It’s easy to make excuses for the November turmoil that could keep the Packers from the playoffs this season. Having lost Aaron Rodgers last week and a number of other key contributors throughout the fall, the Packers are now on a two-game losing streak with few promising signs for the weeks ahead. To make matters worse, second string quarterback Seneca Wallace was injured in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, leaving Green Bay to put their faith in former Wisconsin Badger Scott Tolzien.
With Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley sidelined, Boykin was Green Bay’s leading receiver against the Eagles, amassing over 100 yards on passes thrown from the third-stringer, Tolzien. Scrutinized last season and during training camp this season, Boykin has finally earned his stripes and could even push James Jones for the No.3 wide receiver next season if he continues to play at a high level. I look for Boykin to continue to play a big role on offense until Cobb’s return.
After neutralizing high-profile running backs Reggie Bush, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson in October, the run defense has faltered when needed the most in recent weeks. The poor play is as confusing as ever with Brad Jones fully healthy and A.J. Hawk making plays that fans haven’t seen since his college days at Ohio State. Much of the run defense’s success hinges on the battles up front, which has featured spotty production out of down linemen B.J. Raji, Johnny Jolly and Datone Jones.
While Nick Foles only completed 12 passes against the Packers on Sunday, the majority of those balls resulted in big plays for Philadelphia. Safeties Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings were absolutely torched by the Foles-to-Riley Cooper connection downfield. The Packers simply have too much raw talent in the defensive backfield to be giving up game-changing plays to a suspect passing attack at home.
Injuries to the Offensive Line
Coming off of an injury from the Bears game last week, T.J. Lang filled in admirably for Evan Dietrich-Smith at center. Marshall Newhouse did not experience the same type of success stepping in for Don Barclay at tackle. Now missing Dietrich-Smith and Barclay – in addition to Bryan Bulaga – the Packers will play musical offensive line as former first round pick Derek Sherrod slowly gets up-to-speed over the course of this month.