Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Questions Facing the Green Bay Packers Offense in 2023

Questions Facing the Green Bay Packers Offense in 2023: Without Rodgers, Love and LaFleur's offense faces endless questions.
Packers Offense 2023

With NFL free agency and the NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, it is time for a deeper dive into the 2023 Green Bay Packers. 2023 will look a lot different than seasons past for the Packers. Star quarterback and franchise icon Aaron Rodgers is now a member of the New York Jets. Rodgers’ departure will change many aspects of the Packers. But there is one unit in particular that will look a whole lot different in 2023. Green Bay’s offense will have to answer a lot of questions heading into, and during, 2023.

Questions Facing the Green Bay Packers Offense in 2023

The most obvious and crucial question facing the Green Bay Packers offense is how well quarterback Jordan Love will play in 2023. In 2020, general manager Brian Gutekunst shocked the NFL world by trading up in the first round to select Love. If Rodgers had not thrown a wrench in Gutekunst’s plans by winning back-to-back NFL MVPs, there is no doubt Love would have taken over as starting quarterback sooner. But, instead, Love has sat three seasons behind Rodgers, learning from one of the best to ever play the game.

Love has a lot to prove this season. However, if the young quarterback is going to be successful, there are other aspects of the Green Bay offense that will need to step up. Similar to Love, those other aspects are also filled with many uncertainties. Questions surrounding the wide receivers, tight ends and offensive line are among some of the most glaring.

Can Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs Stay Healthy?

Entering their second seasons in the NFL, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are currently the faces of the Packers passing attack. Both Watson and Doubs (selected in the second and fourth rounds respectively) showed glimpses of their potential in their rookie seasons.

Doubs was the 2022 training camp darling. He made some eye-popping plays at camp that impressed coaches. If there was a big catch to be made, it was Doubs making it. While his training camp play did not fully continue into the regular season, he did have a strong showing for a fourth-round rookie. He finished the season with 42 receptions for 425 yards and three touchdowns.

While Doubs was the playmaker in training camp, Watson was the playmaker in the regular season. After overcoming issues with drops, Watson caught 41 passes for 611 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns in 2022. He also chipped in with two touchdowns on the ground.

The Packers are extremely high on their two second-year wide receivers heading into 2023. But while some daily Packers podcasters might lead you to believe they are the second coming of Randy Moss and Cris Carter, there are still questions facing both wideouts. The biggest being their durability.

Both Watson and Doubs missed time in 2022. Watson suffered a hamstring injury, as well as a concussion. Each made him miss three games. Doubs suffered an ankle injury midway through 2022, sitting out four games. For the Packers offense to be successful, neither wide receiver can miss time in 2023. The depth at wide receiver for the Packers is suspect at best. If either misses time, there will be a major drop-off in talent. It is thus imperative for both pass catchers to be available for this upcoming season.

Can the Rookie Tight Ends Contribute to Packers Offense Immediately in 2023?

After failing to address the tight end void in previous seasons, Gutekunst finally addressed the position in this year’s draft. The Packers selected Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave in the second round. They followed that up by selecting South Dakota standout, Tucker Kraft, in the third round. Both Musgrave and Kraft were considered high-end prospects.

Even before taking an NFL snap, Musgrave and Kraft are already entrenched as the Packers’ top two tight ends. Some of that has to do with the lack of depth, but a big reason is the talent each tight end possesses.

There is no doubt that the Packers would love to take their time developing Musgrave and Kraft. However, because of the lack of depth at tight end, the Packers do not have the time to let either redshirt and learn the position. Love needs weapons. If Musgrave and Kraft are as good as they are billed, the inexperienced signal-caller will need them to play (and contribute) right away. It should be noted that, if neither can contribute immediately, the Packers passing attack will struggle.

Can Myers Overcome His Struggles?

One way to help Love, the new full-time starting quarterback, is for starting center Josh Myers to play up to his own draft status. If Myers can step up, the Packers offense will benefit from a clean quarterback in 2023.

Gutekunst selected Myers in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He did so even with that year’s top center prospect, Creed Humphrey, still on the board. While Humphrey has excelled for the Kansas City Chiefs, Myers has conversely struggled in Green Bay. Those struggles were on full display in 2022. The then-sophomore center earned a measly 60.4 grade from Pro Football Focus, which is testament to his below-average performances.

Myers won’t have the luxury of playing with a veteran like Rodgers in 2023. Entering his third season, the young lineman will need to show the maturity that is expected of a third-year starting center. Especially one that will be protecting a first-year starting quarterback. If he struggles early, the Packers will be forced to replace him with second-year player Zach Tom, or, even possibly, Elgton Jenkins.

Who will Backup Love?

Just like when Rodgers was the starter, if something were to happen to Love, it would no doubt cause the Packers season to collapse. As such, the Packers must find someone who is able to take snaps if something were to happen to Love. As it stands, the Packers’ top two choices on their roster are veteran Danny Etling or rookie fifth-round pick, Sean Clifford.

Since entering the NFL in 2018, Etling has played for six different NFL teams. However, he still has not taken an NFL snap. While he does not have NFL experience, Etling is a very good athlete. He displayed a strong arm and decent playmaking mobility in preseason action for the Packers in 2022. He showed so much so that, if the Packers don’t find additional help, Etling should be given every chance to earn the backup spot, behind Love.

The selection of Clifford was, arguably, the worst pick of the entire 2023 NFL Draft. Clifford was a two-time captain for Penn State and started many games for the Nittany Lions during his career. But, in that span, he never displayed the type of ability expected of an NFL-caliber quarterback prospect.

How Good of an Offensive Playcaller is Matt LaFleur?

There is not a member of the Packers offense who has more on the line in 2023 than head coach Matt LaFleur. That even includes Love, who undoubtedly has a lot riding on this season.

As the Packers head coach, LaFleur has accumulated a 47-19 regular season record. During that time, he has led the Packers to three NFC North titles. You cannot take away what LaFleur has done. He has been a very successful head coach in the regular season. He also helped Rodgers win back-to-back NFL MVPs (2021 and 2022).

But, with Rodgers now gone, many will wonder if LaFleur can replicate that success without an all-time great. Some will claim that this is ‘fake news’, or that those aspersions originate from ‘LaFleur haters’. That may be. However, it still remains that LaFleur had the luxury of calling a Rodgers-led offense that also, previously, had one of the NFL’s best wideouts, Davante Adams.

LaFleur was hired because of his ability to coach quarterbacks. Yes, he helped Rodgers overcome a “down season”. But that was still Rodgers, one of the best to ever do it. What LaFleur does with Love will testify how good of an offensive coach he truly is. If Love thrives, which could happen, LaFleur’s critics are silenced. If Love struggles, then LaFleur will face questions about whether he, like many others in the Packers organization, just rode the shirttails of Rodgers.

Main Photo: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin


More Posts

Monthly NFL Rookie Report

With the 2023 NFL season underway, fans have a glimpse of how well NFL rookies can perform at the pro level. Some have hit the

Send Us A Message