It’s time for the Green Bay Packers offensive line to figure its s**t out.
While the national narrative continues to revolve around Green Bay’s wide receivers, it’s the offensive line that is making things so much harder on the team’s offense. Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets was yet another example of the offensive line letting the team down, as we discussed in this week’s Packers Film Study.
Through six games, Rodgers has been pressured on 29.2 percent of his dropbacks according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). That’s the highest rate since 2019, when he was pressured on 33.4 percent of his dropbacks. With 15 sacks taken through six games, he’s on pace to be sacked 42.5 times, which would be the most for him since 2018.
Green Bay’s offensive line is a mess right now. David Bakhtiari is still trying to get comfortable with playing an entire game, Jon Runyan Jr. had his worst game of the year in Week 6, and Elgton Jenkins looks unrecognizable at right tackle as he gets his feet back under him from his torn ACL.
However, no one has been a bigger liability they right guard Royce Newman. His 17 pressures allowed are easily the most of any Packers lineman, and his film from Sunday’s loss is some of the worst you’ll ever see from a guard.
At this point, the Packers can no longer afford to keep rolling out Newman as a starter. At the same time, it’s becoming painfully obvious that Jenkins hasn’t recovered all of his lateral agility, making a move to kick him inside to guard while finding another player on the roster to play right tackle a logical move.
That move needs to happen sooner rather than later, especially with the defensive front the Packers will be facing on Sunday.
Even without Chase Young, the Commanders are finding ways to get to the quarterback. The team has a handful of former first-round picks who are playing at a high level, including Montez Sweat.
Sweat currently leads the team with 26 total pressures along with 10 QB hits. His length and athleticism make him a difficult matchup on the edge, putting even more pressure on Bakhtiari and Jenkins (assuming that he plays right tackle again on Sunday).
Meanwhile, the Commanders boast a difficult duo to handle on the inside with Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. The two have combined for 41 pressures and nine sacks already this season, which means that the interior of Green Bay’s offensive line will need to have a serious bounce-back game after struggling against Quinnen Williams and the Jets' defensive line last week.
Miscommunication and a lack of execution have killed the Packers' offensive line all season. At some point, players will need to be held accountable, and the coaching staff will need to start finding replacements in the starting lineup.
However, for a coaching staff that prided itself on mixing and matching to find the best five starters in 2021, that hasn’t been the case this season. If the Packers want to keep Rodgers upright and help get the running game going, then it’s time for Matt LaFleur, Adam Stenavich, and Luke Butkus to hold this offensive line accountable.