Is Play Calling the Main Issue for the Packers Offense?

There has been a lot of debate about just why the Packers are struggling on offense this season. Pretty much everything has been thrown out there: poor offensive line play, Eddie Lacy is too fat, Jordy Nelson was more important than people realized, the receivers simply aren't good enough and aren't getting themselves open, bad game plans, not running the ball, etc.

Something that has been brought up many times is the play calling. People, myself included, have been criticizing the play calling for at times only calling deep, long developing routes and for failing to establish any kind of run game when the offense was in a rut during games. For the majority of the season the offense has been poor, but these last three weeks in particular it has been downright awful.

The major offensive change this season from seasons prior is that for the first time since Mike McCarthy took over as coach, there is someone not named Mike McCarthy calling the offensive plays. Tom Clements took over that duty from McCarthy this season and the offense has been the worst its been in a very long time. 

There are a lot of contributing factors to the offense being bad, not just one. There is no denying that the offensive line has played way worse than last year. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked on average 3.7 times per game over the last three games, for reference he was only sacked 1.8 times per game all of last season. The running game has been awful with Eddie Lacy averaging 3.7 yards per carry and James Starks not much better at 4.0 yards per carry - that is, when they actually get a carry. The receivers have been banged up all season and they are not getting open and when they have been, Rodgers has occasionally been uncharacteristically off at times.

But with all of that, the Packers have had worse offensive lines under McCarthy, a worse running back situation, and they've had to play without Jordy Nelson more than once and they have always been able to make it work. Until now. So what changed? Well, time eventually catches up to us all and eventually there is a changing of the guard, but also the play calling changed.

When it was announced that the play calling would be handed off, a lot of people were thrilled with this. It was thought that while McCarthy did a good job before, he was too cautious and they needed to take more chances. 

The idea behind McCarthy giving up the play calling was brought on by him not knowing the status of a Matthews injury during the NFC Championship Game last year as well as the lack of communication on the onside kick. This was supposed to allow him to focus on the defense, special teams, and still work with the offensive game plan during the week while freeing him up during games to be more attentive to what is happening with his team.

When asked about the play calling and possibly taking it back from Clements, Mike McCarthy has been consistent in his unwavering support for staying the course. He has a "process" and he does not want to get away from it just because things aren't working out how they should. McCarthy is firm in his stance that what they decided at the start of the year is the right way to go about things, he is afraid to overreact and doesn't want to have to adjust because things aren't working out.

Recently Josh Sitton spoke out about the play calling, stating, "I think that our offense has become too predictable. Teams know exactly what we're going to do every week. We need to show them some different things. We're not intimidating the defense right now." 

It does seem like the game plan for the Packers is well thought out, at least if the first couple drives of games are scripted. To start games, the offense seems to be its normal self most weeks. They move the ball without needing any big plays and they seem to keep the defense on their feet. Then something happens and they go flat. Usually they try to run the ball, don't get much, and try to make up everything with big plays, which don't work. The following series they do the same thing except without running the ball and begin to get frustrated. All of this has lead to the Packers being at the very bottom of the league when it comes to drives resulting in three-and-outs. Last year, no team had a better three-and-out rate than the Green Bay Packers.

Recently in games after the initial offensive success, followed by going flat, the Packers have had to dig themselves out of holes at the end of games. The last two weeks, they have basically been able to do that despite falling short on game-winning plays each week. They accomplished this by running quick passes and having great success with screens to James Starks. Why it takes them so long to start doing this, I don't know. It is apparent that the Packers are much more successful at the start and end of games than they are in the middle of the games.

Breaking down the Packers' games into segments of first two drives of games, last three drives of games, and everything else in between you get these numbers through the nine games this year:

  First Two Offensive Drives of Games Last Three Offensive Drives of Games Every Drive In Between the First Two and Last Three
Total Drives 18 27 49
Total Points Scored 62 75 74
Drive Scoring Percentage 55.6% 48.1% 28.6%
Percentage of Total Points for the Season 29.4% 35.6% 35.1%

There is a serious lack of scoring happening for the Packers between the first two drives of games and the last three drives of games. The Packers have actually scored more points in the 27 drives at the end of games this year than they have in the 49 drives in the middle of games. They have scored only 12 less points in the 18 drives to start games than they have in the 49 drives in the middle of games. This means that the Packers have scored 65 percent of their points this season in the first two drives of games and the last three drives of games.

This can be seen when looking at three-and-outs as well:

  First Two Offensive Drives of Games Last Three Offensive Drives of Games Every Drive In Between the First Two and Last Three
Total Three-and-Outs 5 7 25
Percent of Three-and-Out Drives 27.7% 25.9% 51.0%

The Packers are right in line with the three-and-out rates they had all of last year (24.9%) and in 2013 (30.6%) on the first two (27.7%) and last three (25.9%) drives of games. That's all well and good. The roughly 5.5 drives in the middle of games however the Packers are going three-and-out on a pathetically staggering 51% of their drives. More often than not they are not even picking up a first down in the second and third quarters of games. That is a problem. That is a major problem, not just for the offense, but for simply giving the defense a chance to catch their breath and not having to protect a short field every drive.

The offensive struggles are clearly happening in the middle of games. Something is changing from how they are playing at the start of games and at the end of games. I truly believe this is almost all on the play calling. There is no attempt made at building a rhythm in the passing game by using quick passes or by keeping the defense on their heals and having to make guys respect the dump-off or screen game. Running back screens are rarely run in the middle of games and wide receiver screens are hardly run anymore at all in this offense. Which is a shame because both are very effective for the Packers when they do run them.

There is no doubt that the offensive line needs to play better, the receivers need to get open more, Rodgers needs to hit the receivers when they are open, the receivers need to catch the ball when Rodgers hits them, and they absolutely need to establish some semblance of a running game. Essentially all of these things can not only be initiated by poor play calling, but they can be basically cured by better play calling that understands what the team has to work with and the flow of a game.

I am officially putting my hat in the ring for wanting McCarthy to take over the play calling again. Will it cure everything? I don't know. But I would be willing to bet that it helps. The process be damned, it is time to admit failure and move on. 

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Comments (40)

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Brewcity's picture

November 19, 2015 at 06:49 am

Nice write up Mike. I've started wondering when Packer fans are going to question another offseason coaching change: making Alex Van Pelt both the QB coach and WR coach.

I like the idea of synergies that you could get from combining those two groups but maybe they aren't getting enough coaching through this stretch of adversity. Maybe the combined approach works better with a veteran group of WR/QB? This receiving corps is pretty young.

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NickPerry's picture

November 19, 2015 at 06:52 am

Mike McCarthy was "Consistent in his unwavering Support of staying the course" with Shawn Slocum as well and look how that turned out. The same could be said about his support for Dom Capers. What I find absolutely amazing is McCarthy preaches Accountability to his players weekly, what about himself and coaches? In any place of Business Clements would have been FIRED by now if "Business" dropped as far as the offense has. We hear it all the time, the NFL is a Business, a what have you done for me lately Business. Clements really hasn't done ANYTHING all year. Where's the Accountability Mike? Both for Clements, Capers AND Mike McCarthy? Practice what you preach Mike...

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kparis99's picture

November 19, 2015 at 07:16 am

It's not the play calling. If the plays that are called are blocked better, ran better, thrown better, and caught better, there would be no problem. I think us Packers fans have the hardest time blaming the players. More than any other fan base. And I'm not saying our players have no talent, they are very good. The players are just not executing right now. When they start, so will the winning.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 19, 2015 at 07:26 am

No question in the last game if they catch even 2 of their 8 dropped passes, it would look like a different game.

That being said, when they were in a rut and punted on 9 straight drives against the worst team in the league, what did we see the offense do differently? Finally in the 4th Quarter they ran 4 WR's 1 RB and moved the ball well.

When players aren't playing their best or are not winning their one on ones, coaches can do things to schematically to put those players in better positions to succeed. When WR's are not getting open on their own, coaches can do different things such as stacking/bunching WR's to confuse the defense more. (Patriots do this very well). When the OL is struggling to block, coaches can alter their game plan to get the ball out quicker.

So while the Players have to execute, coaches can definitely do a better job to help the player execute.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 20, 2015 at 03:31 am

Every f**k**g time Packers tried to do something new, throw was off the target for at least 2, 3 yards, or receivers drop the ball, or OL got confused and didn't block. So how do you expect than from coaches to call plays that are uneffective, because players do not execute well? This is, I admitt, secret for me. Can you explain that?

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 19, 2015 at 07:17 am

I agree completely with everything said in this article.

There is no question that the players have to play better. And I do think the players are more hurt then they want us to know.

That all being said, I think a lot of the problem is play calling. Just like in the article, the first 2 drives each week are usually great. The final 3 are usually great. Problem is in between.
The first 2 drives are always scripted. The last 3 of late have been the 2 minute offense which has Rodgers basically ad libbing. So that is telling me that in between when Clements is directing the offense and play calls, they are struggling.

I think the play calling and lack of creativity in formations and personnel have been a problem all year. I don't know where I can check but it seems like they run out with the 11 personnel every series (3 WR, 1 TE and 1 RB) at least 75% of the time. Even after they struggle all game long, they continue to do the same thing over and over again. They haven't adjust to what defenses are doing to them.

McCarthy stated this week that Abbrederis has been ready to play for over a month now. So why did it take till the Lions game to get him involved? They finally started using him (mostly late in the game), and the offense started to move the ball. This isn't just about Abbrederis, this is about providing a different look for defenses. The offense hasn't done enough of that.

Yes the players have been injured, and they haven't performed to the top of their game (most likely due to injury), but the gameplan/play calling/scheming hasn't done enough to try and keep the defenses guessing to what the offense is trying to do.

Its time they get more aggressive with its play calling and start throwing everything at defenses to find mismatches.

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porupack's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Exactly

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Since'61's picture

November 19, 2015 at 07:48 am

I think play calling is an issue but it is not the main issue for the Packer's offense. The main issue is poor execution. As we now know poor execution caused by numerous injuries and by players not improving, maybe even regressing since last season. First, Jordy is gone on IR, Cobb has been playing through an injury, Jones also playing through an injury, D. Adams has missed games, Montgomery has missed games, Lacy has had ankle and groin injuries, Bakh and Bulaga have been injured and now we know that A. Rodgers is playing with a right shoulder injury. Our TEs have been non-factors for most of the season. Add to that the fact that neither, Linsley nor R. Rodgers have made their "second year jump" and it results in an offense that is playing poorly and besides A. Rodgers, who is playing hurt, who among our skill players should a DC be afraid of right now? Different play calls may help in certain situations but who is expected to execute the play call when so many players are playing hurt. If A. Rodgers is missing an open receiver is that execution or the play call? If A. Rodgers is under pressure all game is that execution or play calling. If there are no holes open for Starks or Lacy, execution or play call. If receivers are dropping passes, well, you get the point by now. The main issue is lack of consistency or a rhythm to this offense due to numerous injuries resulting in poor execution. Will changing the play caller make a difference, maybe. Will changing the play caller enable our receivers to get open or enable Aaron to make better throws with his injured shoulder? We know that MM, Clements and A. Rodgers are all part of the weekly game planning and the plays that are selected based on the game plan. So how does that change if MM is the play caller. We know Rodgers calls or changes many plays at the LOS, so how does the play caller, who is Rodgers about 50% of the time anyway, change that? I think getting our players healthy will do a lot more for this offense than playing musical play callers. I was OK with MM as the play caller anyway. Injuries are not an excuse but they are a reality and the reality is that they are having an effect on the results. However, if changing the play calling will heal our players than I am all for it. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 19, 2015 at 08:36 am

Injuries have definitely hurt our offense.

'Will changing the play caller enable our receivers to get open or enable Aaron to make better throws with his injured shoulder?'

I think changing the offensive play calling can improve that yes. I don't think our play calling/game planning/scheming whatever you want to call it, has done enough to create looks that confuses the defenses. Defense have been able to play fast because they know what is coming.

It can help get WR's more open (though they were more open against the Lions), by running different looks - bunch/stacked formations, putting players into motion, run crossing/rub routes. Things like that can help get WR's open.
Get WR's open more often will allow Rodgers to find them more.

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Archie's picture

November 19, 2015 at 03:14 pm

if it's injuries, as you say, why our the stats for first 2 drives and last 3 consistent with past years but middle drives suck?

Also, this is first I heard 12 has a banged up shoulder. What is source of that report?

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Since'61's picture

November 19, 2015 at 10:27 pm

The Green Bay Packers announced it on their website yesterday. Thanks, Since '61

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JerseyAl's picture

November 19, 2015 at 07:52 am

For those saying it's not the play calling, and just execution, I would argue it's much more difficult to execute when you are so predictable the other team knows what you're going to do. If a team studies film on you all week, and then you do the same things you did on film, it's not going to be easy to execute...

