Many people have been praising the offensive line for two straight solid rushing performances.
Granted, the numbers sure do look gaudy. The Packers racked up 139 yards rushing and 5.8 yards a rush against the Redskins. But let’s not forget that the Redskins haven’t exactly been scaring folks on the offensive side of the ball. Washington is tied for 30th in the league by giving up 155 yards a game. And Johnathan Franklin came in admirably in the second half at Cincinnati by tallying 103 yards, but the Bengals had never seen Franklin on tape before so his tendencies weren’t yet known.
Despite those performances from the last two weeks, the offensive has to play better. In three games, the Packers offensive line has been penalized 10 times, with the majority of the penalties coming by way of holding. Those are inexcusable penalties that can easily be fixed. Coming into the Bengals game the Packers had the ninth most holding penalties in the NFL.
When Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers saw the schedule for the first time last spring, they both saw the first three games and had a little trepidation. Everyone knew how good the 49ers defense was going to be after making an appearance in the Super Bowl last February but I’m willing to argue that the Bengals defense is even better.
And if you know a defense is big and physical, more time should be spent to make sure that Rodgers’ jersey stays clean for as long as possible. Obviously that mantra has been forgotten because Rodgers has been sacked 10 times already, which is tied for fifth-highest in the league.
I realize that Bryan Bulaga, the future personal protector of Rodgers at left tackle for the foreseeable future, going down for the season with a torn ACL was a huge blow.
But at the same time, David Carr was sacked 262 times in six seasons and is now watching his younger brother at Fresno State. Rodgers has been sacked 212 times ever since he took over as the starting quarterback in 2008. Every game he gets knocked sideways and pretty soon he’s not going to be able to get back up. And the moment happens, the Packers go from a legitimate 11-5 team to a 6-10 team.