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Crimson Aviator

It’s time for Packers’ fans to R-E-L-A-X

Give the offense a year to grow; Love needs a season to develop
Its time for Packers fans to R-E-L-A-X
Evan Milkie

The Green Bay Packers got off to a 2-1 start in 2023, showing promise on both sides of the ball and getting fans excited for the post-Aaron Rodgers era. 

Since then, things have been ugly. Green Bay has lost four straight games, three of which were against vulnerable opponents. They haven’t scored more than three points in the first half since Week 2, and costly mistakes and penalties have them looking like one of the worst teams in the NFL.

The Packers’ fanbase, which isn’t used to this kind of offensive inefficiency, is hitting the panic button. Many have called for the club to get rid of head coach Matt LaFleur, and one enraged fan even created a website devoted to firing defensive coordinator Joe Barry. The website features a petition, which I will be signing, as well as a forum that affords fans an online avenue to blast Barry, as if they needed one in addition to their very active social media accounts. 

Some delusional fans have even called for the Packers to bench quarterback Jordan Love in favor of 5th-round rookie Sean Clifford. Yikes.

Regrettably, I have zero control over the Packers’ coaching decisions. However, what I can do is offer a little clarity to Packers fans who haven’t seen a consistently bad team since the 1980s. 

The Green Bay Packers have the youngest roster in the NFL. The average age of their players is just 24.98, down more than a full year from last year’s figure of 26.13. The last team that was younger than this year’s Packers was the 2017 Cleveland Browns, who went 0-16. 

Green Bay has infused every part of its offense with youth and inexperience. Gone are veterans Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Robert Tonyan, and Marcedes Lewis. Every wide receiver and tight end that gets significant playing time for the Packers is a rookie or a second-year player. 

Not only are these pass-catchers new to the professional level, which is a much more complex and fast-paced game than college football could ever simulate, but they’re also paired with first-year starter Jordan Love. Of course the offense wasn’t going to look like a well-oiled machine in its first year. 

This season is all about seeing what the Packers have in Jordan Love and allowing the new-look offense to grow together and hopefully become dangerous next year and beyond. Any success beyond that is gravy, which is a reality that many fans have yet to face.

It is simply too early to tell whether Love can be the Packers’ longtime starter. He’s exhibited a lot of potential, and he’s made some head-scratching mistakes. Statistically speaking, he’s having a similar year to Aaron Rodgers in 2008, who took the reins from Brett Favre after spending three years on the bench, just like Love did after he waited for Rodgers. 

The Packers have so many problems in so many places right now that it’s difficult to assign all the blame to Jordan Love. In the meantime, fans should resist the urge to make snap judgments about his capability. Besides, Love still has the confidence of coach Matt LaFleur, as well as Packers legends Aaron Rodgers, James Jones, and Donald Driver.

This year was destined for growing pains, not a Super Bowl win. Packers fans, take a page out of Aaron Rodgers’ book and R-E-L-A-X.

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