Packers Face First Adversity Test in 2019

The Green Bay Packers are 3-1 on the young 2019 season.  If most knew that would be the case prior to the start of the season, that would have been well-received.

The Packers will still sit atop the NFC North after the Detroit Lions loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but they now face a tough stretch of games, coming off their first loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.  Dallas Cowboys on the road, the Lions and Oakland Raiders at home and then on the road against the Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.

The loss to the Eagles was a tough one and one that the Packers had chances to win despite a clunker performance by their defense.  In the NFL, teams have to win their home games.  Short week, injuries and everything else aside, being at home should help games like Thursday night end well for the good guys.  Now the Packers will be looking to make up that loss later this season.

Twice, Green Bay had first-and-goal and got no points.  They turned the ball over twice and forced none.  There were no Packer sacks.  Special teams were abysmal.  That will get you beat.

After the first three games, where the defense was consistent and a big reason the Packers won their games, they were a virtual zero in week four.  A combination of Philadelphia's game plan and the best quarterback the Packers have faced proved to be a much tougher challenge.  

Now the Packers and new head coach Matt LaFleur have to regroup and head to Dallas, where the Packers have had good fortune for many years.  But just as 2019 is a new era for the Packers, the same goes for old tendencies and history.  This upcoming game is a very stiff challenge for a banged up team.  

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is playing well and another solid run game with Zeke Elliott awaits the Green Bay run defense.  It's a tall task but they have to find a way to step up and be better.  A similar performance to last week's shows a glaring weakness in the Packers' defense and makes the first three games seem like a bit of fool's gold.

Offensively, the Packers could be without right tackle Bryan Bulaga and receiver Davante Adams.  Those are both massive losses to overcome but that's the name of the game in any NFL season: attrition and depth.  Do the Packers have enough to get by?

A win over the Cowboys makes everyone forget about last week.  Another loss adds some pressure for Green Bay to step up and protect their lead atop the division.  A big part of what the 2019 Packers are starts to take shape one week from today.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (50)

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nostradanus's picture

September 29, 2019 at 01:00 pm

I feel like the Packers are going to get pounded by Dallas and I don’t think it will be close. But hey who knows, That is why they lace them up and play the games.
Let’s hope the defense of the first three games returns and Rodgers slings it like Vintage Rodgers!
Here’s hoping for some good health reports also!
Go Pack!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 01:08 pm

Yeah...On paper the Packers lose.

No run stuffer
Jones only knows how to run outside
Davante Adam's out
J. Williams out
J. Graham not playing good
Offense still out of sync
Buluga hurt
Bahktari dinged up
Defense up middle has been exposed
Playing in Dallas
Red zone issues

Yeah, Odds are unlikely the Packers pull this one out. But, that's just on paper.

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PeteK's picture

September 30, 2019 at 08:46 am

Pretty hard to run inside when you're met by tacklers in the backfield.

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Flow49's picture

September 30, 2019 at 12:34 am

As long as Marinelli runs the defense in Dallas we’ve got more than a fighters chance of coming out with a W. Rodgers record vs him is pretty impeccable.

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CoachJV's picture

September 29, 2019 at 01:26 pm

I bet Pettine fixes the run stopping issues. He had been gearing the D toward Play Action. But it is no secret that Dallas is going to run the ball, a lot... So I imagine we will see the LBs set the edge, more than they rush. Expect Clark, Lowery, and probably Gary (with his hand in the dirt) to contain the middle and the Safeties are going to have to play the run.

That leaves Alexander and King in a lot of man coverage... it's good that they're playing well. Alexander will be stuck to Cooper like glue.

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Packers2020's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:17 pm

King has a groin injury. May not be playing.

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mamasboy's picture

September 30, 2019 at 12:03 am

I hope you're joking. I didn't hear that.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 01:29 pm

Trevor Davis just ran an end around for a 60 yard TD for the Raiders!!

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stockholder's picture

September 29, 2019 at 01:34 pm

I'm not concerned at all. Other Guys will get their chance. The players that are out are on offense. /// And I still feel both Ts will play. Rodgers still has to protect the ball. Throwing into a crowd gets you picked. //// The defense could get Adams back. And we have that depth in the secondary, their ready to play more.

