Improvements for Packers offense will have to happen internally

Oct 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during overtime against the New England Patriots at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during overtime against the New England Patriots at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The price was wrong. Another trade deadline has come and gone, with the Green Bay Packers standing pat.

Whether you believe the Packers should have made a move or not — I fall into the latter category – what matters now is if the offense is going to turn this season around, it’s going to have to happen with internal improvement.

Ultimatley, this begins with Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers as the head coach and quarterback making $50 million. All of the issues aren’t a direct result of these two by any means, but as the leaders, they bare the responsibility.

This starts with the game plans being drawn up each week and being on the same page. Are players being put in the best positions to succeed? Are the play designs being executed properly? Things obviously haven’t gone well, so what changes need to be made? On the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, Rodgers said that he felt like Sunday’s game in Buffalo was the first where Green Bay felt ready to play. How the heck does that happen eight games into a season where the Packers were supposed to be contenders? Everything begins and ends with these two.

Improvement also means getting some continuity along the offensive line. The Packers have dealt with a number of injuries and movement upfront this season which has resulted in up-and-down offense of line play and thus limited the playbook at times. Pressure at inopportune times, tight ends needing to chip or block instead of being a part of the passing game, an overreliance on the quick passes, and Green Bay giving up on the run too early can all be traced back to the offensive line play, or a lack of confidence in it from Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers.

Striking a consistent balance between the run and the pass is a must as well. The pendulum seems to swing from one direction to the other, with these last two weeks being prime examples of that. Against Washington, and in a close game, the Packers ran the ball just 12 times, and didn’t lean on the run enough against the Giants and Jets either. On the flipside, against Buffalo, and down by multiple scores, Green Bay ran the ball 30 times. The run game should be prevalent each week, but it can’t be the Packers only way to move the ball.

With that said, Aaron Jones is this offense’s playmaker, and regardless of how the opponent is defending Green Bay, Jones needs to be the focal point—there’s no reason that he shouldn’t be touching the ball at least 20 times every game.

The passing game, meanwhile, needs to find that vertical element. Pushing the ball downfield has been almost nonexistent for the Packers this season. There are several reasons behind this, including inaccurate throws, wrong routes, a lack of adjustments, and the way defenses are playing Green Bay, but the end result is a shrinking field because the opponent just isn’t fearful of getting beat over the top. This makes running the ball and the quick pass and game all the more challenging to accomplish.

As we all know, trust is a big factor with Aaron Rodgers when it comes to giving his receivers opportunities. However, with the season hanging in the balance at 3-5, it’s time to start giving the rookies more chances because all of them can bring that vertical ability to the offense, which we saw from both Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure this past Sunday.

But perhaps above all else, the Green Bay Packers need to start playing more disciplined football and doing little things correctly. Everything just described doesn’t matter a whole lot if they aren’t aligned correctly, maintaining blocks, running the right routes, not dropping passes, delivering accurate throws, and not being called for foolish penalties.

Getting healthy will also be an important factor. As already mentioned, the offensive line continues to deal with a lot of movement and players lining up at new positions. The wide receiver position, while dealing with on-the-field issues, has also been riddled with injuries. So far, Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb have only been on the field together in one game this season.

Do the packers have the ability to make these improvements and turn the season around on offense? I believe the talent is there, but ultimately only time will tell. Through eight games, they haven’t exactly given us the confidence that they have the ability to do so.

This week Green Bay will have the opportunity to build off of some momentum they may have built up in Buffalo by facing a Detroit Lions defense that statistically is the worst in football. Time is no longer on the Packers’ side; these internal improvements need to start happening now.