Allen Lazard Needs More Targets in Final Weeks

To help bring more consistency to this Green Bay Packers' passing game, wide receiver Allen Lazard needs more targets in the final weeks.

 

The Green Bay Packers are finding ways to win games this season and for the most part, it has been with an inconsistent passing attack. Which if we think about it, is actually quite impressive given how dependent on Aaron Rodgers this team has been for a number of years now. But a big reason for those inconsistencies has been due ot the lack of production from a reliable No. 2 wide receiver. Prior to the season beginning, the assumption was that either Geronimo Allison or Marquez Valdes-Scantling would fill that role with Randall Cobb in Dallas. However, that just hasn't been the case. 

Allison has been the Green Bay Packers' primary receiver out of the slot but has struggled with drops as he has four on the year - although it does feel like more - and with the ball in his hands he's been incredibly underwhelming averaging just 8.7 yards per catch. Meanwhile, Valdes-Scantling was supposed to be the deep threat, but over the last two months he has disappeared and his snap count has dwindled as well. Over the last seven games, Valde-Scantling has caught just two passes on 11 targets for 11 total yards.And during the last three games he is averaging just over 11 snaps per game, including a low of seven against Chicago. 

With just two games left in the regular season and at least one playoff game ahead, Matt LaFleur and Rodgers have given Allison and Valdes-Scantling plenty of opportunities up to this point and more than they probably should have afforded them. But now the Packers need a more reliable target to be featured along side of Davante Adams, and clearly that player should be Allen Lazard

From a production standpoint, since the Packers played the Detrlot Lions on Monday Night, Lazard has been Green Bay's No. 2 receiver but he is still missing those consistent targets. Since that game, Lazard has been targeted 35 times and caught an incredible 74.3 percent of those passes at nearly 14 yards per catch with two touchdowns. This also includes a huge game against the New York Giants where he hauled in 3 receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers has a passer rating of 129.9 when targeting Lazard and it is quite obvious that he trusts the young receiver in big moments. Which as we've seen throughout the years, gaining Rodgers' trust isn't an easy thing for receivers to earn. 

Yet despite having that trust, what Lazard is missing is more opportunities. A positive step in the right direction is that in recent weeks we've seen his snap count on the rise and for the first time all season, he finally played more snaps than Allison against the Bears - to which I'm surprised it's taken this long to happen - but the consistent targets are still missing. During the Green Bay Packers last nine games, Rodgers is averaging nearly 33 passing attempts per game, yet less than four of them on average are to Lazard. Just way too few if you're asking me.

With the regular season winding down and focus slowly beginning to shift to the playoffs, in order for the Packers to make a run at the Super Bowl, having a more consistent passing game will certainly go a long ways towards achieving that goal. However, that all starts with getting their No. 2 wide receiver, Allen Lazard, more targets.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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Comments (29)

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Cheekweek's picture

December 22, 2019 at 05:06 pm

Reminds me of the time when Brett had to lobby for a young Double D to get more snaps. That worked out pretty well. Hope we see another decade of Lazard success--just needs to work on matching Donald's award-winning smile.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 22, 2019 at 06:10 pm

Lazard is averaging 10.4 yards per target, which is an elite number. I've written for years that GB needs 3 viable receiving options, or two if they are both great. Gotta have it.

Nice article.

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splitpea1's picture

December 23, 2019 at 02:42 pm

Three sounds better. And on the Kansas City-Chicago broadcast last night, they were saying KC has four, but that includes the TE (something else we could use unless one of our young guys gets more chances and develops).

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 22, 2019 at 06:19 pm

The WR's need to be more targetable as a whole or Rodgers needs to see more of them as targetable.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 22, 2019 at 06:34 pm

Developing guys during the season is important, but now it’s time to tighten up the rotation. At the #2 WR spot, last week Allison got targeted 4 times to Lazard’s three. Kumerow got 1. MVS doesn’t need anymore targets this season.

Most of the time in this offense the #2 guy is a blocker or a decoy. Adams got 13 targets.

We want more passes to Lazard, and to the backs. Kind of sounds to me like we want more passing. Not me. I want more hand offs.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I just checked. Lazard got more offensive snaps than Allison and Kumerow combined last week. Good. He is our de facto #2. But there just aren’t a lot of extra targets available right now.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 22, 2019 at 11:12 pm

There are times during the game where Lazard and Jones and Williams as well should be targeted just as much as Davante.
Especially with all the last second snaps.

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Gee's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:04 am

So every play then, considering I cant remember, the last time they snapped with over 5 seconds.

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edp1959's picture

December 22, 2019 at 07:03 pm

I feel #1 seed getting closer. Win out and a Seattle win over San Fran and #1 comes to Green Bay.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 22, 2019 at 07:47 pm

From the very first preseason game on the first kickoff #13 came flying onto the screen and destroyed the whole right side of the return game formation making me say to myself...."who the hell is #13?"

Ever since that moment I have been in Lazards fan club seeing some something special in him. Got frustrated having everyone putting Allison, Shephard, and Kumerow over him. To be fair I thought MVS while not ESB talent would be much better than he has shown. While I would draft a WR next year fairly high I believe the combo of Lazard, ESB, and MVS will be pretty good.

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

December 22, 2019 at 08:27 pm

I think both Lazard & Kumerow should be ahead of Allison and MVS. I'd only use MVS as a deep decoy at this point. I too wish LaFluer and Rodgers were more focused on moving the sticks. I think they need to be more disciplined in giving Jones touches and using the either of the RBs more in the passing game.

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BoHunter's picture

December 22, 2019 at 08:58 pm

Lazard is LEGIT, he will be the #2 behind 17 for years to come . Guy catches everything, blocks, and looks for contact. Unleash this weapon and quit wasting snaps on MVS and GMO !!!

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Boneman's picture

December 22, 2019 at 09:01 pm

I'm tired of all the talk about a number 2 reciever. How about we get number 1 going? Drew Bree's targets Thomas over and over again despite double teams and number one defenders. Adams has done almost nothing since his injury and needs to get going. If that happens watch how much easier it will be to hit the other WRs. Our WR talent is as good as many other teams and we need to quit using them as the scapegoat. AR needs to buckle up and play to his talent level and our offense will take off.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 22, 2019 at 09:08 pm

Adams isn't close Thomas as a WR and Rodgers can't make him look like Thomas either. Adams is the Packers #1 and about another 8-10 teams.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

December 23, 2019 at 03:07 pm

Just in our division Adams is the 5th best WR. Out of 4 teams including GB. 2 teams, the bears and queens each have 2 Wrs better than adams.

Adams out dropped all of them last weekend

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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2019 at 09:00 am

Adams may still be nursing that injury and can only play at 75% capacity. My guess is he isn’t close to 100%.

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fredluis's picture

December 23, 2019 at 12:07 am

Pretty insightful post. Never thought that it was this simple after all. I had spent a good deal of my time looking for someone to explain this subject clearly and you’re the only one that ever did that. Keep it up. https://www.charlottetileinstallation.com

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Bure9620's picture

December 23, 2019 at 03:53 am

Lazard truthers unite!

Remember when Lazard was cut in favor of Darius Shepperd???? I nearly lost it. Could not believe what some on this very blog were watching. Gute is quite lucky Lazard was not claimed off waivers. What an incredible misfire and near disaster by Gute. He lost some credibility points with me for this decision alone.

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NickPerry's picture

December 23, 2019 at 04:05 am

Not trying to make an excuse for Gute but he already had several of the same body/speed types as Lazard on the roster. If you ask me the play was to keep Cobb for the $5 million the Cowboys paid him AND Lazard. Gute was simply trying to fill the role of the shifty WR role who hopefully could return kicks and punts.

BUT after watching Shepard you do have to wonder and think to yourself WTF Gute?