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Lare's picture

September 29, 2019 at 02:05 pm

Really, it all comes down to who the NFL and their officiating crew wants to win. I expect the Packers to have twenty penalties to two for the Cowboys.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 02:17 pm

Some better cover Jason Whitten !!!!! Wish we had Raven Green back. .ugh...

Is Oren Burks going to play?

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murf7777's picture

September 29, 2019 at 04:57 pm

It’s one loss and we have been in every game. You can point to negative plays on every team and many games comes down to some key plays that can go either way. We are 3-1 with two divisional wins. Beginning of the year I think every one would be stoked if you were predicting that outcome. The next few games are no tougher then what we just went thru. We all knew the O will take sometime to develop and the D is looking great. Even if we lose in Dallas we have two winnable games in a row, by then our O should be clicking on all cylinders. We are not going to get 5 sacks and 3 TO’s each game and without them we almost beat a very good Philly team. Oh, and did I say we are first in our Division? So, relax, look at the positives and enjoy the ride. If we keep up the win-loss trend we will be 12-4!

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murf7777's picture

September 29, 2019 at 05:29 pm

We should consider mason Foster and Wilkerson to fill the run D issues. Be interesting to see if Gutey does a move here soon.

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murf7777's picture

September 29, 2019 at 05:58 pm

Oh, I forgot to say, now go down to Dallas and kick the Cowboys a$$!!

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Patrick's picture

September 29, 2019 at 06:38 pm

It will be tough, but not impossible. GO PACK, GO!!

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 30, 2019 at 03:46 pm

Dallas is not a dominant team Tyson Smith is dinged up. The TE other than Witten is better. Cooper can be played by Jaire, but the key is King showing he can play, if not Jackson is the other CB with Tramon. Better get a true ILB beside Martinez and bring Amos heavy to the gaps. Savage will have to assume more responsibility for the middle.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 30, 2019 at 03:47 pm

Dallas is not a dominant team Tyson Smith is dinged up. The TE other than Witten is better. Cooper can be played by Jaire, but the key is King showing he can play, if not Jackson is the other CB with Tramon. Better get a true ILB beside Martinez and bring Amos heavy to the gaps. Savage will have to assume more responsibility for the middle.

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John Galt's picture

September 29, 2019 at 07:32 pm

Lucky if they win 3 of next 5 games. They can't run the football and they can't stop the run. Same since Super Bowl win against
the Steelers. That makes them one dimensional on offense and lacking on defense. Draft differently, but they don't. They still
can win the division, but they don't scare anyone. No one, at least not yet.

After the Eagles game - 4th worst against the run and 25th in run offense. That means Rodgers has to do it all. Not a winning strategy.

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t-wrecks's picture

September 30, 2019 at 02:16 pm

Wonder what the deal is with our run game. Is it just that our offensive line can’t clear the way and make holes? Leaving it all on the rb’s to pull off some magic? Hmm

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 07:52 pm

Hockenson Update!!

Brutal hurdle!!

Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson suffered what looked like a bad concussion today against the Chiefs.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 07:54 pm

Can't stand the Patriots and can't stand the Cowboys.

I can deal with all the other teams.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:50 pm

Thanks, Doug. Do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream?

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:58 pm

now now ..12 more games left..November is when this team has got to be a full go on defense, offense and special teams.

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Pierre's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:04 pm

Rodgers was unable to throw TD passes as the Packers had to settle for two FGs and they were shut out on two first and goals. He missed four straight passes from the 1 yard line. You can’t make this up? He was an elite QB but evidently not any longer over the past two years or do. He’s losing his confidence and does not get the ball into the end zone enough. It’s time to move on to Tim Boyle at QB and use all the money to build a powerful defense.

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Packers2020's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:23 pm

Are you really that much of an idiot?

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:55 pm

Black Cherry or Pistachio!!

