The Packers are a different team now.
It’s difficult to quantify exactly how important the loss of Aaron Rodgers is to the Packers, but I’ll attempt: it’s possibly the most impactful player injury that could happen in today’s NFL. Rodgers is indisputably one of the top two quarterbacks in football, and we’ve seen the coaching wizard in New England put together an 11-5 season without his golden boy under center, so something tells me this loss matters more than a theoretical injury to Tom Brady. Regardless, the gap between Rodgers/Brady and the rest of the NFL is significant and, somehow, seems to be growing. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best at the most important position in sports, and he may be done for the season.
So the Packers are different now. There will be coach speak and jock talk about “next man up,” but it’s hogwash. The loss of Rodgers is crippling to a team that is decidedly average across the rest of its roster and too often has relied on its magic-maker at quarterback to cover up other deficiencies. That approach is off the table now, and regardless of who’s under center in Green Bay, the Packers will be exposed for what they are.