Somehow, the Green Bay Packers still have an above-average passing offense, according to at least one metric. The Packers rank 14th in passing DVOA via Football Outsiders — a far cry from top-two rankings each of the past two years, but still theoretically viable in terms of putting together a solid offense.
However, other analytics sites tell a different story. By EPA, the Packers rank 22nd in EPA per dropback, a sign that things are clearly not working consistently.
One of the issues for the offense has surely been inconsistent personnel at wide receiver. The Packers continue to shuffle players in and out of the lineup due to injuries, youth, and inconsistency, and it seems that virtually none of these players have been able to develop a consistent rapport with Aaron Rodgers. To make matters worse, Rodgers has struggled himself with decision-making and accuracy, even on the seemingly easy throws — NFL Next Gen State has him dropping from 2nd in the NFL in EPA and CPOE on flat/out routes last season to 30th or worse in both metrics this year.
So now what? In short, the Packers need somebody in the receiver room to step up and take charge. A few weeks ago, it seemed that Romeo Doubs might be that guy, but now he’s back in the doghouse. Allen Lazard appears poised to miss at least this Sunday’s game, and Randall Cobb is on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins are still on their way back from still more hamstring injuries.
Can anyone take the reins this week in Buffalo? The Packers will surely need the passing game to get going to have a viable chance of beating one of the NFL’s best teams. But if the last few weeks are any indication, it’s tough to find reasons to believe that it will happen.
Packer rookie WR Christian Watson returns to practice Wednesday | Packers Wire
The Packers' receiver room is a mess right now due to injury, with Randall Cobb on IR and Allen Lazard missing practice with a shoulder injury. At least Watson was back working this week, and he could well get some more opportunities this week if he's able to play on Sunday night.
Aaron Rodgers’ inability to hit deep shots limiting Packers’ offense | Packersnews.com ($)
Green Bay’s deep passing game is practically nonexistent right now despite the offense ranking highly in explosive plays over the first few weeks of the season. But while the team had plenty of passes of 20-plus yards early (many due to yards after the catch), those have dried up as Rodgers is barely attempting any passes down the field or even at intermediate distances.
Aaron Rodgers stands by comments on Packers offense, says no one raised issue with him | ESPN
Is that because nobody took issue with his comments, or because nobody feels like they can challenge him about what he said, even in private?
Struggling Packers' Offense Must Improve Preparation - Sports Illustrated
Obviously the Packers' receivers are making plenty of mistakes, and those need to be cleaned up just as much as Rodgers' issues. But there's no easy answer to the question of how to erase those problems quickly.
Mike's Mid-Week Chat: How will the Packers handle the Bills' weapons? | Packers.com
Should the Packers put Jaire Alexander on Stefon Diggs and leave deep threat Gabe Davis under the coverage of Eric Stokes and the safeties or vice versa?
Death at strip club delays trial about death at strip club | Denver Post
One of the attorneys set to defend the club, Shotgun Willie's, in a wrongful death trial next month himself died at the same club a few weeks ago.