It’s a weekly occurrence in the game film where Green Bay Packers receivers are running the wrong routes, making the wrong adjustments, and ending up in the same spots, effectively eliminating the possibility of quarterback Jordan Love throwing those reads. This in turn is increasing his chances of throwing an errant pass or throwing the ball away on what could be a decent gain.
On Sunday in Week 7 at Denver, this was again a common theme where receivers were running the wrong routes or not making the correct route adjustments. As a result, on at least two of the three plays to be shown, Love ultimately had to throw the ball away one pass and nearly threw an interception on another. That’s not really on the quarterback, though; He can’t run their routes for them. This is the peril of having such a young receiving corps.
Early in the second quarter, the Packers were mounting a drive that ended up being stalled by a play where the receivers ended up in the same area as Love threw it away.
Two plays before that, two receivers in a trips formation ended up in the same area of grass but luckily weren’t targeted. In this first play, in a trips bunch, Dontayvion Wicks (No. 13) and tight end Luke Musgrave (No. 88) both end up in the same area running in breaking routes.
Both appear to be running some kind of intermediate dig route but they’re at nearly the same level. It’s not clear who busted their assignment here. Love ends up sticking with his first read but this is a situation where because both the #2 and #3 receivers in the trips to the right of the formation ended up on the same patch of grass, if Love had looked there, the receivers routes were being screened by the linebacker. One defender could eliminate two routes.
In the second clip, Watson and Jayden Reed (No. 11) end up both running out routes from a trips bunch to the left.
It’s not clear what the play call is here, either a mesh concept with shallow crossers coming from opposite sides, which Reed would run from the #3 receiver spot or it’s more of a flat-7 combo from Reed and Watson.
More than likely Reed blew this assignment based on how the routes were distributed in a similar play in the third quarter but we can’t really be sure. If Watson ran the correct route, then he also made an error regardless of when he stopped and sat his route down. There was no reason for him to do that.
The broadcast copy shows an enraged LaFleur yelling at someone as the offense is walking off the field but it doesn’t show who. In both clips, the receivers who busted their assignments make it tough to even determine what the play call is.
Wrong route adjustment
Here is an example of a pass that looks like a bad pass but actually isn’t a bad pass. What it is instead is an example of a receiver, Watson in the right slot, not knowing what he’s supposed to do to his route when the safeties spin to single-high coverage post snap. This makes it look like a bad pass because of where the ball ends up, nearly an interception.
Watson is running a middle reader route, meaning versus 2-deep safeties, he should split the difference and angle between the safeties. Pre-snap, this is his read. He also has other indicators presnap that he should key on to know he most likely needs to flatten his route and get across the safeties face post-snap.
Those indicators are the outside leverage of the defender, signaling that he’s getting rotation to a single high middle-of-the-field closed coverage. But he runs the crosser like he’s splitting 2 deep safeties and ends up in the safety’s path.
There was a report earlier this week of the receiver room getting together to study their mistakes and what’s been going wrong with their lack of detail and it begs the question why this introspection wasn’t happening in the first place a lot sooner.
The receiving room, including the addition of the new tight ends this season, is primarily all rookies with the exception of Doubs, Watson, and Toure. There might be a leadership element missing here but with three second-year players who went through this last season, it’s surprising no one has emerged to corral the unit and get them on the same page.
Coming off of a bye week into the Denver game certainly still making the same errors does not inspire any confidence that this current group of players will turn it around any time soon.