Matt LaFleur’s team improved to 8-2 with a 17-0 victory in Week 10.
Here’s our instant analysis of what went right, what went wrong and what it all means for the Packers moving forward:
What went right
(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
The Packers defense pitched a shutout, the first of the Matt LaFleur era, and the offense accomplished more than enough to win the football game. The return of Aaron Rodgers didn’t jumpstart the offense, but two touchdown runs from A.J. Dillon in the fourth quarter helped close out the game, and Joe Barry’s defense continues to play at an elite level. A three-game stretch facing Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes and now Russell Wilson proved this team has a championship-caliber defense. The performance over the last two weeks – giving up 13 total points against Mahomes and Wilson – was especially great. The Packers gave up only 208 yards (3.5 yards per play) and produced two takeaways (interceptions from Kevin King, Adrian Amos) on Sunday. The offense did produce almost 400 total yards, convert seven third downs and hold the ball for over 39 minutes. Dillon created 128 total yards, including a 50-yard catch.
What went wrong
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The offense scored three points on its first three trips into the red zone, which included a missed field goal and an ugly interception from Aaron Rodgers. The Packers finished 2-for-5 scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Speaking the quarterback, Rodgers looked like a player who hadn’t practiced in two weeks. He was rusty at times, and the offense never really found a rhythm. The Packers had just three points deep into the second half, a concerning trend after scoring only seven points last week. Injuries could end up defining the game overall. Edge rusher Whitney Mercilus, running back Aaron Jones and edge rusher Rashan Gary all left with injuries. The Packers have to hope the injuries aren’t serious.
What it means
(AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Once again, the Packers showcased an ascending defense against an elite quarterback. There’s a lot to celebrate when a Super Bowl contender shuts out a team quarterbacked by Russell Wilson. Then again, it’s hard to celebrate a win when a team suffers injuries to two key players. How long will Aaron Jones and Rashan Gary be out? If either has a significant injury, the Packers will look a lot different moving forward. Still, the storyline has to be the defense. The Packers held the Cardinals, Chiefs and Seahawks to exactly 34 points. A team with Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and a dominant defense could do a lot of damage in January and into February.