What Green Bay fans found out about the Packers Offense this Year
When Jordy Nelson went down in preseason, Packer fans and analysts all had mixed feelings about the how the offensive production would be going forward.
Everything seemed to be running semi smoothly until the Packers came back from their week 7 bye. The wide receivers and blocking after that were atrocious almost the whole rest of the season.
The fans finally figured out that Randall Cobb truly is Robin to Jordy Nelsons Batman. There is no disputing this anymore, Cobb is a number two receiver and nothing more. His routes were bad all year and in most part it's the lack of breakaway speed and strength to get off the line of scrimmage.
Oh yeah, he also had 9 drops this year and most of them were when he was open. Last year he grabbed 91 catches for 1287 yards and 12 touchdowns and he finished this year with 79 catches for 829 yards and six touchdowns. This year's numbers are pretty average numbers for a guy getting paid 10 million a year and who has Aaron Rodgers. Very very disappointing season from Cobb.
James Jones led the Packers in yards this season and get this, with 29 less receptions than Cobb. Jones had 50 receptions for 890 yards with eight touchdowns this season. His first six games he was a great contributor with 21 catches for 424 yards and six touchdowns.
After the bye however, he looked like age had finally caught up with him. He was slow and couldn't get off the line. His routes were still crisp but he couldn't get separation which is why a lot of his catches were in traffic all year. He was suppose to just be a fill in guy and that's what you got after the bye week... kind of but not really. I would be shocked if he's resigned for next year.
Finally, the receiver that everyone had high hopes for coming into the season. Davante Adams was also on the butt end of a lot of "he couldn't catch a cold" jokes this year. Sadly most of the jokers were justified. However, he went down in week 3 with an ankle injury that never really seemed to heal. He missed three games and was listed as questionable for a couple weeks off an on. Even when he was "back" he looked a step behind but finished with 50 catches for 483 yards and only four touchdowns.
Richard Rodgers was the most significantly "dominate" but not really dominate pass catcher for the Green Bay Packers this season. He was somewhat relevant for each game but he's slow. He loved his three to four yard catches that really didn't move the ball anywhere.
He finished the year with 58 catches for 510 yards and eight touchdowns. The guy can catch and he is a great red zone threat but he's just not that athletic for a tight end. Out of the red zone he doesn't scare you. I think that he will be better in an offense with Nelson's deep threat where he can sneak underneath for 8 to 12 yard pickups. The Packers need to look else where if possible but there just isn't much out there in free agency in the upcoming offseason.
The Green Bay receivers collectively had the slowest combined 40 times for top three receivers and the number one tight end in the entire league this year. Not one player in their top three broke past a time of 4.55 in the 40 yard dash. The Packers fastest wide receiver is Jeff Janis (4.42) but his hands are questionable at times and his routes are suspect at best which puts him at 5th on the depth chart.
Eddie Lacy might have had the most rollercoaster of a season of any running back in the NFL. He was never able to get into a solid steak and whether it was injuries or he was overweight, it was bad. I think the combination of being overweight and injuries both have some relevance to the lack of production but a major reason was he didn't run North and South like we're accustom to seeing from him. He tried to spin and juke more this year than use his 250 pound frame to bulldoze defenders.
After having back-to-back thousand yard seasons, he only finished with 187 carries for 758 yards and THREE touchdowns. Next year he needs to lose weight and go back to being the bruiser that we've all seen him be or the Packers should look elsewhere. The run game is a big part of the Packers offense because of the ability to run play action fake.
The offensive line was terrible. Just terrible, there's not a lot of analysis here because they were terrible. They gave up 47 sacks this year which was 5th most in the league. Had it not been for Aaron Rodgers ability to escape the chaos it would have easily been more. Rodgers probably spent more time running out of the pocket and avoiding sacks than he did looking up for receivers. David Bakhtiari should flat out not be playing left tackle for the Packers next year. He doesn't get off the ball and can't block the outside against any half decent defensive end.
We found out Bryan Bulaga may have gotten over paid and looks to be injury prone. He was just another average guy out there, not the guy who got a five year $33.75 million deal. Bulaga struggled to contain the outside from collapsing all year. Every starter but Josh Sitton missed time this year which is partly why it was a dumpster fire. T.J Lang and Sitton at guards were the only bright spots on the offensive line. Both played through injuries and held their ground this year. Sitton made the Pro Bowl and Lang had high consideration. Lang only missed one game with a shoulder injury and luckily both guys will be back next year.
Aaron Rodgers probably wishes he was hosting Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood instead of playing this year. It was a year where Rodgers had very little help and as a result he was unable to get into any rhythm all year. He spent almost the year running for his life and trying to find someone to get separation downfield. Which is why he threw off his back foot and on the move so much. Anyone other than maybe Russell Wilson would have taken way more sacks and would have probably thrown more interceptions.
Rodgers finished the season with 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had 3,821 passing yards and completed 60.7 percent of his passes with a QBR rating of 92.7. All low numbers for Rodgers who had a rough year and he didn't play out of his mind like we're use to seeing. He wasn't himself this year he didn't have the swag and accuracy that he normally does.
He missed open guys at times but can you blame him? He got so use to having to flush the pocket and wait for guys to get open that eventually it was just schoolyard football. Chuck it and hope the receiver can come down with it because literally no one could get separation. He never felt comfortable in the pocket and because of that he had happy feet the whole year.
A former football coach of mine made a good comment about the Packers a few weeks back. He said "They have been relying too long on Rodgers bailing out a below average team, this year Rodgers is playing bad and this is the result you get." The problem Green Bay ran into was Ted Thompson's philosophy of build through the draft only.
The Packers in the last decade have only gone out and found two big free agents. Charles Woodson and Julius Peppers. Both ended up having a very dominate impact on the defensive side of the ball. It's time Ted Thompson went out and searched in free agency because the current offensive roster cannot get them back to the Super Bowl.