vikings once again like last year. The Vikings have pushed all of their chips in, it’s time for the Packers to do the same.

Do you think the Packers can win the division without acquiring a running back or safety? Does Randy Moss propel the Vikings to be the new favorites in the NFC North? Let me know by commenting below.

Follow Nick Grays by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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Comments

  1. freddie roper says

    the packers are a great team but the gm makes bad chocies we need a running back brandon jacobs and a safety

  2. paulmbanks says

    clay matthews is just a force of nature. he’s been ridic. but at safety? that seems like a big issue they have there

  3. jmccormick says

    and Barnett’s gone for the season…running backs are overrated in this NFL. See: Colts, Patriots, Cardinals, and Saints over the past few super bowls.

  4. Freddie – I agree with you, except I think GM Ted Thompson does make some great decisions at times. He’s just too hesitant to look for talent outside of the draft

    Paul – They have a huge issue at the safety position, I can see this turning into a much bigger storyline in the future

    McCormick – I can see the point you’re getting at and I think the 2010 Packers are very similar to the Saints of last season. However, Pierre Thomas is a much better back than Brandon Jackson/John Kuhn. On the defensive side, they are both slightly under average, but have the ability to create turnovers and stay in games.

  5. WHAT???????? Pierre Thomas 46 Carries, 147 YDS, LONG 12 = 3.2 avg., KUHN 26 Carries, 121 YDS, LONG 18 = 4.7 avg.

  6. The packers have Bigby coming off the PUP in 2 weeks. Name me one Veteran that can come in and play in a new 3-4 defense and contribute in under 2 weeks…..

    You can’t, because its impossible. Burnett wasn’t even supposed to start the season, he took Bigbys job because he wasn’t healthy. Think before you hate on the packers.

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