The Packers RPO game usually isn’t flashy, but it consistently gets Green Bay positive yards. They help open up the run game, get the ball to guys on the perimeter, and create double-move opportunities. The Packers’ most popular RPO attachments are a split back look with a push motion bubble and a quick-hitting arrow out of trips.
Split back push motion bubble
In the past, the Packers got to this concept with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon in the backfield. Jones would push out to the perimeter and Dillon would run the run game concept. The defense has to decide how many players they allocate in the box to stop the run and how many they put outside to stop the pass. Typically, defenses will try to apex a player and allow them to contribute to both the run and the pass. Those players are read as post-snap reads. However, With the push motion from the running back, that removes the need to read that defender post-snap. The offense can tell whether that player is more dangerous to the run or the pass based on their reaction to the movement out of the backfield.
As Aaron Jones widens here, the Cardinals allocate three defenders outside to prevent the Packers from throwing the bubble. That leaves a numbers advantage inside for AJ Dillon. The Packers are five-on-five with the defensive end left unblocked.
In recent weeks, the Packers have started to use Randall Cobb instead of Aaron Jones. While Cobb also starts lined up in the backfield, usually the Packers will motion him in and then out. That creates the same bubble look, just with different personnel. It helps get Cobb involved in the offense and creates the same numbers bind for the defense.
Here, the Seahawks don’t adjust to Cobb wheeling out to the perimeter. They have two players and a safety 16 yards deep which creates a throw read for Rodgers. The Packers have two of their best perimeter blockers with Lazard and MVS and it’s an easy first down for Green Bay.
Arrow out of trips
Arrow, exactly like the push motion bubbles the Packers use, is all about numbers. If the Packers see that they outnumber the defense outside, they’ll throw the arrow. It’s a simple numbers game that allows the Packers to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers on the edge.
When the defense allocates players outside, the Packers will hand the ball off against light boxes and create chunk yardage in the run game.
Of course, LaFleur always has a wrinkle. Since the Packers run so much arrow and run it so effectively, defenses have to react to it. In their game against the Cardinals, the Packers motion St. Brown across the formation with the Cardinals in man coverage. Arizona has seen this on film and they’ve seen the Packers hit them with it in the game already. The defender over Randall Cobb is desperately trying to signal a switch call to the defender chasing the motion. However, both the corner and safety chase the arrow. That leaves Cobb open inside on a slant.
When the Packers are clicking with their RPO, boot, and run game, they’re almost impossible to stop. It puts tremendous stress on the defense to defend every blade of grass on the field. With Aaron Jones out for a couple weeks, look for more Randall Cobb snaps from the backfield and some new ways for the Packers to get to the same concepts out of different looks and formations.