Are the Packers the NFL’s least talented?

Aaron Rodgers wants to be back in time for the Atlanta Falcons game and Clay Matthews’ thumb is healing nicely. Truthfully, though, none of that really matters for the Packers’ 2013 season. After Rodgers went down against the Chicago Bears, the Packers have lost time and again. They are 0-4-1 in games that Rodgers was unable to finish or inactive for and, more importantly, they looked worse each time. A close loss to the Bears was followed by a manhandling by the Philadelphia Eagles, which was backed by a sound thrashing by the New York Giants. “Ah,” you’ll say, “but they tied the Minnesota Vikings! Surely this is progress!” Possibly, until you consider that the Vikings were 2-8 going into the game. Tying a team with a .250 winning percentage implies that, just maybe, you’re only as good as them at best. And, of course, the world saw the 40-10 drubbing by the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, a game that shouldn’t have even been that close. Matt Flynn was woefully unproductive for the Packers, unable to provide any spark or even get rid of the ball on time. Has anyone else wondered why so many passes have been deflected at the line of scrimmage for this team lately? Is that a thing now? Oh,and the Green Bay defense? They didn’t even board the plane to travel to Detroit. Little did you know that the men running around pretending to tackle Reggie Bush on Thursday were actually just random fans they pulled from their seats. “You’re the lucky winner! Go get run over by Megatron! Happy Thanksgiving!”

With Rodgers out, the rest of the team needed to step up and compete, particularly the defense. Unfortunately, the opposite has happened, making the Packers look, even more, like a one-man team. The Packers are this year’s version of the early 2000′s Colts: entirely invested in Peyton Manning with no money left for talent at the other positions. While Rodgers is superhuman and does cover up many deficiencies on both sides of the ball for Green Bay, it’s time to ask the question: Are the Packers one of the least talented teams in the NFL?

Hear me out.

aaron rodgers.widea

There are a handful of talented players on both sides of the ball in Green Bay (Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Clay Matthews, AJ Hawk, and…oh, it pains me to say this…Mason Crosby) but would any of the rest of the players be starting on other teams? Tramon Williams was undrafted to start his career and is showing why this season. Sam Shields was a wide receiver in college and he’s the best defensive back the Packers have. And don’t let Morgan Burnett’s two fumble recoveries against the Lions fool you, he’s average at best. Offensively, James Jones is flashy but incredibly inconsistent, Jermichael Finley was the only tight end who showed any ability downfield on a regular basis, and the entire offensive line has seemingly gotten worse as the year has gone on. The only player who can be easily excused is backup quarterback Scott Tolzien, benched against the Vikings for Matt Flynn, who in turn showed against the Lions why Green Bay is his third team this season. Tolzien was thrown into a tough situation against the Eagles when Seneca Wallace (oh yeah, remember him? No? Don’t worry, no one else does either) went down with some mysterious groin problem. Tolzien played admirably well for a couple games but did manage to throw five interceptions, more than the Packers secondary had managed to collect all season prior to the Lions game.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the NFL, a top-tier quarterback is actually required in order to be competitive which has a trickle down effect in which the rest of the roster slowly gets neglected. We’ve seen it with the Packers in the late 90s, the Colts in the 2000s, and the Steelers over the past two seasons as well. Is Aaron Rodgers worth his money? Every penny. Without him, the Packers would be dragging the bottom of the barrel every year and this season has proven that. Clearly, something must be done. It’s imperative for Ted Thompson and his staff to improve the talent in Green Bay over the next couple years, or Rodgers’ prime will be wasted playing for a team that’s just not going to be good enough.

Oh, and Dom Capers doesn’t look like a defensive mastermind anymore. That ship sailed in 2010. I’m willing to volunteer my services.

Hey, I can’t do any worse, right?

A Wisconsin native, Paul Gilleland loves all things football but especially those of his beloved Packers. Sarcastic and opinionated, Paul tends to speak his thoughts about the NFL without much of a filter. Please comment or email Paul directly at You can also find him on Twitter @PMichaelG

11 thoughts on “Are the Packers the NFL’s least talented?”

