If you could sum up the first three games for the Green Bay Packers’ offense in two words they would be “slow start.”
The second half comeback against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 and the ill fated attempt to make a game out of it last Sunday against Washington illustrated the biggest challenge for Green Bay this far: sluggish starts in two of three games by the offense has put the team in a hole at halftime.
Aaron Rodgers is playing on one bad knee and possibly two given reports he injured his hamstring on Sunday. He isn’t as mobile as he usually is. This means the Packers should be running a quick, dink and dunk offense as that has been proven to work since Rodgers got hurt in Week 1.
Instead, as was on display against Washington, they tried to look for big plays to develop which in turn leads Rodgers to revert to his bad habit of holding onto the ball too long. As a quarterback with an injured leg you can’t do that and when the right side of your offensive line is beat up, you REALLY can’t do that.
The word that must describe the offense going forward is “patience.” Chew up yards, be surgical and get the ball out of Rodgers’ hands as fast as possible.
Can they adapt? Coach Mike McCarthy’s uncanny ability to cling to a script is his Achilles’ heel. It’s clear what works for the Packers now. They have to go that route. Sticking with what hasn’t is a fool’s errand.
We’ll see what happens against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, but it’s safe to say not many feel McCarthy has learned his lesson.
There’s more on the offense needing to develop patience as well as how Oren Burks made a big first impression in today’s cheese curds.
The Packers will always live and die by their offense and the offense has to get used to playing shorter ball while Rodgers’ is hurt. Anything else is a risky proposition.
Valdes-Scantling has been the only rookie receiver active for all three games and that isn’t an accident. His speed makes him dangerous on special teams and if he ever develops as a receiver the Packers may have another weapon on their hands.
Burks made an impression on his very first snap after missing the first two games of his rookie season. Larry McCarren breaks down Burks stopping an Adrian Peterson run where, had Burks not attempted the tackle, he could have made a big play.
Jones only had seven carries against Washington. He’s clearly the best running back on the team yet McCarthy wants to continue with a “by committee” approach. That won’t continue long if Jones continues to make plays.
Don’t feel bad, Packers fans. Khalil Mack is wrecking everything, including a freezer.