Did the Green Bay Packers Make a Bye Week Mistake?
On October 9th, the Green Bay Packers traveled to London for the first time and took on the New York Giants. Their 22-27 loss was the start of a 4-game losing streak that now has the defending NFC North champs reeling at 3-5 and in a must-win situation heading into Detroit on Sunday.
Hindsight is always 20/20 but their recent misfortune has me wondering if they made a mistake by not having their bye week earlier in the season.
Normally, the NFL schedule maker decides when teams have their bye weeks. However, the lone exception to that is teams playing overseas have the option to take their bye week immediately following the international game.
While I can understand the Packers' reluctance to have their bye week so early in the season, especially since it is hard to predict what might happen, the decision to do so might have turned their fortunes around.
It's obvious the Packers have a lot of things to work out, especially on an offense that has struggled both with inexperience and injuries. One of those injuries was to Aaron Rodgers, who hurt his thumb attempting a hail Mary play at the tail end of the game in London. Had Rodgers been able to rest for a week following that game, his thumb would have had an opportunity to heal but, without the bye week, he had to play against the New York Jets while obviously still in a great deal of discomfort and, the week after that, still wasn't 100 percent healthy against the Washington Commanders. I'm not convinced the outcome of last week's game against the Buffalo Bills would have been any different but, even with that, there's a lot of reason to believe a healthier Aaron Rodgers would have found a way to get them to .500.
The week off would have also given the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate and perhaps fix some of the issues that were plaguing them prior to the game against the Giants. Instead, they've had to focus on their next opponent.
In a bit of a double whammy, by not taking the bye week in October, they now need to wait until week 14, in December, before they have a week off. By that point in the season, with just four games left, they could potentially be out of the playoff hunt and just be using that time to evaluate for the future.
This was the first time the Packers had an international game and mistakes are to be expected. However, the mistake of not taking that bye week when they obviously could have used it is one that might haunt them this season.