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Senior NFL Columnist

Power Rankings: If Packers offense can't get it together, forget about playoffs

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The way the Green Bay Packers are playing, that replacement disaster in Seattle two weeks ago might not even matter.

The Packers, now at 2-3 after blowing a 21-3 lead to the Indianapolis Colts to lose 30-27 on Sunday, have to be one of the biggest disappointments so far in 2012. I know. I picked them to win it all, but now they are ranked 16th in our CBSSports.com Power Rankings.

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So what has gone wrong?

They just don't look like the same team. Aaron Rodgers, who lit up the NFL last season on his way to the league MVP, is far from the same quarterback now. There are reasons, some of them not his own.

The receivers aren't winning outside.

The line has been whipped at times and the Packers have given up 21 sacks.

Rodgers has held the ball, and his uncanny feel in the pocket hasn't been the same.

Add it all up: Rodgers and the Packers are struggling on offense.

After five games, Rodgers has 10 touchdown passes and four interceptions. After five in 2011, he had 14 touchdown passes and two interceptions. His yards-per-attempt average was 9.2 last season. It's 6.9 now, a real indicator the Packers aren't getting the big shots down the field.

When the season opened, the thinking was that the Packers defense would decide whether they were a Super Bowl team. That unit was ranked 32nd in 2011. It is up to 16th this season, but it's the offense that has been the biggest change.

The Packers now must go on the road and play an unbeaten Houston team on Sunday night to try and turn their season around. That Houston defense is nasty, not exactly the ideal way to try and fix things.

Are the Packers done? Not a chance. But if that offense doesn't get back to making big plays down the field and Rodgers continues to take too many shots, it's going to be tough to make the playoffs, let alone win the NFC North.

RANK TEAM MOVE (LW)

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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