  1. Some good thoughts here, Paul. I wonder why it seems like no one on the field seems to know what the plays are or what their coverage is. As for Capers, his scheme has been very ineffective and there doesn’t seem to be any changes being made. Time for a new defensive plan.

  2. Great article, one of the best analyses I’ve read. For one, I two have a list of players on this team that I do not believe could be third string on any other NFL team. Yet here they are playing for the Packers, a team that just went to the superbowl and these wanna be players make the team?

    Second, I also agree if the team refuses to read the bad press and make changes quickly, decisively and bring in talent soon, you waste the best years of a great quarterback. By the time rebuilding is done. discount double check will be taking plane rides for real and it won’t be with the packer team.

    We now know he cannot do this alone and needs a supporting casts on both sides of the ball. Ted Thompson must, absolutely must bring in free agents, low round first and second draft picks to shore up holes and cut, most importantly, cut deadwood and there’s a ton of it on this team.

    BJ Raji is a waste of time, and Jolly may be great comeback story but should have come back to another team, Pickett is 35 and his best years were three years ago. Neal, Daniels, Worthy, Mulumba, Palmer,, Moses, Barclay (the guy who is perpetually hurt) Newhouse and Sherrod could be cut and the team would not miss a beat. These are just hanger on’s. They have little skill and take plays off.

    IMHO, I think this truely is the least talented overall team in football. The deadwood mentioned above take down whatever skill players build.

  3. I don’t know how they went 15-1. Of course one and out in the playoffs showed what they really had. However,I think the cutting needs to start at the top,then weed out all the 3rd string starters. But Thompson needs to go first. He won’t budge from his draft only philosophy. Although at this point,it may be difficult to find any free agents willing to come to GB. Capers is next. What worked in the good ole days is gone. His schemes are bad,mispositions,and just repeat,repeat,repeat of the same things over and over,with nothing changing. As for McCarthy…possibly still able to coach a good team,just not a good game. My view on him is that he finds a spark,but then keeps going with it over and over. He is predictable. And his play calling is not very thoughtful. Maybe with some creative assistance,he could still hang around. But if these changes are not made soon (like right away),Aaron Rodgers will be discount double-checked and they will need another 100 million or so for their next franchise QB.

  4. This is absurd. This team has had a ridiculous amount of injuries, not just at quarterback, and they have one of the worst backup quarterback situations in the NFL. You seem to be basing too much about them on the Detroit game, in which they were 3 days removed from playing 5 quarters of football in a tie to Minnesota. Any team would look bad there.

  5. Pretty tough comments on this team and it’s players. Most Viking fans would love to have this type of a season. If you followed GB thru the years we have seen a pretty solid team on the field the last ten years, what other organization has done that? Not many for sure. Give these guys a break, after playing 3/4 deep at many of the positions last few weeks has finally caught up to the team. Yeah we need some talent for sure but you try doing that while managing this salary cap issue. I think Ted, Mike and company have done a pretty solid job. Try being a Packer fan thru the 1970′s and most of the 80′s if you want to see a sad state of the Packer organization.

    1. Totally agree with you with the exception of the backup QB situation which has made me twitchy over the last couple of seasons. That position really needs to be addressed pronto. But as a life long Packer fan, I to remember the 70′s and 80′s and it wasn’t pretty. Remember when Lynn Dickey was considered to be the savior? That’s not a knock on him (he was good) but that would certainly put it in perspective.

  6. I am right when I say this team when healthy is still in the top five most talented offensively and in the coaching staff. Defensively they have a few competent players mathews hawk sheilds evan d but need some Serious help. Don’t count them out because they had a few bad games without so many of the starting lineup and some injured still playing. A few losses and people forget the superbowl the nfc north championships the 15-1. And most importantly ! the most talented player in the game today !!! aaron f#$$! N rodgers. You people are idiots and the sad thing is your too stupid to realize it!

  7. they’re terrible all the way around. TT and MM have done nothing for 3 years to improve this team and they deserve to be gone for this.

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