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Numbers say Packers’ passing game needs more of Allen Lazard and running backs

Breaking down the statistics of the passing game shows that Lazard and the running backs are essential to success moving forward.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers offense has had its fair share of highlights and lowlights throughout the first nine games of the 2019 season. The Packers currently sit atop the NFC North at 7-2 but are coming off a humiliating loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that Aaron Rodgers called “humbling”. The offense struggled mightily after having four stellar games in a row, which featured some of Aaron Rodgers’ best games statistically.

The loss to the Chargers saw the return of Davante Adams, after he missed those previous four games with turf toe. During his absence Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow came on to help fill in the gap, while Geronimo Allison continued to struggle. Another part of the offense that took off was the running backs in the passing game.

So how has the passing game looked this season so far? Below is a statistical breakdown.

Running Backs

Aaron Jones

  • Snaps: 357
  • % of total snaps: 60.5
  • Avg snaps/gm: 40
  • Targets: 46
  • Receptions: 35
  • Yards: 354
  • Yds/rec: 10.1
  • TD: 3
  • Gets a reception every 10 snaps & gets about 1 yard per snap.

Jamaal Williams

  • Snaps: 208 (missed one game)
  • % of total snaps: 35
  • Avg snaps/gm: 26
  • Targets: 28
  • Rec: 25
  • Yards: 166
  • Yds/rec: 6.6
  • TD: 5
  • Gets a reception every 9 snaps & gets about .8 yards per snap

Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have been essential to the success of the Green Bay Packers offense. While Davante was gone, Jones caught three touchdown passes and went for nearly 300 yards receiving. As for Williams, he has caught a total of five touchdown passes. He caught one TD in each of the last few weeks — with the exception of week 5, which he missed — while racking up a little under 100 yards in those games.

Aside from these two shouldering a big load in the run game, the running backs have been getting the ball a ton in the passing game, accounting for eight out of Rodgers’ 17 touchdowns. The game plan should revolve around getting the running backs more involved even with Davante Adams back. Often times we see Aaron Rodgers go to Davante Adams no matter what, sometimes forgoing his check-downs or his other reads. Adams is a guy you can depend on, but spreading the ball around is what has propelled this Packers offense in recent weeks, with Jones catching a pass every 10 snaps and Williams every 12.

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams

  • Snaps: 287 (5 games)
  • % of total snaps: 47.3
  • Avg snaps/gm: 57
  • Targets: 47
  • Rec: 32
  • Yards: 419
  • Yds/rec: 13.1
  • TD: 0
  • Gets a reception every 10 snaps & gets about 1.45 yards per snap.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

  • Snaps: 441
  • % of total snaps: 75
  • Avg snaps/gm: 49
  • Targets: 41
  • Rec: 22
  • Yards: 420
  • Yds/rec: 19.1
  • TD: 2
  • Gets a reception every 20 snaps & gets .95 yards per snap.

Geronimo Allison

  • Snaps: 353
  • % of total snaps: 60.1
  • Avg snaps/gm: 43
  • Targets: 34
  • Rec: 20
  • Yards: 205
  • Yds/rec: 10.3
  • TD: 2
  • Gets a reception every 18 snaps & gets .58 yards per snap

Allen Lazard

  • Snaps: 157
  • % of total snaps: 23.1
  • Avg snaps/gm: 39
  • Targets: 18
  • Rec: 15
  • Yds: 193
  • Yds/rec: 12.9
  • TD: 1
  • Gets a reception every 10 snaps & gets 1.22 yards per snap.

Jake Kumerow

  • Snaps: 208
  • % of total snaps: 35.1
  • Avg snaps/gm: 38
  • Targets: 14
  • Rec: 8
  • Yards: 140
  • Yds/rec: 17.5
  • TD: 1
  • Gets a reception every 26 snaps & gets .67 yards per snap

Obviously with Adams coming back it is essential to fit him into the game plan that worked while he was gone. He is Aaron Rodgers’ go-to guy; however, he has to keep going through all of his progressions and not depending solely on Adams.

While Adams was gone, players like Allen Lazard have really stepped up. He has come up big when he needed to, most notably with his touchdown against the Lions. Aaron Rodgers trusts him, and his progression as a young player could help take this offense over the edge. In fact, Lazard leads the receivers in targets since the Lions game and among receivers, only Davante Adams and Lazard are averaging over one yard per snap with Valdes-Scantling close with .95. Adams and Lazard also have the lowest rec/snap ratio.

Geronimo Allison has been having a pretty poor season aside from a couple of big plays. His number has not been called nearly as much as last year, and with Lazard coming on strong you could see him continue to drop on the targets and receptions list. Based on his stats per game you can see he is involved less and less.

Jake Kumerow has had a few big plays, but he has been mostly a non factor in the passing game on a consistent basis.

The game plan needs to include the other wideouts not named Davante Adams, and Allen Lazard has proved so far this season that when he is called on he can deliver. Getting Marquez Valdes-Scantling back to playing the way he did last year will be key to this offense as well. Hopefully with Adams back, the other guys can take advantage of the chances they are going to get now that the focus will be on Adams.

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham

  • Snaps: 374
  • % of total snaps: 63.6
  • Avg snaps/gm: 43
  • Targets: 37
  • Rec: 25
  • Yards: 251
  • Yds/rec: 10
  • TD: 3
  • Gets a reception every 15 snaps & gets about .67 yards per snap.

Marcedes Lewis

  • Snaps: 257
  • % of total snaps: 43.3
  • Avg snaps/gm: 34
  • Targets: 13
  • Rec:10
  • Yards: 130
  • Yds/rec: 13
  • TD: 0
  • Gets a reception every 26 snaps & gets 0.51 yards per snap.

Robert Tonyan

  • Snaps: 81
  • % of total snaps: 14
  • Avg snaps/gm: 29
  • Targets: 6
  • Rec: 4
  • Yards: 66
  • Yds/rec: 16.5
  • TD: 0
  • Gets a reception every 21 snaps & gets .81 yards per snap.

Jimmy Graham has been hit or miss all season. He caught the first touchdown of the season and has caught two since then. LaFleur has tried getting him going and he has shown flashes of what he can be. Marcedes Lewis has mostly blocked but has made plays when needed.

The Packers should try to work Robert Tonyan into the passing game when he comes back as well as Jace Sternberger, who could see more snaps in coming weeks. Getting the tight ends more involved could be missing factor to this offense. When all the cylinders are firing in the passing game, we have seen this offense be among the best in the NFL.

Going forward, the Packers need to stick to what has made them successful. The linemen need to give Aaron time so he can go through his progressions and not try to force the ball to Davante Adams. Work the ball to the running backs and then let the offense loose with play-action. The Packers face the Panthers next week who have a good pass defense, so if the Packers can prepare well and figure out, it will be good signs to come for the rest of the season.

The Packers currently have all of their starters healthy and ready to go. Getting them involved and playing their best will be the difference between a Super Bowl win or a playoff disappointment.