Let’s agree it’s been a rough week (season?) for Aaron Rodgers, Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow.
None are playing consistently well. Lawrence is actually playing quite poorly.
None are getting the kind of help around them they really need to succeed.
All are kind of barely treading water in a season they were all supposed to ride a wave of success.
Take Aaron Rodgers.
While his team has lost four consecutive games he’s spent his time hoping for help at wide receiver, needing more chemistry with both his receivers and offensive linemen, suggesting changes to the offense, and even the manner in which his teammates talk.
It’s been a show. And this week didn’t start any better as the Packers did nothing at the NFL trade deadline while the NFC North leading Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears both add pass-catchers.
Womp, womp, womp.
“That just sent the message to us that we’ve got to play with the guys we’ve got and win with the guys we’ve got,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “I think there’s still a lot of confidence in the guys in the locker room. I do feel like we need to get healthy.”
Rodgers Missing Healthy WRs
Green Bay’s most consistent receiver Allen Lazard has missed two games, including last week’s loss to Buffalo.
Rodgers friend and security blanket Randall Cobb has missed the last two games while on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain. He will miss at least two more games.
And Sammy Watkins missed four games while on injured reserve.
So has that gloomy injury report and no trade report leave Rodgers upset? Downcast?
Not publicly. He seemingly endorsed general manager Brian Gutekunst’s effort at the trade deadline.
“My hopes are always up in life,” he said. “I’m an optimistic person and obviously the compensation for whatever players we were going after, it just didn’t make sense. So I trust Brian and we had some good conversations and I know we were in on some things and it obviously just didn’t pan out.”
Trevor Lawrence Admits Criticism ‘Warranted’
Trevor Lawrence got something of a mulligan from a difficult rookie year because, well, the Urban Meyer experience.
So this year much has been expected of the second-year quarterback. And Lawrence himself has acknowledged his play needs to take flight for the Jaguars to soar.
But so far, both Lawrence and the Jags have been grounded.
Jacksonville is 2-5 and has lost five consecutive games. And Lawrence has been under 60 percent completion percentage in three of the last four games and thrown 4 interceptions versus only 2 TDs in those games.
So, yeah, the chorus of criticism has finally reached the ears of the second-year player.
“No matter who you are, you’re going to face criticism, especially when you don’t feel like you’re not playing your best,” Lawrence said. “That’s just kind of where we’re at right now. I don’t feel like I’ve played my best the past couple weeks.
“From my standpoint, it’s just, every week trying to put the best plan together and prepare the best, so I can go play my best on Sunday. That doesn’t change this week no matter what the criticism is.”
Lawrence rolled out a cliché about quarterbacks getting too much credit for a team’s success and too much blame for failure. But his spin on failure is different.
“When we’re not playing well, we’re losing some games, sometimes I get too much blame,” Lawrence said. “Sometimes though, it’s warranted. I know I haven’t played my best. It just is what it is. It’s part of the job, part of this game.”
Lawrence seems convinced he’ll rise from his current funk as will the team.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in myself and this team,” he said. I just block that out and do my job the best I can every day, and I can do that better, no doubt. I know moving forward I will, so I’ve got a lot of
confidence in that.”
Joe Burrow On Bengals Proverbial Roller-Coaster
Joe Burrow admits the Cincinnati Bengals offense has been inconsistent this year, but he finds himself havingt o smooth out some people’s opinion of that wild ride traveling from good to bad, week to week.
“For the most part we’ve been able to move the ball. We’ve been explosive at times. We just got to be more consistent game to game, series to series, quarter to quarter,” Burrow said.
“You’d love to go and score every single time you touch the ball but that’s not where we’re at and not where we’ve been. Obviously, like I said, we’ve got to get better in that area.”
Two weeks ago the Bengals lit up the Atlanta Falcons, 35-17 and that obviously felt good. But on Monday night, with receiver Ja’Marr Chase nursing a hip injury, the Bengals were blown out by the Cleveland Browns, 32-13, in a game that wasn’t really as close as the score.
So, of course, Burrow noticed Bengals fans riding the high and then going subterranean on the lows.
“Last week we’re the best offense in the league and now all of sudden we stink and everyone thinks we’re going to miss the playoffs and lose all these games,” Burrow said. “It’s such a roller coaster each week and I think part of being the quarterback is staying even keeled throughout the season, throughout games because everything is so up and down.
“You kind of need that voice and level-headed mindset on the team and that’s part of your job as a quarterback.”
So how does level-headed Joe see his team right now following a tough divisional whipping?
‘It’s a tough loss but we’ve had plenty of tough losses here before,” he said. “We’re still in the hunt. There’s a lot of football to be played so we’ve just got to get to work.”