The Green Bay Packers are not a good football team and it’s fair to wonder if things are going to get any better in both the short- and long-term.
A big selling point for the 2022 squad was the cohesiveness and consistency among the players and coaching staff. It’s essentially the same pieces that propelled the team to its back-to-back-to-back 13-win seasons since 2019, sans a few players like Davante Adams, of course.
But now, even with the loss of Adams and the injuries, it’s fair to wonder if this staff and this core of players can not only save the 2022 season, but it’s also fair to wonder if they can make the Packers a competitive team in 2023 and beyond.
It’s certainly not a good headspace to be in, right now. However, the Packers and their fans don’t have to go too far to find a bright spot that fits both the short- and the long-term.
His name is Christian Watson, the dynamic rookie receiver the Packers drafted in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Over the last two weeks, Watson has evolved into the playmaker the Packers envisioned of him. Injuries and inexperience were the catalysts behind his awful start, which resulted in just 10 receptions for 88-yards over the course of the first nine weeks of the season.
That’s egregiously bad. Even for a rookie that was as raw as Watson was coming in.
But Watson has looked like an elite wideout these last two weeks. He’s easily been the best part of the Packers’ offense, recording eight receptions for 155-yards and five touchdowns on 14 targets.
And Aaron Rodgers wants more.
“I mean, the answer is yes,” Rodgers said when asked if he thinks the Packers have to get Watson the ball more. “I think we had all our playmakers and he stepped up the last two weeks, the last two games, the last five days. He made the over the shoulder catch (last game) and it opened up a whole new world of confidence for him. We caught them with too many on the field, and I gave him a trust ball.
“… He’s playing with a lot of confidence. You look at the week of practice prior to last Sunday, he had many drops – really throughout practices for the season. The last few days, no drops, he caught everything today. Yes, we have to get him the ball more.”
The Packers offense is currently an enigma, as a whole. Everyone is still trying to figure out what the unit does best and what its identity needs to be.
But this is easy. Especially considering how each big play only grows Watson’s confidence that much more.
Rodgers may say some controversial things, but that isn’t the case here. The Packers need to listen to him and they need to listen to him, now.
Featured image via Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports