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Cory's Corner: Offense Will Take Flight

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Cory's Corner: Offense Will Take Flight

It’s late September, but the Packers’ offense hasn’t looked consistently crisp. 

Green Bay is 31stin the league in red zone efficiency by scoring touchdowns on just 28 percent of the time. That’s awful. This team came into the season with high expectations on offense with the addition of Jimmy Graham and a backfield that surprised a lot of people last year. The only team worse than the Packers in red zone efficiency is the Giants and in case you haven’t been paying attention to Big Blue, well, they are 34 shades of awful. 

This is the weekend things change. Thanks to the limited practice rules, the first couple games of the regular season have turned into pseudo preseason games with offensive guys getting in synch and figuring each other out.

You saw that happen last week from Graham and Aaron Rodgers as they hooked up on an excellent back shoulder pass that should’ve went for a touchdown. However, since pancake blocks are now outlawed, it was called back and Lane Taylor was cited for holding.

The key in this game is going to be Aaron Jones. Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery showed flashes last week. Montgomery had a nice 16-yard run off the right side in the first quarter. But Jones is dynamic and is clearly the best back of the bunch. In fact, I think he can be the second-best back in the NFC North. The only thing that Jones cannot do as well as the other two is block and Williams really showed how his pass protection has improved vs. Minnesota.

I really loved it when Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that Williams and Montgomery will be the No. 1 backs followed by Jones. That will last for about a quarter until Jones breaks off a 15-yard run. McCarthy will be forced to play Jones more snaps and the offense will instantly take off. With the Redskins keyed up to stop Jones; Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Graham will take over.

Granted, Adams hasn’t exactly looked like an elite receiver so far thanks to his two drops. But he still has the split-second moves and has nowhere to go but up.

The guy that I was wrong about coming into the season was Cobb. He seems like he’s been in Green Bay for a lot longer than eight years and is ranked as the 25threceiver according to Pro Football Focus. That’s ahead of Keenan Allen and Odell Beckham, Jr. 

Rodgers is Rodgers. He has done more walking like the tin man than most quarterbacks look healthy. He leads the league in fourth quarter quarterback rating (153.4) and he’s No. 5 in the league in completion percentage from the fourth quarter on (75).

This offense is waiting to break out. It has all the pieces. The only major mystery so far is why Marcedes Lewis has only 28 snaps so far?

But Jones is the focal point. The quicker he gets his tires rolling, the faster this offense will take flight.





Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

BoCallahan's picture

“...the offense will instantly take off.” I’m looking forward to clear skies and a smooth flight.
Fly Packers, Fly!

Turophile's picture

Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings. Coming down is the hardest thing. (Tom Petty)
Packers start the season more biplane than jet fighter, but as stated above, it takes time to gel.

I don't think it is going to be the Aaron Jones show, either. He'll get a few touches, but Jamaal Adams and Ty Montgomery have each earned play time with much improved pass protection this year, and Jones will have to show he is in the same ballpark. He is the most dynamic rusher they have, but all the RBs bring something to the table.

Montgomery = best catcher and best multi-tool option, probably second best in pass-pro. Least durable
Williams = best pass protector, can catch, and decent power runner.
Jones = fastest and most instinctive RB, probably 3rd best in pass pro. I think he can catch, but I'm not sure of it.

While the Redskins aren't chopped liver by any means, they are not close to being at the level of the week 2 Vikings, so I expect the Pack to look better against them.

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

A soul in tension that's learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I
(Pink Floyd)

No real relevance here...I just like Pink Floyd.

stockholder's picture

Right! Granted, Adams hasn’t exactly looked like an elite receiver so far thanks to his two drops. ( beyond 10yds. Over the middle ! ). But he still has the split-second moves. This is where Adams has really improved. (Right ! ) But he does look like he's hurting on some of the routes this year. For Adams to be elite, he must want that ball. We saw him Jacked up wanting to get it last year. Has he Peaked? (No.) And neither has this offense. But the WRs/TEs/RBs must make the most of their chances. A-Rod has favorites. And that could be the Achilles heal. Going to one target to much, doesn't help the offense fly.

Nick Perry's picture

"It has all the pieces. The only major mystery so far is why Marcedes Lewis has only 28 snaps so far?"

