1 Major Change The Green Bay Packers Must Make Immediately

NFL Analysis Network

Coming into 2022, there were Super Bowl aspirations for the Green Bay Packers, but a lot has gone awry for the team. Alas, they were able to keep their playoff hopes alive with an impressive come-from-behind victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10, handing them their first loss in franchise history when leading by 14+ points heading into the fourth quarter.

That could be a season-defining victory for the Packers, who do have their work cut out for them. The team is attempting to overcome numerous injuries on both sides of the ball, as the defense was hit hard recently. 

Two starters, cornerback Eric Stokes and pass rusher Rashan Gary, could both miss the remainder of the season; Gary has already been ruled out with an ACL injury. Nothing official has come out about Stokes, but the early prognosis wasn’t a positive one.

On offense, the chemistry hasn’t been there between Aaron Rodgers and his wide receivers all season. Week 10 could have been a turning point for rookie Christian Watson, who caught four passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns. Emerging as a go-to option for Rodgers would help this offense immensely.

With so many issues to overcome, the Packers’ most glaring change of need could be on special teams. Wide receiver Amari Rodgers has been the punt returner this season, but that is something that likely has to change sooner than later.

According to CBS Sports, Rodgers currently leads the NFL with four punt return fumbles this season. Second on that list is Richie James of the New York Giants, who was replaced by Adoree” Jackson and wasn’t involved in the offense anymore after he fumbled twice against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8. There are eight other players tied with two rounding out the list.

Turnovers at any time aren’t ideal but fumbles on special teams are especially backbreaking. That is a quick way to shift the momentum back toward your opponents, just as Rodgers’ fumble against the Cowboys this past weekend did.

Green Bay’s defense had held the Cowboys to a three-and-out inside their own 10-yard line, setting the offense up for great field position. But, Rodgers fumbled, giving the ball back to Dallas and they took full advantage driving right down the field for a touchdown.

That turnover changed the whole tide of the game, as Green Bay went three-and-out and Dallas scored on their ensuing possession again, taking a 14-point lead. The Packers were able to overcome that and get the overtime victory, but a permanent change needs to occur on punt returns.

Keisean Nixon returned the final two Cowboys punts of the game and would be an option going forward. A competition will likely be held in practice this week, but the Packers don’t have much time to figure it out as they host the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football.

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