1. The Packers haven't had a huge problem scoring points this season, and they're one of the few losing teams that score more than they give up. How have they been losing games?
Yeah, 5-8 with a plus-34 differential in points is quite a trick. How are they losing games? You name it. Aaron Rodgers is having a tremendous first season, but he's had problems leading the team to points at the end of halves or games. Field position, either by poor punting or horrible kickoff coverage, has been a big factor, too. The biggest issue, though, is the defense. They're 0-5 in games decided by four points or less. In four of those games, the defense coughed up a late lead. In the other, a defensive stand would have given the Packers a chance to win.
2. I see the Packers have been struggling to stop the run. How much have they missed Corey Williams?
Well, it depends. The Packers miss the Williams who played here last season. He was OK against the run and could rush the passer, and that's something this team lacks. The Williams who's lining up for the Browns, however, hasn't done much. The Packers were afraid he'd get his big payday and lose his edge. Having not followed the Browns, I can't tell you if that's the case, but he's not earning his keep over there.
3. Aaron Rodgers has put up very good numbers, and I really like most of what I've seen from the guy. How is he being received in Green Bay now that the team has been losing ball games?
Fans are so up in arms about their defense's meltdown the last three games that Rodgers is being absolved from much of the blame. The Favre Fiasco split the fans — most fans supported the Packers, but the pro-Favre contingent is large and loud and have seized on anything Rodgers does wrong as proof GM Ted Thompson goofed. To many, that the Jets are 8-5 with Favre and the Packers are 5-8 without him (after going 13-3 last year) is proof the Packers would be better off with Favre. I'm not buying it, unless Favre could rush the passer or cover kicks.
4. Greg Jennings may be the best receiver in the NFL, proving that you don't need to draft top-10 wide receivers to find one that can make an impact. How do the Packers keep cultivating great talent at that position?
Getting Jennings out of Western Michigan in the second round was quite a coup, considering there were bigger names on the board. Jennings is the son of a pastor, so he's humble and grounded. Which is a good match for the team's veteran receiver, Donald Driver. Driver was a seventh-round pick in 1999 and has had to work to get where he's at. Jennings has been wise to follow Driver's lead, and having the young stud next to him, I think, has been good for Driver, too. Driver, Jennings and the other receivers are the best of friends and they've got an all-for-one, one-for-all mentality that's refreshing.
5. Ryan Grant has been playing better in recent weeks, but he's seemingly underachieved this year. Is it him? Is it the offensive line? Is he really a top ten back in the NFL?
I hear what you're saying, but the stats say Grant ranks 10th in the NFL in rushing. That's not bad, considering he didn't touch the ball at all in the preseason as he recovered from a sore hamstring. But is he a top-10 back? No. He's not a threat as a receiver, and the big plays that defined last season haven't been there this season. The line has gotten Grant to the second level a number of times in the last six games or so but Grant hasn't done that special something it takes to turn an 8-yard gain into a 20-yard gain or a 15-yard gain into a long touchdown.
Behind Enemy Lines: Green Bay Packers
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