Packers won't stop fighting in the face of adversity

Marcedes Lewis’ postgame speech resonated with locker room

The Packers' offense huddles up in the second quarter of a 23-21 loss to the Washington Commanders on Oct. 23, 2022.

LANDOVER, Md. – For the four-plus seasons, through the highs and the lows, Marcedes Lewis has remained a quiet, steady steward inside the Packers' locker room.

While the 17th-year tight end picks his spots on when to address the team, Lewis felt the situation called for it following a disappointing 23-21 loss to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on Sunday afternoon.

His message wasn't one of panic or pampering. Instead, Lewis offered a straightforward reminder to his teammates of what will be needed for the Packers to pull out of their first three-game losing streak since 2018.

Getting back to work and finding their groove again.

"Whenever I've ever had situations that were unfavorable, I've always just leaned on my work," Lewis said. "Constant repetition creates conviction. That's how you go out there and play confident.

"Obviously, it has to be something that's every day, positive self-talk, to get out of this doubt. It's easier said than done but I just feel like we have the leadership to do that and that's what we're leaning on."

Lewis made a name for himself during his 12 seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he's one of the longest-tenured players on the Packers' roster. Lewis' first season in Green Bay also came during a challenging six-win campaign in 2018.

The ship was righted under Head Coach Matt LaFleur, who guided Green Bay to three consecutive 13-win seasons and two appearances in the NFC Championship Game.

For that reason, the Packers entered this season with sky-high expectations for a team with a lot of returning veteran talent. Instead, they're having to work through some turbulence after falling beneath .500 for the first time this late in a season under LaFleur.

While disappointed, the players in the locker room still exuded confidence in the team's forecast with a few players mentioning Lewis' postgame address.

"I just gotta lean on my craft. It's not much panic in my eyes or in my voice," cornerback Jaire Alexander said. "In times like this, you gotta lean on the hard work that got you here. Marcedes Lewis said that earlier. That's perfect."

Perhaps the most difficult part of the Packers' three-game skid is the fact Green Bay led entering the second half against both the Giants and again Sunday in Washington.

Even after the Commanders scored 20 straight points to bounce back from an early 14-3 deficit, the Packers answered the bell with an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with an Aaron Jones' 21-yard touchdown catch.

LaFleur's message to his team afterwards was about standing tall in the face of adversity and sticking together. The fact the Packers didn't quit on themselves down the stretch is even more reason to believe, according to Jones.

See scenes from the Sunday afternoon matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Washington Commanders at FedExField on Oct. 23, 2022.

"There's no quit in this team," Jones said. "We're going to continue to fight. It might not go the way we want it to but look adversity in the face and keep fighting. We don't lay down. We don't give up. When you're playing the Packers, you're gonna have to play four quarters."

Lewis conceded that it "feels eerie; weird, almost" for the Packers to be in this position, but he believes the offense can still find its groove with a few explosive plays.

Green Bay also has been dealing with a rash of injuries at receiver, with Allen Lazard exiting Sunday's game due to a shoulder injury.

Lewis admits the Packers don't have "time to sit and lick our wounds." They next travel to Buffalo for a Sunday night matchup with the 5-1 Bills, who are on a three-game winning streak and coming off a bye week.

To reverse their fortunes, the Packers know they must do so as a team.

"We gotta stick together through prosperity and adversity," Lewis said. "When it's going well, everything's good. But when it's not going so well, we gotta be stronger whether it's on the sideline, individually, being able to keep your head up and go through that adversity.

"Nobody wants to be in this spot. It's time to go back, look at the film obviously and just confront that truth and come back better next week."


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