The Packers have some big-time issues

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is stopped on the goal line by the Washington Redskins defense in the first quarter of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland, October 10, 2010.   REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

If you wanted to trace back where the Packers started having issues, go ahead and start with the Monday night loss to the Bears three weeks ago.

That was the game where their troubles were put on full display. They had trouble running the ball, they were undisciplined and they lacked that killer instinct that most Super Bowl contenders have. At 3-2, Green Bay is still in great shape (it’s early yet), but this is a team that is hurting right now in more ways than one.

On the second play of Sunday’s 16-13 overtime loss to the Redskins, tight end Jermichael Finley (who is a huge part of the Packers’ pass-happy offense) suffered a knee injury and was carted off the field. Nobody knows at this point how long he’ll be out, but some are already speculating that he won’t play next week.

Making matters worse, Clay Matthews left Sunday’s game in the third quarter due to a hamstring injury, which affected the Packers’ pass rush for the rest of the game. Donovan McNabb had spent most of the first half running for his life but once Matthews came out, the Redskins were able to chip away at Green Bay’s 13-3 lead and eventually won the game in overtime. If you wanted to know what kind of an impact Matthews has for the Packers’ defense, just pop in the tape of today’s game and compare halves.

Finley and Matthews’ injuries come at a time when Morgan Burnett, Nick Barnett and Mark Tauscher are already out with various aliments. At this pace, Aaron Rodgers will be playing on both sides of the ball in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of which, Rodgers and the passing game continues to sing off key. Rodgers played well again today, but he was plagued by drops and was obviously affected by Finley’s injury. The fact that this team can’t run the ball (Brandon Jackson had 115 yards today, but 71 of which came on one play) doesn’t help Rodgers’ cause.

Things don’t get any easier for the Packers, either. They play a Miami team coming off a bye next Sunday and then host the Vikings before going on the road to face the Jets in Week 8. They host the Cowboys in Week 9 before having their bye in Week 10.

If this team can’t get healthy soon, we won’t be talking about Green Bay the potential Super Bowl team, we’ll be talking about Green Bay the what-could-have-been team.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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