The Packers need to simplify their offense as soon as possible

Oct 23, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts against the Washington Commanders during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts against the Washington Commanders during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

If you watched Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ post-game press conference after their baffling 27-10 loss to the Jets at Lambeau Field, I’m sure you are sick and tired of hearing the word “simplify.”

Rodgers said some variety of ‘simplify’ 15 times during his nearly 16-minute post-game press conference.

The four-time MVP is correct. The Packers’ offense needs to be simplified, but not in the way that Rodgers himself thinks that it needs to be simplified.

The scheme that Matt LaFleur brought into Green Bay in 2019 is highly predicated on pre-snap motion and has given the Packers an offense with, as he said in his hiring press conference, an “illusion of complexity”.

It is very different from the offense that Mike McCarthy ran for a decade in ‘Titletown’. McCarthy’s scheme was based on timing and beating your man and very matchup based.

And for the first three years under LaFleur, the Packers’ offense was a perfect marriage between what Rodgers did best under McCarthy and the power-running scheme from the tree of Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan.

The offense had the ability to shift back and forth. Davante Adams had been in McCarthy’s west coast offense from 2014-2018, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling only in 2018. With them being Rodgers’ top two receivers for pretty much all of the past three years, that prior experience with Rodgers mattered.

The Packers have struggled when the running game hasn’t been effective. They are13-9 over the first three years of LaFleur when not having at least 100 rushing yards.

But even in some of those games, they were able to pull some out and be competitive in losses.

2019: vs. the Eagles, a 34-27 loss with a chance to tie it late.

2020: vs. the Colts, a fumble at the start of overtime clinched the 34-31 loss – NFCCG vs. Tampa, chance to tie it late in a 31-26 loss

2021: vs. the Vikings, a 34-31 loss where the offense tied it with 2:08 to go in the game

The ability to ditch a failing or not successful run game in these 22 games and revert to a more West Coast-style offense was crucial for Rodgers.

But now, with the losses of Adams and MVS the Packers might not have the capability to win in these sort of games on a semi-consistent basis.

Now, with a 23-21 loss to the Commanders, they are 1-3 when they don’t get 100 rushing yards, with the only win coming over the Buccaneers and the other losses coming to the Jets and Giants.

Even in this game against Washington, the Packers had Aaron Rodgers throw the ball 35 times. That is not a recipe for success, especially with a bad receiver room.

  • Sammy Watkins, who just was activated off injured reserve, was good against the Bears, but injuries have been his issue his whole career.
  • Randall Cobb has looked good this year, but he is now hurt and is not the answer to the offense.
  • Allen Lazard has looked better and better each week but is not a number-one receiver.
  • Christian Watson has been a six-foot-five gadget guy that hasn’t been able to stay healthy through the first six weeks of his NFL career.
  • Romeo Doubs could get there, but that is way too much pressure to put on a fourth-round rookie, and drops are starting to become an issue.

So maybe trying to merge the West Coast offense with LaFleur’s run game when the most experience in the old offense is an injured Cobb, and nothing else is not a viable option.

So Rodgers is correct; simplify the offense. Take out the old stuff and let Matt LaFleur run his scheme.

The same scheme that was able to help get Rodgers half of his MVP awards. The same scheme that is 26-4 when the Packers rush for 100 or more yards. The one that the Packers hired Matt LaFleur in 2019 to run and make the offense sustainable. Do it.

Obviously, don’t ditch the whole playbook and let Rodgers have some of his favorite plays, but the ‘hero ball’ needs to be buried.

Rodgers’ deep ball has been non-existent this year, and every pass has felt like an arm punt. Through six games, he is eight for 29 with two touchdowns and an interception this year, according to PFF.

There is no reason that this team should be 15th in rush attempts as they are currently. No reason. The Packers since 2019 are 18-2 when Aaron Jones has 19 or more touches.

The game plan each week has to be to get Aaron Jones the ball as many times as humanly possible, especially with how ineffective AJ Dillon has been this year.

Dillon has 77 carries through seven games and isn’t surpassing four yards per rush, while Jones has 78 carries and is getting 5.8 yards per rush. It’s no coincidence that the Packers have scored 27 points twice this season, and Jones’ touches in those games were19 and 18, respectively.

When it comes to simplifying the offense, the Packers should include more running of the football, more motion, more play-action, more of Matt LaFleur’s offense, and way less of the passing game that resembles the 2018 season which got Mike McCarthy fired.