Thoughts From the Green Bay Packers Versus the Los Angeles Chargers (11/19/2023)
My thoughts from today's 23-20 Green Bay Packer's win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
That was a win to build on. A lot of the game admittedly looked a little too familiar but for a team that is learning how to win in spite of adversity, this was a good start. If the offense played like this against the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders, Green Bay would be 6-4 right now.
Gotta love seeing Jordan Love throwing for more than 300 yards. Aaron Rodgers didn't manage that all of last year so, once again, it's hopefully a sign the offense is starting to turn a corner.
In addition to moving on from Rodgers, Green Bay moved on from long-time kicker Mason Crosby this season. I think Love is starting to prove the former was the right choice, but Anders Carlson is keeping the jury out on the latter. A missed field goal and missed extra point nearly dropped Green Bay to 3-7.
Speaking of special teams, given the questionable depth in the secondary, is it wise to keep Keisan Nixon on kick returns? Yes, he can provide the team with a spark. However, it's also a good way to get an important part of the defense injured, as nearly happened today. Green Bay was fortunate he was able to return to the game.
On the subject of the secondary, I am willing to admit when I'm wrong and Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine are proving the Packers were right to move on from Rasul Douglas. I still think they could have gotten more in that trade, but the young players are making sure he isn't missed.
I think Jayden Reed is becoming a go-to player for Love. At minimum, the Packers are obviously determined to find more ways to use the dynamic rookie and he isn't disappointing. It'll be exciting to see what they can do with him for the rest of the year.
Christian Watson is still re-establishing himself as a threat as well, and it was great seeing him get that catch in the endzone. I don't think it's optimistic to think the Packers will have some legitimate receiving depth by next season, making the growing pains this year worth it.
The injuries at running back are a concern. Fortunately, it sounds like Aaron Jones avoided anything too serious but with Emauel Wilson getting injured on the same drive, the Packers will need to bring in some help on a short week. It's probably safe to assume rookie Elias Merriweather, currently on the practice squad, will get some playing time against the Lions.
As hard as it is to believe, the Packers are still in the playoff hunt. The Minnesota Vikings hold the last NFC wildcard spot at 6-5 plus currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Green Bay. However, the Packers play Minnesota in Week 17 and other than this next two-game stretch against the Detroit Lions (on a short week) and Kansas City Chiefs, their remaining schedule, which includes games against the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Carolina Panthers, could be considered very winnable. Granted, they are still a long shot, but their season is far from done.