The 2019 Green Bay Packers offense, led by Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, and Jamaal Williams, isn’t that far from accomplishing the goals they set out prior to the start of this season. Statistically, what I’m about to say would seem ridiculous, but statistics don’t always tell the entire story. That is certainly true when analyzing how close this offense is to being dominant. Yes, they’re only averaging 23.5 points and 341.6  total yards – of which 238.2  yards on average are coming from passing attack – per game. The surprise here is the 103.5 yards per game average From the rushing attack.

The passing attack has accounted for 129, of the 224 total first downs. While the rushing attack has gained 60 first downs. 35 have been given to them via penalty. Looking at the numbers from the surface. The first issue jumps, right, up off the paper! Even after missing 4 weeks of action, Davante Adams still leads this team with, 46, receptions for 580 yards 12.6 yards per reception average with 1 touchdown.

The running back Tandem of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams comes in at 2 and 3 in receptions, yardage, and touchdowns.

  • Aaron Jones: 39 receptions for 367 yards, 9.4 yard average per reception with 3 touchdowns.
  • Jamaal Williams: 36 receptions for 227 yards, a 6.3 yards average per reception with 5 touchdowns.
  • Geronimo Allison: 29 receptions for 240 yards and an 8.6 yard average per reception with 2 touchdowns.
  • Jimmy Graham: 28 receptions 333 yards, 11.5 yard average per reception with 3 touchdowns.
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 23 receptions 427 yards in 18.6 yard average per reception with 2 touchdowns.

That comes to a whopping total of 155 total receptions for the top five targets. With 15 total touchdowns. 

On the flip side, the running game has been far more productive when given the opportunity and featured heavily. Aaron Jones: 159 rushing attempts, for 645 total yards, 4 yards per carry average, 11 touchdowns. Jamaal Williams: 86 rushing attempts, 377 yards 4.4 yards average per carry, with 1 touchdown. Combined, that’s 245 attempts, 1,022 yards, 4.1 yards per carry, with 12 touchdowns. 

Statistics don’t tell the full story

Now, this looks as though you’re looking at a statistically balanced offense. That’s the issue! These numbers don’t come because they are balanced, game in game out. The numbers seem relatively close, but that’s because in the 3 losses they’ve featured the passing attack an all but ignored or abandoned the run game. This brings up a gigantic argument amongst fans, and analysts, about what the issues are, with this offense. I will admit, when watching the games live it, seems as though the coaching staff is correct to shy away from continuing to rush the ball, into fronts that seem to be dominating, the offensive line.

The problem here is not necessarily that the Run game isn’t working. The issue is not that the offensive line can’t block correctly to create holes. The assumption that Jones or Williams can’t find the holes, consistently, can also be tossed out the window!

Diving deeper into the film, you’ll find commonalities in the losses. The stagnant, unproductive stretches, this offense goes through Jump out at you! It is Absolutely, a product of the formations, personnel packages and, play calls that are being used in these bad games, or unproductive stretches. In these examples, there are, no, motions, double motions, jet sweeps. Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers are not using Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones together in the backfield, at the same time or split out/ in the slot.

Looking at the failures

It is clear, reviewing the losses, that it is largely a result of the coaching staff and the leader of this offense, Aaron Rodgers, running a totally different offensive scheme than in the games they win and are balanced and highly productive. However, under the tutelage of  Matt LaFleur, The offense is not designed to win games flashy all the time.

It’s simply an offense designed to attack and expose defensive weaknesses, play in and play out game after game. Using very few formations with as many different personnel groupings as possible. making everything look the same yet, maximizing each, different individual offensive weapons talents, and skills!

The Scheme has the answers

A balanced offense attack does not necessarily equal success by the numbers. It is, however, a necessity to committed to attempting rushing the ball regardless of the overall results. It is highly important, because of the design of Matt LaFleur’s offense. In order for the Passing attack to be successful and explosive, the defense has to believe, the Packers will not shy away from attempting to run the ball even if the defense is successful at stopping it. This, in turn, allows the passing attack in, this offense to do what it is designed to do, create explosive plays. In turn, a continued commitment to the running attack is absolutely necessary in order to instill confidence in your offensive line. You have to continue to call run Plays and give them opportunities to move forward and impose their will on the defense. When this is not done, it deems 80% of Matt Lafleur’s scheme Ineffective, putting Aaron Rodgers, the offense, and really the entire team in a difficult situation.

Rodgers not the key to success

I will say it one more time loud and clear! Matt Lafleur and, Aaron Rodgers must commit to the run game, regardless of early results. This offense, over the next five weeks, I believe can certainly find it’s Groove, and impose their will on the defense when and, how they choose. Until that conclusion is reached by the two leaders of this offense. The 2019 Packers will continue to be a rollercoaster of an offensive unit. They will make it difficult for fans and analysts, to understand what exactly is wrong with this team. Why is it not producing, with a two-time MVP future Hall of Fame quarterback? Rodgers has the requisite Talent and a scheme, that has proven over the last four or five seasons throughout the league, to work under quarterbacks who are far less talented and have fewer accolades and experience!

It is not crazy to suggest that in order for this team to find its balance, it must first take the illness and responsibility of its success off the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers. LaFleur has to put it in the hands of the other 10 guys on the field with him. When this is done effectively, it is proven Aaron Rodgers is unstoppable, and he and the passing attack become efficient and almost impossible to stop.

In conclusion, in order for the 2019 Green Bay Packers to be where they want to be in February, the answer is quite simple. Get the ball to the running backs, use the scheme to its full potential, and Aaron Rodgers must trust that at the end of the day it will all work out and will benefit him more than anyone else on the offense! 

Please email questions and/or comments to: firstandgoalpodcast@yahoo.com