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Pierre's picture

September 29, 2019 at 09:16 pm

Several rookie QBs have lead their teams to victories the past two weeks. Why not Boyle? Rodgers is way over paid and under performing at this point. The defense won the first three games. When they needed the offense to help them against the Eagles Rodgers fumbled the ball for a gift Eagles TD and then threw an interception when he should have tied the game!

Rodgers is taking the same road as Eli did...who was just replaced by Daniel Jones. Rodgers was inept at getting the ball in the end zone on four drives in the red zone and cost the Packers a home win. He should be leading this offense to victories but he has not been able to so far.

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BoCallahan's picture

September 29, 2019 at 09:23 pm

Dash, is that you?

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Since'61's picture

September 30, 2019 at 08:09 pm

I’m not sure that even Dash could be that stupid. This guy is a Queens troll or worse if possible. Thanks, Since ‘61

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PeteK's picture

September 30, 2019 at 08:43 am

Very difficult to throw TDs with no running game, very short field, and a 6' 7" TE that can't block nor haul in a TD. Rogers played his heart out by escaping the constant pressure and still making great throws.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:04 pm

I think that the injuries to the MLB/Hybrid spot have hurt our run defense. When they get healthy then that aspect of the defense will improve. Also, Williams absence did not help but with Rodgers getting completions then that helps the run game. So I think that it’s going to take a few games to get on track. But I still see playoffs in the future.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 09:19 pm

We've moved on building a new and better team. Out with the old and in with the new!
Go Pack Go!!

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jgando12's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:25 pm

I think it’s safe to say that having Daniels and Cobb would help even more.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:45 pm

It would help off the filed, for sure, as both high-character men and their families were involved in many worthy causes in Wisconsin. On the field? I watched the Lions play KC today, and Daniels was inactive due to an injured foot. Looks like Gutekunst made the right call there.

As for Cobb, he's looked good at times for Dallas, but certainly not a game-changer in any way. It's easy to get attached to good guys, and forget they might not have what's needed most to win.

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albert999's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:33 pm

LaFleur isn’t sticking with a run game or a balance of runs and passes
We couldn’t be worse in red zone and Rodgers tries to force everything
Special teams is hideous
A lot to fix....maybe to much to even win this division but let’s hope not

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Lphill's picture

September 29, 2019 at 08:36 pm

Dallas beat 3 weak teams and is struggling against Teddy Bridgewater ,Packers can beat Dallas if they correct the mistakes from last week , play some Ty Summers inside and move ZaDarius around with Gary in on the edge . Need better Special teams and a few turnovers , I think the Packers are embarrassed about the Eagles loss and are going to make the Cowboys pay.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 09:15 pm

The lack of our defense against the run changed the course of the game and losing J. Williams forced us to lose our inside run game. We do need to regain our short screen passes like we had with Ahman Green. Receivers in the red zone should be at the back of the endzone or back corners of the endzone or come back curl routes by the pylons for low bullet like sideline pass and receptions and catching the ball with 2 hands!! More TE passes over the middle to M.Lewis and Graham and send R. Tonyan deep!!! MVS needs to create a little more space down the sidelines and Rodger's needs to hit him with over the shoulder throws. I wish Rodger's had done a couple DRAW plays to A. Jones to give him a shot at some up the middle runs.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 29, 2019 at 09:17 pm

Lastly, I will have Vitale blocking and M Lewis lining up in the backfield as RB and run that ball up the gut and slam into that goal line defense.

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Qoojo's picture

September 29, 2019 at 09:53 pm

It will be long day for the packers if they don't play some run defense, and get their own run game respectable.

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ScaryGary's picture

September 29, 2019 at 10:00 pm

we would be undefeated if mike daneils was still in green bay, our team is outstanding talent wise. but without TJ lang and Mike D WE CANT WIN A STRIGHT UP FIGHT

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PackfanNY's picture

September 30, 2019 at 10:23 am

Mike Daniels is hurt again. Don’t let that fact get in the way.

