Adjusting to the New Philosophy of the Green Bay Packers Offense

Green Bay Packers Offense

Since Aaron Rodgers has been the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, winning games has fallen on his shoulders. For the longest time, it has been the Packers defense that has been the weak link of this storied franchise. But from what fans have witnessed so far in 2022, it appears things have flipped for the Packers. That was on display Sunday afternoon when the Packers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-12 in Tampa. The Green Bay Packers offense now appears to be the supporting cast to the defense.

Adjusting to the New Philosophy of the Green Bay Packers Offense

The new philosophy of the Green Bay Packers offense shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Davante Adams off-season departure set the ball rolling for this new approach. The days of Rodgers dropping back and connecting with Adams on 10-12 passes to lead the Packers passing attack are history. Now, head coach and offensive game caller Matt LaFleur has instilled a more methodical approach.

That new approach was on full display Sunday against the Buccaneers. The approach is pretty simple. Try to establish some type of run game, use play action off of that, and lean heavily on the defense. It’s an approach that Packers fans aren’t accustomed to witnessing. But with the Packers spending major capital on their star quarterback, the underrated starting running back, and their defensive personnel, it’s an approach that the Packers needed to make.

Aaron Jones is the Focal Point of Green Bay Packers Offense

It wasn’t a coincidence that the Green Bay Packers offense struggled in the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. It was a game that saw star running back Aaron Jones receive just five carries. In the passing game, Jones only had three receptions.

Not only is Jones the best home run threat the Packers have running the ball, but it can be argued that he is the Packers best-receiving threat as well. The failure to get Jones more touches fell on the shoulders of LaFleur. It was a failure that LaFleur recognized and quickly adjusted.

In the Packers week two victory over the Chicago Bears, LaFleur made sure to establish Jones, quickly and often. Jones rushed for 132 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown carry. He also chipped in three receptions for 38 yards with one touchdown reception.

While Jones didn’t put up the same type of numbers against a much better Buccaneers defense, he still got the necessary touches. He finished the game with 12 carries for 36 yards. In the passing game, he chipped in three catches for 11 yards.

LaFleur believes he has two starting caliber running backs in Jones and AJ Dillon. While Dillon is solid, he doesn’t possess the same skill that Jones possesses. With no Adams or any other player of Jones caliber on the roster, the Packers have to make sure the offense goes through Jones. If they do, the new offensive philosophy has a better chance of success. If not, the result will be the same as it was in week one against the Vikings.

Aaron Rodgers Must Spread the Ball

Aaron Rodgers will never be considered a game manager. Rodgers, no matter what his age is, is too good to ever be called a game manager. But with how general manager Brian Gutekunst has assembled the personnel for the Green Bay Packers offense, Rodgers has to make sure to spread the ball.

When Rodgers drops back to pass, of course, his first looks will go towards his veteran pass catchers. Rodgers loves pass catchers he can rely on. So that means players like Jones, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Robert Tonyan will get a lot of touches. But unlike in recent history, Rodgers doesn’t have the luxury of shunning the Packers young pass catchers.

Against the Buccaneers, Rodgers included one of his young wide receivers and the results were solid. Romeo Dubbs, the Packers fourth-round pick from this year’s NFL Draft, caught eight passes for 73 yards with one touchdown reception. Doubs displayed the same type of big play potential he showed throughout this year’s training camp. In seasons past, with a much deeper wide receiver group, it is doubtful that a rookie like Doubs would have been highlighted.

For the Packers offense to be successful, it comes down to trusting LaFleur’s offensive scheme. Since taking over as head coach, Rodgers has shown that he trusts his young head coach. That trust will be tested this season, with the lack of established pass catchers. The days of one receiver catching 10-12 passes are gone. For this offense to be successful, Rodgers is going to need to spread the ball. The numbers won’t be gaudy, but what the 2022 Packers care about, is if they win games.

It Starts and Ends with the Packers Defense

In all reality, it doesn’t matter how the Packers offense plays. Sure, scoring some type of points will help, but if the Packers defense fails to show, the result will be a loss for the Packers.

It really doesn’t matter if Tom Brady didn’t have all of his weapons on Sunday. The Packers defense holding a Tom Brady-led offense to just 12 points is still a major victory. It isn’t an overstatement to say that if the Packers defense didn’t play as they did on Sunday the Packers wouldn’t have come out with a victory.

It has been a long time since the Packers have rolled out a defense with this much talent. The talent and especially the depth of the defense were on full display Sunday afternoon. When star cornerback Jaire Alexander was lost to a groin injury, Rasul Douglas stepped up to take his spot as one of the starting boundary cornerbacks. Douglas, last season’s surprise defensive standout, stepped in and the Packers didn’t miss a beat.

Douglas wasn’t the only cornerback to step up for the Packers secondary. With Douglas shifting from the slot to the boundary, Keisean Nixon stepped in at the slot. Nixon, a standout special team player, displayed solid skills at cornerback. Not only did he do well in coverage, but he also forced a fumble. Nixon, as well as Douglas, are great examples of the depth the Packers have on defense.

The Packers haven’t played in a Super Bowl since 2011. Since then, the Packers have relied on having a high-octane offense, an offense that was expected to cover up for the deficiencies on defense. The results have been disappointing.

So, the new philosophy, offensively, is to run the ball, control the clock, and make timely passes. On defense, it is simple, be the leader of this franchise. Packers fans might not be accustomed to it, but it’s a philosophy that might just get the Packers back to the Super Bowl.

 

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