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Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2019 at 01:09 pm

I too thought we should have kept Cobb over Allison.

Next year, I see it as Lazard, Kumerow, MSV andESB. No need for a high pick at WR.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:33 am

He was trained by Ted. That should explain it all.

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Philarod's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:18 am

It's hard not to agree with this article or the consensus of replies.

Lazard needs more snaps and targets, and in general, I'd like to see the Pack spread the ball around. I like Adams, but he is not a scary, dominant receiver. Give us more Lazard and Kumerow, minimize Graham, and get the backs involved. MVS? Perhaps, give him a deep shot or two per game.

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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2019 at 09:06 am

Phil.....Adams is an elite WR, you are currently watching an injured player. Too many doubted him in year two, some stating to cut’em but the reality is he was playing injured then as well.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:41 am

People don't get injured in their fantasy world league. These critics don't understand the real Game.

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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2019 at 12:25 pm

That’s true partially cuz some don’t play sports and don’t realize how playing injured doesn’t allow you to play to your full abilities.

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GAE's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:53 am

As a U. of Iowa grad, we saw Lazard in the annual Iowa State rivalry game for several years so this is an unbiased comment: he's good & indeed should have more targets. Indeed Allen was the best ISU receiver in the past decade in my opinion & that includes his predecessor Hakeem Butler (4th round pick & signed a 4 yr multi-M deal recently)! The Pack got a steal with Lazard!

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:40 am

For Lazard to not be drafted was a crime against Football. Some of these clucks are getting seven figure money to assess players for the draft. They have hissy fits over RAS scores and pegging for potential while blindly over-viewing what is obvious on game film. All Lazard did was catch the ball and move the chains.

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Houndog's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:04 am

I can't help but agree with the article, it's clearly stating the obvious.
Allison and MVS have been spotty (to say the least) all season long, and in recent weeks the TEs have been nearly invisible. The Packers need a spark at receiver, no matter what position he's playing! Once again that's obvious.
The scary part of all this, at least to me, is that why does it take MLF so long to recognize these things? After Kumerow had one nice catch-n-run last week all of a sudden MLF is talking about getting him more reps, but hey, what about Jimmy Graham, when does he get replaced? All season long I've seen Marcedes Lewis as the guy making the 'Big Moment" catches and the best blocks, and damn, one and maybe more of these young guys should be able to drop passes or slip and fall as good as Graham does, wouldn't you think?
Most teams still in the mix have shown noticeable improvement over the course of the season, and I don't believe we've seen that from our Packers. Where's this 'Illusion' offense we heard so much about last summer, MLF's mentors seem to be running it quite well.
Furthermore, on defense it might be time to bring Charles Woodson back as a DB coach. When's the last time one of our DBs actually "MADE" an interception, taking it away from the other team? They sit 10 yards back waiting for the opposing QB to throw it to them and then drop half of the balls that hit them in the hands. Coaching has to be a part of the problem(s).
Enjoy the next few weeks, the play-offs will be short and not much fun.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:43 am

Pettine claims to be a press-cover guy, but they've been sitting in zone all season, getting picked apart in the soft middle.

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Point-Packer's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:32 am

Lazard more targets? Ahh humbug!!!.Lets get Geronimo Alison, with that blazing 4.7 speed, out in space more. Those WR screens for ol' G-mo are a perfect compliment to his elite speed and YAC skills.

The whole receiving corps (WR & TE's) situation (management on and off the field) this year is a perfect example of how not to structure a group of pass-catchers in this NFL. From the personnel side, despite Aaron Nagler's proclamations that they "just need to play", one elite WR and a bunch of late round and UDFA's is not going to cut it, and hasn't cut it, as everyone but Nagler knew would happen, The TE group, is overall underwhelming. The lone bright spot being Lewis' blocking skills. Should have kept Cobb, dumped Graham and/or brought in a mid-tier vet at WR.

And yes, given what we have seen from Lazard, he certainly should be getting more snaps than MVS and/or G-mo.

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