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Since'61's picture

September 30, 2019 at 08:12 pm

And Lang is retired. But why work with reality? Thanks, Since ‘61

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Handsback's picture

September 29, 2019 at 10:39 pm

If Green Bay opens the Dallas game with Rodgers hitting three different receivers in their first series they will be running the new offense and Rodgers is looking for the open man regardless of who he is. Start cheering because the Cowboys won't know what hit 'em. Otherwise it could be a long day.

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Ryan3468's picture

September 29, 2019 at 11:33 pm

Green Bay needs to brush off the Eagles game for sure. Also activate Dexter Williams. Aaron Jones can run fast, but seldom if ever runs with power. Jamal Williams can run with some violence behind it. Not only to guys need to block, but running backs can’t go down the moment they are touched. Packers can surprise the Cowboys. Hopefully coach and Rogers can get this offense humming. We will be needing touchdowns, and higher conversion rates on third downs. Pick it up on the way to the bye week get healthy and win more games than teams in our division would be a step in the right direction. Go Pack!

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NickPerry's picture

September 30, 2019 at 04:34 am

Teams will continue to run the ball on the Packers because of the defense Pettine plays. The first 3 weeks the Packers defense made timely plays with TO's, sacks, AND good Red-Zone defense. Against the Eagles that obviously didn't happen.

In weeks 1-3 teams were forced to drive 80 yards or so for a TD. In week 4 the Eagles had scoring drives of 34, 45, 17. Teams with an above-average QB will take advantage of that, EXACTLY as the Eagles did. Trubiusky and Cousins are BUMS and Flacco had one great season 6 years ago.

I friggen HATE Thursday night games. Players are barely out of the cold tubs and their lacing up the cheats again. I'm not bailing on the Packers or their Defense. I think you'll see our defense back in Dallas. Yes, they'll give up rushing yards to Elliot. BUT if the Packers can make them drive 75 or 80 yards they'll be fine.

For the love of God, can we PLEASE use Mercedes Lewis in the Red-Zone and throw a few up to him. I'll bet ANY amount of money he doesn't try to catch it with one hand TWICE.

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Lphill's picture

September 30, 2019 at 05:38 am

Packers lost to the eagles because of poor field position thanks to special teams and some non calls by the refs . Barnett should have been ejected hands down . It was a winnable game but it just didn’t go the Packers way.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 30, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Jersey Al.....with the benefit of a couple of days to reflect, and an opportunity to see a bunch of other teams this weekend, I have to agree with everything you've said.

I'm sure that the TWO fourth quarter first-and-goals is a low point in Packer history. Like you, I go back a ways and I can't think of a similar occurrence. Can you?

I think it's stupid to only have two active RBs on the active roster for precisely what happened: One guy got hurt immediately and so then we only had one guy for the rest of the game. I hope we get that fixed.

This team is not good enough to have turnovers and first-and-goal failures. and win. Fortunately, Rodgers and Jones are careful with the ball but these multiple turnover games kill you. The 2nd turnover reduces your chances of winning to 40%. A third brings it to 75% , and a 4th makes it a 90% certainty that you're going to lose.

A fourth down failure at the goal line might as well be considered a turnover as well. So basically that was three possessions where we really hurt our chances. We are not good enough to play like that and win.

Next week , we're without three key pieces on offense: Adams, Bulaga, and J. Williams. We'll all be seeing a little bit of Dexter. Does anybody think our offense will do better this week?

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TXCHEESE's picture

September 30, 2019 at 03:44 pm

Let's face it, the Packers lines got pushed around all game. If there isn't a serious attitude adjustment in the trenches, they will get beat by Dallas and any other contending team.

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Point-Packer's picture

September 30, 2019 at 04:47 pm

Two games against shit offenses. "We got a defense". Two games against one shit offense and a decent one. "GB D still blows". 9-7 - miss the playoffs. Patriots win another SB.

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Since'61's picture

September 30, 2019 at 08:20 pm

Run the football and stop the run. Still the best formula for victory in the NFL. To put it more simply, win the LOS on both sides of the ball. No turnovers and good ST play helps as well.

At least against Dallas our defense won’t be coming off spending 35+ minutes on the field only 4 days before the game. I still detest Thursday night football. Stupid and unnecessary NFL money grab. Thanks, Since ‘61

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