Aaron Rodgers, Packers
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws against the the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field on September 15, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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Packers slowly sinking out of contention

The Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers under center. The National Football League is nothing if not a passing league, more than it ever has been.

Somehow, Green Bay finds itself at 3-4-1, third in the middling NFC North and outside of the conference’s playoff picture. It’s a pathetic showing by a franchise not used to disappointing its fanbase, but here we are, with the Packers looking down the proverbial barrel of being irrelevant by the time December rolls around.

In some respects, the Packers are lucky to even be where they are. Green Bay needed to rally from a 20-0 deficit in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears to win the season opener, and then had to engineer a fourth-quarter comeback against the woeful San Francisco 49ers in Lambeau Field back in October on a Monday night. Those things don’t happen, and the only win Green Bay has is a home victory over the lowly Buffalo Bills.

Of course, the Packers do have those wins, keeping a sliver of hope alive for postseason football. However, things won’t be easy for Green Bay moving forward, with road games looming against the Seattle Seahawks (on a Thursday night) and the Minnesota Vikings over the next three weeks. This Sunday brings the Miami Dolphins up to the frozen tundra, an absolute must-win for Mike McCarthy and his team.

Speaking of McCarthy, he’s been the biggest reason that the team is suffering. Sure, the defensive personnel is both young and thin in spots, but McCarthy and his staff haven’t taken advantage of Rodgers and his considerable powers.

On Sunday night in their loss to the New England Patriots, Green Bay failed to dial up shots down the field when the time called for it. Rodgers was ripe to take apart a bad defense but rarely had the chance, with McCarthy refusing to spread the field anywhere near as much as he should have. In essence, the Packers are playing checkers compared to other’s chess, and it’s holding back the most-talented quarterback in the NFL.

If Green Bay is going to turn things around, it will be — as it so often has been — on the right arm of Rodgers. Despite already having his bye week, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer has thrown for the sixth-most yards in the NFL with 2,542 to go with 15 touchdowns and only a single interception. He’s been continuously brilliant, only to be sabotaged by a lacking roster, a bad coaching staff and a division that has slowly improved around him.

If Green Bay doesn’t get moving, it’ll be left in the dust, and the calls for change will be loud as the weeks go on.

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