The offense was a disappointment this week. The good news is that the offense should only improve from here, especially once starters Jordy Nelson and John Kuhn return to the line up.
There is not much to say about the offense this week. On one hand they were able to get the job done when it counted. They scored touchdowns and made the critical drive in the fourth quarter to put the game away. On the other hand the offense struggled in third down situations (5 of 13) and just over a quarter of the first downs they earned came from penalties (6 of 20). Not good.
It would be an interesting conversation to see which offensive performance Packer fans think was worse. This game’s offense or the performance against the Seahawks. Against the Seahawks the Packers were able to get more yards (268 in Seattle versus 238 this past Sunday), more first downs (22 against Seattle versus 20 on Sunday), and had a higher time of possession for the game (33:39 vs. Seattle and 30:48 vs. Jacksonville). Then again the Packers gave up 8 sacks in Seattle and only 2 this past Sunday. More important may be the fact that the Packers failed to score any touchdowns in Seattle.
It would be an interesting argument to see unfold.
On to the specific reviews for this game….
Passing Game Review:
Aaron Rodgers – 22/35 186 YDS 5.3 AVG 2 TD 95.7 RTG
James Jones – 7 REC 78 YDS 11.1 AVG 31 LG 9 TGTS
Let’s be honest for a moment before we start dissecting this….most teams would be very happy to see this sort of performance from their quarterback. A quarterback throwing two touchdowns and having a 95.7 passer rating isn’t bad by any means.
That said, this was a disappointing day for Rodgers & Co. It’s unclear whether Rodgers was just off his game or missing top targets Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, but something wasn’t right. In the humble opinion of this writer, it would have to be the later. Randall Cobb is a great weapon for the Packers but, like Percy Harvin, he’s not a true #1 receiver. He’s not a guy who is going to line up outside and beat guy playing press man. This is a role that he had to step into with the amount of injuries on Sunday and it showed (5 REC 28 YDS 14 LG 7 TGTS). Cobb is becoming a star in this league, but he has a particular place in the offense and with the amount of injuries at receiver coming into the game he couldn’t find that sweet spot as he has had the previous two weeks.
A bright spot on offense coming out of this game is the play of James Jones. Jones led the team in receptions, yards, and targets. He was the big play guy on Sunday and was able to perform when no one else on offense could step up. For a long time Packer fans have been saying that Jones has the potential to be a starting receiver for any team, he just let his head get in the way. Well, it seems this year his concentration is better and he is performing very well.
Running Game Review:
Alex Green – 22 CAR 54 YDS 2.5 AVG 7 LG
This isn’t good enough for a feature back. In many posts since the game we as a community have gone back and forth whether it is the fault of Green or the offensive line. So far the general consensus is that it’s both. No matter who is at fault, this sort of performance is not acceptable. What else is there to say about the current state of our running game?
Review Of Special Teams – Field Goal Units And Return Units
Mason Crosby – 1/2 25 LG
Randall Cobb – 2 KR 57 YDS 29 LG 1 PR 0 YDS
Many have been concerned about Mason Crosby, but this is the first week where that worry has started to become wide spread. Missing 50+ field goals is one thing, missing 32 yard field goals is another. Whatever is bothering Crosby has to stop because performances like what was seen on Sunday is not good enough.
Randall Cobb is still a dangerous return man with two good kick returns on Sunday. Not much else to tell here.
The offense was disappointing against the Jaguars. The good news is that there is room for improvement, which can certainly be obtained. The better news is that with guys like Jordy Nelson and John Kuhn healing up the offense should get back on track. Winning ugly games like this show that the Packers don't need to have Rodgers play a game for the ages each week to win (although that certainly helps), but it is clear that lots of work in the running game and along the offensive line needs to be done.