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 19, 2015 at 08:09 am

exactly right.

I think the biggest problem with the play calling is they aren't doing a lot to create different looks. They are pretty much running the same look over and over again. Same personnel, same formations.

When they had better personnel they could get away with it. Problem is their personnel isn't good enough to get away with it right now.

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Since'61's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:21 pm

RC and Jersey Al - Play calling can mitigate to some degree the fact that defenses are playing fast against us. But the reality is that they are not concerned about being beat deep and our run game has not been effective enough to enable our play action to make an impact. So they add a DB in the box and play run first, then pass rush, unless it is a third and long situation, which it usually is and then they pass rush and cover our slow receivers. My point is that we are somewhat limited in our play calling due to the personnel that are available, as RC has correctly mentioned. Now if Lacy and Montgomery are ready to go this week we may see some better play calling. However, passing plays are still going to be dependent on Aaron's banged up shoulder and how accurate he can be. The run game is still going to be dependent on a banged up OL. Then there is the defense, can they stop the Vikings and get some favorable field position, which also impacts the play calling. Play calling can be much more creative from your 35-40 yard line than back at your own 15-20. In any case, whatever the play call, we need to execute, injured or not. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

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porupack's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm

s61,
I would say this has been the case nearly all year, so its not just a problem of losing a few players. And, even in Chigo game, packers went flat in second half..., as in other games too. In fact that is what is shown in this article, that packers go flat within games for long stretches and that is consistent with the eyeball test....flat and predictable. So, I think your argument doesn't hold up very well (that injuries are cause for going flat). Its the game strategies, the play calling, the preparation on details.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:52 pm

I understand what your saying and I do agree with it.

I just think there are still things they could do that they don't do. The biggest problem I am seeing is they are going out in the same formation(s) for most of the game. Schematically they don't do to much differently.

They started doing more schematically against the Lions and it worked, but not as much as they needed to.

For me it feels like the coaches are still in the plug an play mode. They are in the mindset that they can run their system that they have ran for the last several years because it has worked for them. The problem is the talent level isn't as good as it has been in recent years.
For example they are trying to replace Finley with Rodgers. Problem with that is Rodgers isn't the same type of player that Finley was.

In my opinion they need to adjust their scheme more to the players that are currently on the roster. Which means, run different formations, and create different looks to become less predictable.

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kparis99's picture

November 19, 2015 at 08:23 am

What ever happened to football being about human confrontation? It's always scheme nowadays. A better scheme will fix everything. I disagree. Vince Lombardi ran the sweep every game and dared teams to stop it. I want to see our players take the play that's called and ram it down the Vikings throat this week. Once that starts happening I think we will all feel better.

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Turophile's picture

November 19, 2015 at 09:44 am

One thing I believe, is that the better the players are, the more vanilla a scheme you can get away with. Top notch players can just be unstoppable.

As you get away from groups of premium players and field lesser or injured mortals, so you need scheme harder and even use trickery more, to win. In other words the coaches have to work harder to scheme lesser players (or hobbled ones) open.

Currently coordinators do NOT seem to be doing what needs to be done, to put players in a position to succeed. They have to check out of Lazytown and move to Energy city. That may be dialling up bunch WRs and rub routes, screen passes, slants, timing routes on hooks and curls, an extra guy protecting AR, not giving up on the run (allowing the other side to tee up on AR).

On defense, thetre has been talk (Raji) about it being tough to get home against max protect defenses. If the other team is committing so many players to protecting a QB, it should not be the toughest challenge in the world to have excellent protection against the few players that are running routes, this is a numbers game, after all.

So WAKE UP coordinators and do your job, lord knows you are paid enough to do it.

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zoellner25's picture

November 19, 2015 at 10:58 am

I agree with Al. When you show no new looks, no different personal groups, and don't run many bunch formations or put guys in motion to get free, you are easier to defend. The Packers are easy to defend right now.

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porupack's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

And a further footnote, if I may;
Execution is 1) timing, 2) communication on assignments and adjustments, 3) flexibility and contingency if other team pulls a stunts, 4) situational awareness like clock management, fumbles, etc. 5) conditioning and technique, 6) practice, practice practice.

So, do coaches not have a role in execution (or lack of)?

