The last time the Packers lost by a four-touchdown margin was in Week 16 back in 2007. At that time, Brett Favre was still the man in Green Bay and Rodgers was nothing more than just another spare piece.
Now, Rodgers is the focal point of the offense, and has made many Packers fans forget about Favre’s feats. But Sunday’s loss will stand as a black mark on the quarterback’s stellar record, even if only for a short while. But the sad truth is he never even had a chance.
Like almost every team in football at some point during the season, the Packers are plagued by injuries right now. Four of their most important players, including three defensive starters, are on the shelf with no immediate return date in sight.
Greg Jennings, the Packers’ best receiver, is recovering from groin surgery and missed his seventh straight game. Charles Woodson, the team’s defensive captain and starting safety, has a broken collarbone and was inactive for the fourth consecutive game. Sam Shields, their No. 1 cornerback, has been battling a lingering leg injury and missed his fifth consecutive game. And Clay Matthews, the Packers’ best pass rusher, missed a second straight week with a hamstring injury.
The absence of the four star players has been noticeable, but nothing Rodgers and the Pack weren’t able to withstand — as was evident by their five-game wining streak heading into the Meadowlands on Sunday. But while the success continued even in their wake, it could only sustain for so long.
So, as the Giants romped the Packers to the tune of a 38-10 win, Rodgers and the anemic offense were looked to as the problem. But the mounting injuries were the true culprit in the lopsided loss.
Rodgers — the reigning MVP, mind you — is still one of the best players in football, and one tough night against a stingy defense isn’t going to change that. The same goes for the Packers, too. They’re still one of the premier teams in the NFL, and viewing this loss as a testament of where their season’s headed would be a vast and unreasonable overreaction.
Once Woodson, Jennings and the rest of the injured Packers return to the field, bringing Green Bay as close to full health as it’ll be the rest of this season, this will be a very different team.
So, don’t sell short on the Packers just yet. There’s still a long way to go, and Green Bay will be sticking around well into January, if not longer.