Last night, the Green Bay Packers were simply man-handled by the Denver Broncos, losing 29-10.
The Packers only managed to gain 140 total yards, as the Broncos managed to hold Aaron Rodgers to only 77 yards passing. Denver also converted 50% of their third downs (Packers were only 25% on third), won the time of possession, and accumulated 500 total yards behind a strong rushing attack and a better performance by Peyton Manning.
It didn’t help that Clay Matthews missed some time during the game, including a play that he may have stuffed when C.J. Anderson ran in for a touchdown from 28 yards out. Additionally, the Packers missed cornerbacks Sam Shields and Quinten Rollins, who both left with injuries, as Casey Hayward and Damarious Randall struggled in their absence. But, there’s no doubt that Denver earned this win with their strong offensive gameplan and defensive effort.
In my opinion, the Packers needed to lose a game or two this season. Why would you ever want the Packers to lose you may ask? Well, there’s a few reasons.
First of all, the pressure that adds up for an undefeated team cannot be measured. It takes a special team to go undefeated as NFL history points out, but it’s not something a team wants to carry with them throughout the season. Media coverage increases, guys start trying to do too much on the field, and it’s truly difficult to go undefeated to begin with.
Additionally, I believe the Packers needed to be reminded that they are not invincible, and no team really is in the NFL. After beating Seattle in Week 2 and coming into the game 6-0, the Packers were as confident as ever. But, they ran into a tough Denver team on the road, and Rodgers looked completely human for once, which made the Packers remember that losing can happen when you do not perform your best.
And lastly, this team needed to lose to keep the team working hard and to realize that the challenges will keep piling up. I understand that the team has a chip on its shoulder after last season’s devastating loss to Seattle and Jordy Nelson’s injury, but adversity comes in a variety of ways, and this loss will make the 2015 Green Bay Packers stronger.
Of course, I’m saying these things in hindsight of the Packers already having lost. But, I think it’s important for fans to remember that as bad as a team can look in Week 8, all that matters is that the team can make the playoffs, be healthy, and look its strongest at the end of Week 17 with the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the team’s mind.
In my opinion, the NFC is still the Packers’ to lose, and we’ll find out even more about this team next week on the road against another potential undefeated team in the Carolina Panthers.
Image via Jim Biever, packers.com