The Green Bay Packers have lost three games in a row and now sit with a 4-5 record. The play of the Packers in the last two games has been especially disturbing, because the team played with very little energy to begin each one of those games.
In both instances, versus the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field and Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium, the Packers fell behind by double-digit margins before starting to awake from their slumber.
But it was a case of too little, too late in both games. While the offense seemed to get their act together somewhat, the defense couldn’t seem to stop anyone from scoring, as they gave up 78 points in the two games. And if you add in the previous game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, the defense has given up 111 points in three games.
That’s 37 points a game in case you were wondering.
Yes, I know injuries at key positions on both sides of the ball has played a big role in what has been occurring recently with the Packers, but there just aren’t many positives to talk about regarding the team over the past three games.
But one positive has to be the play of wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Nelson is starting to resemble the player he was before he tore his ACL in the 2015 preseason.
In the last three games, Nelson has been targeted 40 times and he has hauled in 23 catches for 314 yards and three touchdowns.
Through nine games this season, Nelson has 50 receptions for 635 yards and eight touchdowns.
Those totals have seen Nelson climb at the ladder in terms of the team record book of the Packers, as Nelson is now fifth in team history with 450 receptions. Nelson has moved past Greg Jennings (428), Antonio Freeman (431) and Boyd Dowler (448) so far in 2016.
With 39 more catches this season, Nelson will move ahead of the legendary Don Hutson (488).
No. 87 is also now in sixth place in the yards-receiving category with 6,744 yards, having passed Max McGee (6,346), Greg Jennings (6,537) and Antonio Freeman (6,651) this season.
With 175 more yards receiving, Nelson will move past Boyd Dowler (6,918) into fifth place in team annals.
In the past three games, Nelson seems to have regained the swagger in his game like he did in previous years. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has obviously noticed that as well, based on the 40 targets over the past three games.
I wanted to see if my opinion about the the play of Nelson was similar to the views of NFL scout Chris Landry.
I had an opportunity to talk with Landry on 620 WDAE’s Steve Duemig Show this past Wednesday.
Landry agreed with me that he has seen steady improvement in Nelson’s game, especially in separating himself from his defenders.
“I think he is getting better,” Landry said speaking of Nelson. “He had trouble separating particularly in the earlier part of the year, but he’s getting better at that. They really need more guys who can get open and the protection has to hold up a little better that can make it all come together.
“I didn’t expect him [Nelson] with his work ethic and his toughness to be anything but gradually getting better. Yes, it’s been a bright spot.”
Landry then went on to talk about the state of the NFC North and the Packers.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the NFC North,” Landry said. “I’m not going to stand on the table for any of those teams. I still would look at the Packers and say you’ve got Aaron Rodgers and got to be able to fix part of this running game and I know it’s tough.
“That’s still to me the team to look out for, although every week I’m looking more and more like an idiot. I can’t trust Minnesota with their offensive line issues. I just can’t imagine…if Detroit wins this division, it may cause a lot of hand-wringing and hair-pulling. God bless them.
“We’ll see how this plays out. But this has been a mess. That division has just been a mess.”
There is no doubt about that. Even with the Packers losing three straight games, the team is just one game out of first place in the NFC North, as the once 5-0 Vikings, have now lost four games in a row.
The Lions are tied with the Vikings with a 5-4 mark.
The Packers have seven more games remaining on their schedule this season, including three straight versus NFC North opponents to close out the season.
But for those divisional games to become important, the Packers have to right their ship immediately.
Hopefully for the Packers, that course correction starts this Sunday night versus the 5-3-1 Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.