A quick overview of three storylines to watch heading into the showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
The Green Bay Packers dropped another tough one in Atlanta and as a result, they dropped five spots in USA TODAY’s NFL Power Rankings, coming in at No. 7 heading into Week 3.
The Packers will be facing the Cincinnati Bengals, who have yet to win a game or even score a touchdown. The Bengals reside near the bottom, coming in at No. 31.
Here’s what USA TODAY has to say about the Packers:
Let's not read too much into this loss. After all, they were without both starting tackles, and that was before Jordy Nelson got hurt.
And here’s what they have to say about the Bengals:
Whole is far less than sum of parts given offense is first since 1939 to open with two home games and fail to score TD. See ya, Ken Zampese.
Elsewhere, the Packers dropped down Elliot Harrison’s power rankings for NFL Media, down six spots to No. 7.
The move down is more about team health than the loss to the Falcons on Sunday night. I think everyone anticipated this being a stiff road challenge for Mike McCarthy and Co. You try winning against the defending NFC champs, as they open up their new digs, without your left tackle, right tackle, top wide receiver and maybe the best defensive tackle this side of Aaron Donald. As the night wore on, Green Bay lost more players. With all those statuses potentially in question for Week 3, the Cheeseheads get down- grated.
Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms takes the Packers down four spots to No. 10:
A lot of my fears about the Green Bay Packers came to light against the Atlanta Falcons. After watching the Seahawks struggle to beat the 49ers, Green Bay's Week 1 win doesn't seem as impressive, either.
First of all, the Packers went into the game without both starting tackles. That's a recipe for a disaster against those defensive linemen on that fast playing surface. Then, Mike Daniels and Jordy Nelson both got hurt early.
The biggest problem, though, is that Green Bay's defense was outmatched, just like in last year's playoffs. The run defense wasn't good, and for some reason, the Packers couldn't figure out that doubling Julio Jones would be a good idea.
The Packers weren't much better on the offensive side of the ball. The line struggled to block, and the receivers struggled to gain separation. As was the case last year, there was no run game to speak of, and the Packers just prayed for Aaron Rodgers to bail them out. This time, he couldn't.
This could be one roller-coaster year for the Packers.
Over at ESPN, the Packers dropped two spots down to No. 6:
From their website:
Green Bay fans should be used to this kind of start, as the Packers have now opened five of the past six seasons 1-1. Considering they've made the playoffs in eight straight seasons, an early loss is nothing to worry about.
Business Insider (I love that they do NFL Power Rankings) drops the Packers to No. 7 after their loss to the Falcons.
From their website:
The Packers woes in Atlanta continued last week as their effort to comeback fell short on Sunday night. This week they have the chance to beat up on the Bengals at Lambeau field, but with a plethora of injuries plaguing the team, this game might be tougher than expected.
The folks over at The Score drop the Packers as well, with Green Bay falling from the top spot down to No. 6:
From their site:
The Pack's time at the top was short-lived. Injuries decimated the squad before they even lined up against the Falcons. Aaron Rodgers needs a full complement of talent around him to thrive.