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croatpackfan's picture

November 20, 2015 at 03:37 am

Deleted

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croatpackfan's picture

November 20, 2015 at 03:37 am

And I would argue back with the one question. If our receivers can not catch the ball or if Aaron can not hit open receiver how the play calling will help the Packers? We all know every new scheme, even if it is in the playbook, has to be practice to be executed... How you'll practice anything when half of the OL is sitting through the practices, there is always some O players sitting out of practice, etc.
Where is the sense of that?

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longtimefan's picture

November 20, 2015 at 08:17 am

When was the last time you saw Rodgers be so inaccurate?

If he is better with his accuracy would that change outcomes?

If you say yes, then is that play calling issue?

Play calling can be better, but if Rodgers is throwing balls in the dirt, or over the heads, the best play caller can't help

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Queenlizzie13's picture

November 19, 2015 at 07:59 am

If Rodgers is injured SHORTER throws. Easier throws for him to make, which they were doing the first series of the Lions game.

This long stuff puts a lot more on his shoulder and also puts Rodgers in a potentially vulnerable position (given the O line this year) while he waits for routes to develop.

It's not all playcalling, it's not all players. But I think shorter throws/crossing routes would help everyone involved.

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Geri's picture

November 19, 2015 at 10:55 am

Anyone ever wonder why Packers seem to have so many more injuries than most other teams year after year with the exception of last season when there seemed to be less injuries? They talked last season about some different things they had done regarding conditioning. Did they not do those things this year? We lose at least two players in every game. Soon we will be referred to as the Green Bay Pussies!!!! Sorry to be so foul but you know, how else can you say what everyone but Packer fans must be thinking? But then again what can you expect when your head coach walks up and down the sideline whining.

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murphy's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:52 pm

"Anyone ever wonder why Packers seem to have so many more injuries than most other teams year after year with the exception of last season when there seemed to be less injuries? "

What criteria are you basing this on? Players to IR? Players on injury reports each week? Games missed by starters? Contact injuries? Non-contact injuries?

The Steelers and Cowboys would both like to know.

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Razer's picture

November 19, 2015 at 11:16 am

Take Jordy out the offense, remove a TE from a very average group and take your only runner and handicap him with weight and an ankle injury and you got our offense. Beyond Randall Cobb, we don't have much consistent talent. We don't need a play caller, we need Gandolf.

I don't see this as a play calling dilemma as much as I see the lack of good tools to beat physical defenses. And, the Vikings have a good defense.

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BradHTX's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Turophile nailed it in his comment above: "Top notch players can just be unstoppable." Execution is of course key, but so is playing the hand you are dealt rather than the hand you wish you had. The Packers used to be able to impose their will on other teams by executing their game so flawlessly it didn't matter if the other team knew what they were going to do. That's no longer the case. So they need to adjust.

Example... I am a scrawny 5'8" and 135lbs. You can teach me all about pass blocking technique (and dare I say it — pad level) but if you put me in between Rodgers and B.J. Raji, you're going to be picking little bits of Brad out of the Lambeau turf for weeks to come. It doesn't matter how good the scheme is, I don't have the physical tools to execute it. So you might say, "Well, that's on Thompson for drafting a shrimp like you to play OL!" And you'd be right, but let's say there's no other choice because through some cataclysmic course of events I'm the only option. If you're the coach, you have to find a way to allow me to succeed, like telling me to jump around naked screeching like a monkey as soon as the ball is snapped to distract the defense long enough for Rodgers to dump off a pass as they laugh their asses off.

OK, that analogy got pretty ridiculous, but you get the point. You can say, "The OL needs to block better, the RBs need to run better, the WRs need to get open and AR needs to be more accurate." And you'd be right: execution is a problem right now. But the play calling (whether from MM, TC or AR) has not helped, because it simply seems as though the philosophy is "We are going to stick with our scheme that was working in the past regardless of whether the players have the physical ability to execute it properly."

Remember how this summer, the big news was that Capers had finally admitted his scheme was too complex for the defensive players, and he was simplifying it so the players could react rather than think? It worked — the defensive performance has been better, though hardly perfect. You saw the same thing when Rodgers was out and they were running the offense with Flynn: the scheme was adjusted so the player at the helm could execute it.

Yet week after week, we still see the same thing happening out there for the middle 40 minutes of the game... trying to play the scheme that worked in the past because it worked in the past, regardless of the fact that it isn't working now. All three of MM, TC and AR need to get their heads in the present and adjust their game to the reality on the ground rather than what is supposed to work on paper.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Where is Shane Falco and his girlfriends cheerleaders.

