The Green Bay Packers (7-2) are a team that’s loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and currently holds the No.1 seed in the NFC. However, there have been times where a lack of energy has become a pressing matter.
Not all games have been created equal this season in terms of rising up to meet an opponent. The NFC Championship rematch against the San Francisco 49ers created focus for Green Bay, but other games have not.
A Lack of Energy
Head coach Matt LaFleur has said a number of times that his team has been lacking on the field calling it “disturbing.” The Packers have let teams hang around this season.
“I felt like that was the first time our team came alive,” LaFleur said on the game’s final defensive sequences, according to Green Bay Packers reporter Mike Spofford.
This hasn’t been the first time LaFleur has questioned where the effort has been. The previous time occurred against the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago in which Dalvin Cook had a field day on the ground.
LaFleur attributed the team’s lack of effort to a bad practice, but we have seen it a few times now.
After going up 10-0 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this season, a rare pick-6 from Aaron Rodgers flipped the game on its head. The momentum swing favored Tampa Bay as Tom Brady and Co. began to pull away in that contest.
However, with the game tied at 10 and eventually down a touchdown, you could see the lifeless effort from Green Bay on the field.
Green Bay is well-coached and on their best day can go toe-to-toe with anyone. But when the game starts to favor their opponent, the script flips.
Losing to a then one-win team against Minnesota hurt their momentum earlier in the season. Struggling in Week 10 against the one-win Jacksonville Jaguars cannot be a reoccurring theme.
“Any given Sunday” remains true, but by all accounts, Green Bay should have played an inspired effort against Jacksonville. This isn’t disrespectfully thrown at Jacksonville, but with the Jaguars ranking near the bottom of every defensive category, Green Bay should have played better offensively.
Instead, Green Bay failed to put up points on their opening drive for the first time this season. Davante Adams had a rare fumble and the special teams unit gave up a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Typically, a series of events with a team hanging around usually completes the upset. But perhaps sensing desperation, Rodgers found Adams for the go-ahead score. A pair of sacks of Jake Lutton from Rashan Gary and Preston Smith secured the comeback victory.
Whether it’s from the coaches or the players, there has to be something that sustains a spark. Whatever that defining moment is, Green Bay needs to find it quicker in games.
In his second year as head coach, LaFleur has seen strides of triumph and despair from his team. If this team is going to reach the Super Bowl, then an inspired effort must last 60 minutes.
“The game’s on the line, so it’s easy to get up for that,” LaFleur said on Sunday. “We have got to do a better job from before we start the game to show that kind of energy, show that kind of emotion, show that kind of support for one another that we saw at the end of the game. And if we don’t get that, we’re not going to be at our best.”