The way McCarthy has used Lewis is a huge sore spot for me. What I'm hoping is McCarthy see's the same thing I saw on Montgomery's 16 yard run as I did. There was Lewis sealing off a tackler which helped Monty to cut it up field. It wasn't all Lewis but he clearly helped on the play.

I'm also hoping to finally see what many of us imagined when the Packers signed Graham and Lewis. USE them both in the red zone! Jacksonville with Blake Bortles even had enough sense to throw him the ball inside the 20 last season. That's where he caught his 5 TD passes. Inside the red zone.

Graham is 6'6" and Lewis is 6'7", USE that height to your advantage. I would bet any amount of money that matter to me the Packers are better than 1-5 last weekend had McCarthy used his TE's.

Get Jones on the field, Lewis sealing off the edge, and this offense WILL roll.

4thand1's picture

The Packers are finding out exactly what they have in the real games. These guys have practiced together and saw very limited playing time against competition. With 2 games under their belts it's time to start gelling. A Jones playing in his 1st game will probably be limited unless the Packers have a comfortable lead. Everyone has game film now so teams can game plan, we'll see what the coaches come up with. This why the pre season is so useless, all vanilla and starters ride the pines.

EdsLaces's picture

If Jones would be 2nd best back in the north who would be first ? Howard Cohen or Cook?

4thand1's picture

It has to be Howard, he is proven. Cook is injured again, Cohen is a gadjet type player. Jones has a lot to prove yet, he's healthy and should be chomping at the bit.

Cory Jennerjohn's picture

Eds Laces,

It’s defintley Howard. He has proven it for an entire season and he is the Bears’ bell cow back

4thand1's picture

The NFL's new favorite phrase seems to be the RPO, I've heard a million times already on talk shows and during games. The Packers tried it in OT and AR fumbled it, he was pissed, a 1st down and the Packers win.

Nordom's picture

The way he fumbled it was strange, too. He successfully took it away from the RB with one hand, but then he tried to bring his other hand in to help hold it while he was running for the first down, and instead ended up smashing it out of his first. Whoops.

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

The offense may be ready to fly but it will be supersonic once QB1 has his wheels back. Right now it will be shades of four years from now when the game plans will be drawn up for an older less mobile quarterback. That certainly won’t suck too bad but when the knee is good, everything is clicking, Davonte is catching the ball, Jones is breaking off big ones, Spriggs is still watching from the sidelines, and Jimmy G. is catching balls in the red zone, watch out. We are very lucky fans.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Hopefully it ill soar but the problem with the offense last year, aside from the gum chewer, was the lack of speed of the WR's. Adams is a top ten receiver but doesn't stretch the field. Cobb is a slot receiver with average speed. Allison is a decent #3 but not a burner and doesn't get much separation. We drafted 3 big fast guys but they don't play. Rodgers immobility means the receivers have to get separation quickly. They're not that good at it. The game plan in the 4th Q against the Bears is what should be used, quick short strikes an YAC. McCarthy went away from the that against the Vikes. Who knows why? He just does stuff like that.

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

GB scored 24 against the Bears who were a top ten D last year and have now added KM, and AR missed a good portion of the game. They scored 29 against MN with AR on a bum knee. I don't think the Offense is a problem.

4thand1's picture

nail meet head

Lphill's picture

I think the play calling in the red zone has been very conservative, let Rodgers call his own plays on the red zone , I know the Bears and Vikings are top defenses but MM seems very cautious in the red zone , let Rodgers take over please Mike.

Lare's picture

Despite the "complete overhaul" of the offense during the offseason, it still looks pretty much the same to me.

flackcatcher's picture

Two games Cory, two games......sigh..........

marpag1's picture

If the Packers offense hasn't looked "consistently crisp" yet, maybe it's because the best offensive player in the universe has been seriously hobbled and/or in the locker room for the only two games they have played so far, both of which happened to be against top 10 level defenses, and quite possibly top 5.

Or... yeah, maybe it's all because of the absence of Aaron Jones.

leaerin4's picture

The Packers secondary should have Derwin James making plays for us. We passed on him for an undersized corner. Looks like will be getting burned all year with this defense. We miss King and Davon House stinks!!

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