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murphy's picture

November 19, 2015 at 12:57 pm

I thought Starks was our Keanu Reeves.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 19, 2015 at 08:59 pm

Brad, it sounds like if you jumped around naked on the field the other team would flee aghast, and you would probably empty the stadium. Well, it is innovative, but I am guessing it violates the uniform policy.

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D Ernesto's picture

November 19, 2015 at 04:21 pm

Ok play calling. You have either AP or Starks in the backfield. One gets tripped up behind the line the other breaks tackles and runs for 15. Is that play calling or play making?
Your quarterback throws 5 passes in a row to the same guy for very short gains to take advantage of some bum on the other team being poor in coverage. The other receivers who went deep were covered like blankets. Is that play calling or play making?
I rest my case

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D Ernesto's picture

November 19, 2015 at 04:24 pm

I still blame the piss poor play calling of one MM on us losing the Seattle game. A little aggresiveness in the red zone and we could have been up 24-0 at half time instead of settling for field goals.
In case your brain hasn't figured it out yet, upper echelon thought the same as me and took those duties away from MM. He did give that up easily. He was ordered to give it up.

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Johann Hauck's picture

November 19, 2015 at 05:49 pm

If you review the tape, Clements doesn't conceal a lot of his play calls so if teams are watching tape, they're totally dialed into the offense and can easily verify what play is coming. This, combined with a lack of creativity, is killing this offense. You have to adapt your play calling to fit game scenarios, to exploit match ups and hot hands, but they aren't changing anything until the fourth quarter.
McCartney is loyal to a fault but most people haven't researched when the last time Clements did play calling ... 2003. He's overwhelmed and ineffective and the top brass should step in and help Mccarthy make the call ... which will probably happen after the impending, embarrassing 30 point loss in Minnesota, lest this season be squandered sure to loyalty over results.

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4thand1's picture

November 19, 2015 at 06:07 pm

The Packers need the coach from "The Waterboy".

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packersbrewers's picture

November 19, 2015 at 06:11 pm

I don't think it is.

MM is part of the process all week, part of game planning and strategy, and listening in and consulting with Tom during the game. I don't think him not talking into the head set is the big issue. Not when we have no running game, poor pass protection, receivers who can't get separation or even catch a football, and a suddenly inaccurate QB who trusts literally no one. None of that stuff is a play calling issue and while I admit the play calling is extremely predictable and boring it's not the number one issue. At least I don't think it is.

But at this point it is probably the easiest change that can occur. You can't find an Odell Beckham Jr sitting on a couch somewhere this time of year. You aren't going to be able to redesign your entire offense or wave a magic wand and create chemistry. So giving MM back play calling seems like an obvious choice to see if that helps at all. At this point it can't hurt. I don't see why it can't be at least experimented with.

Problem is what people have already mentioned. MM is as stubborn as a 2 year old in a toy store and refuses to pull his head out of the sand and budge an inch. He's got his arms folded across his chest, eyes closed, and his head turned away.

We "stayed the course" with Shawn Slocum for 2 years too long so I am sure we'll have to sit on this one for awhile too.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 19, 2015 at 09:03 pm

So, the offense works okay during the opening 2 drives which are scripted by MM, TC with input from Rodgers during the week. Then no success during the middle 5.5 drives per game, and then success during the last few drives (playing sandlot ball). Sound like terrible play calling. Mike, you make a persuasive, indeed compelling, case about TC.

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marpag1's picture

November 20, 2015 at 04:40 am

I was NEVER in favor of MM giving up playcalling. It was a painfully stupid idea from the beginning. I believe that it was forced on him by public opinion and a pissed off (and mostly clueless) GBP executive committee after the NFC Championship game. People needed their sacrificial lamb. That's all.

When MM was calling plays the Packers were always a top notch offense. For years in a row! What brain dead dude would have said, "the problem with the Packers is the offense?" Then the Packers lose the NFCCG because of an epic meltdown on defense and special teams, and you decide to fix this by... changing the offensive play caller???

Stupid.

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 20, 2015 at 07:05 am

^^Agree 100%

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 20, 2015 at 07:05 am

Great article Mike, very illuminating stats!

Question - Isn't it dificult to criticize TC without knowing how many times AR changes the play? I find it difficult to imagine that TC called 61 pass attempts and only 18 rushes.

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