GREEN BAY, Wisconsin. Marcedus Lewis hasn’t played a big role in the Green Bay Packers’ offense this season, but if their season needs to be saved – which seems like a big if – it could be because of the veteran tight end.

Not because of Lewis doing anything on the field — because at 38 this season he’s just a part-time player with one catch per 2 yards — but because of his locker room presence and experienced leadership.

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It was Lewis who rallied the team after a 23-21 loss to the Washington Commanders on Sunday at FedEx Field, where the Packers saw their losing streak extend to three games.

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“One thing I said to the guys… at times like this, individually, when I had, whether it was a couple of bad games, play a couple of games that you would rather return, you just rely on your work.” – Lewis. said. “We go out there and break our asses every day. It’s about finding your rhythm and all it takes is one time and then they go in groups. It’s time to get back to work.”

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This message was not only for insult.

Cornerman Jare Alexander, the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback, said it clearly got to him. A week earlier, defensive coordinator Joe Barry had finally allowed him to track the #1 wide receiver for most of the game. Against the New York Jets, he got the better of Garrett Wilson. Against Commanders, Terry McLaurin won the head-to-head match.

“There is no panic in my eyes or voice,” Alexander said. “Every dog ​​has his day. I’m still the best. Hey, I already know that, so I just think you should rely on your skill. At times like these, you must build on the hard work that brought you here. Marcedus Lewis said it before, so it’s perfect.”

However, it should show up.

After the second of three losses in the series, quarterback Aaron Rodgers urged coach Matt LaFleur to simplify the offense. Whatever changed—or didn’t change—the end result was pretty much the same.

“We scored 14 points. [on offense against Washington] – seven in two minutes [situation], seven shortfield,” Rodgers said. “Last week we scored 10 points – three in two minutes, seven in a slow game. It wasn’t an offensive football win.”

The problem, at least in offense, may lie in the frames. Or lack of staff.

If their most trusted receiver is Allen Lazard, and if a shoulder injury he sustained late Sunday night against the Commanders keeps him out for a while, then that’s an even worse situation.

Rookie receivers Romeo Dubs and Christian Watson didn’t help. Watson has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and has only played in four of the seven games so far. Dubs had his worst game on Sunday, failing to catch any of the four balls thrown at him.

One game showed just how bad the offense was. At the end of the first quarter on Sunday, Rodgers rolled to the right. Dubs, who was in the right slot, took his deep route to the left. This, according to LaFleur on Monday, was the right move on paper. But Rogers saw that the pavement was broken and decided that Daubes would see it too and correct his route to the right. That’s where Rogers dropped him, and Dubs wasn’t around.

“I think those are some of the things you have to go through with younger players,” LaFleur said. “And you would like him to just notice that no one is there, raise his hand. But I can’t blame him for that. I think he tries to make everything perfect and I think that just comes with experience.”

To top it all off, Yosh Nijman, who made his first start from the right tackle, was called out for a pause, so the game would have resumed anyway.

Although Rogers did not mention any particular piece, he could be talking about this piece when he said, “There must be something inside that is responsible for performance when we just have too many mistakes in detail.”

“It could be the whole wrong path, or it could be the wrong stem, or it could be a release, we’re just not good enough to get past some of those things right now,” Rogers added. “Of course, there is talent in our team, but it must constantly manifest itself in all of us, otherwise why would we need the confidence to move forward?”

It didn’t help that the Packers had to struggle just hours before the game because David Bakhtiari’s left knee became problematic again. They’ve been training all last week with a revamped offensive line that, from left to right, consisted of Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, John Runyan and Neiman. This was largely reshuffled to have Jenkins return to his Pro Bowl left guard position instead of playing right tackle.

After Bakhtiari was declared inactive, instead of bringing Jenkins back to right tackle and Neumann to left tackle, they hooked rookie Zach Thom to left tackle to make his first career start.

On top of that, LaFleur had to use more shotgun blasts than he intended because the shots from under center were bothering Rogers’ sore right thumb. He played the second half with the thumb tape after failing to tap it the previous week or in the first half against Washington.

However, Rodgers has insisted that he believes this season can be saved and he believes that should be the consensus.

“I mean, that’s how it should be,” Rogers said. “Unless they think they’re the right person for the job. I think I am the right person for this job. So you might have to ask them.

The recently completed stretch should have been an easy part of the schedule, but the Packers lost out as favorites to the Giants, Jets and Commanders. Now they’re 3-4 and huge underdogs coming into play on Sunday night for the 5-1 Buffalo Bills (8:20 pm ET, NBC) who walk away from their bye.

As of Monday, the Packers were 10.5 points behind the Bills, according to Caesars Sportsbook. If that line doesn’t fall, the Packers will be the biggest underdog of Rodgers’ career as a starter. The Packers have not won a regular season or playoff game if they have been underdogs with 7 or more points since Week 10, 2005.

“It’s creepy,” Lewis said of the team’s condition. “How strange, almost. Just think about when you go there and you have the answer to everything. I just feel like we haven’t gotten to that point yet, whether it’s injuries ahead, shuffling the guys into the receiver position. Attack is hard. You need that groove. You must be able to trust the man next to you. When you have boyfriends, it’s hard to do. Obviously there is no time to sit and lick your wounds.”