The 2022 Call Sheet: 1st & 10

Dusty starts building his call sheet by looking at what the Packers did successfully on 1st & 10 in 2022

A couple of weeks ago I introduced this new article series. Then I went dark for a week because life happens sometimes, ya know? But what’s past is past, so we’re onward and upward.

In this series, we’ll be creating our own call sheet, based on the concepts that worked well on a situational basis. This will give us an opportunity to see what worked, as well as give us an idea of how the Packers performed in regards to the league as a whole. You ready? I’m ready.

Today we’re looking at the most common of situations: 1st & 10. In 2022, the Packers averaged 25 of these situations per game, which put them right in line with the rest of the league. Speaking strictly in terms of down & distance situations, it accounted for ~42% of their offensive plays. 

The Packers averaged 5.31 yards on 1st & 10, 24th in the league. Their success rate ranked slightly higher. Football Outsiders defines a successful 1st down play as one that gains 45% of the necessary yards needed to gain a 1st down. Using that line, the Packers were successful on 44% of their 1st & 10 calls, which saw them ranked 15th in the league this year. The Chiefs were #1 in success rate for this down and distance at 49%, while the Panthers were last at 37.1%.

Obviously that’s not great, but it’s the offseason and we’ve got a ton of data. The goal is to cut out the fat and get 25 calls that we feel good about. For example, the Packers dialed up a Wide Zone RPO with a WR Screen tag 10 times on 1st & 10 and it averaged 2.8 YPA. That’s not gonna fly, man. We’re cutting that.

Let’s get to this section of our call sheet.

You may notice that there are only 20 concepts listed here. That’s because some of them we’re planning on calling multiple times. (Those are noted by a number in brackets after the concept name.) That’s due to how often the Packers ran those on a game-by-game basis. 

Obviously with this many plays we’re not going to hit all of them in depth, but we’ll get the big ones.


Strike [aka PA Bang Dig, Drift] (15.5 YPA)

The Packers ran this concept roughly twice a game in this down & distance in 2022, so we’ll be doing the same thing. This is a core concept in the Matt LaFleur offense, working nicely off the Wide Zone and PA Boot concepts. They didn’t really run it until halfway through LaFleur’s first season as head coach, and it wasn’t truly integrated until his second season. But ever since that point, but it’s been one of their most consistently effective concepts. 

It’s a play action concept that works off the Wide Zone blocking look. On something like PA Boot, the QB would pull the ball and boot out the other side. On Strike, the QB quickly turns back to the field and fires to the Dig Route in the middle of the field. While there are two receivers running routes, this is typically a one-read concept: throw to the dig. So it feels like it can be a bit limiting, but, if you pick your spots with it, it can be an incredibly effective concept. 

PA Boot (4.6 YPA)

I just mentioned this concept with Strike, so I figured we’d throw it here next. When you think about the LaFleur offense, this may very well be the first concept that comes to mind. Sell the Wide Zone play fake, then boot out the other way to a Sail concept. It was a concept that had been extremely effective for them, but the success has definitely taken a hit over the last couple of seasons, due in part to the Packers themselves. The way their defense handled this concept against the Rams in the 2020 Divisional Round helped give the league answers for how to take away this potent concept.

For me, this is a concept that is less about the total gain and more about what it helps to set up within the offense. That 4.6 YPA just barely crosses our threshold for successful plays, but I feel like it’s necessary to throw this in here. We’re only running it once a game in this situation, but, again, I feel like that needs to be done, even with the minimal gains it has been finding as of late.

Dragon [aka Slant/Flat] (5.8 YPA)

A staple of West Coast Offenses. A nice, simple ball-control play. It’s rarely going to go for big yardage, but it’ll keep you ahead of the sticks so we’ll plan on dialing this up once per game. There was certainly some Dragon fatigue during the McCarthy era, but that was more due to the fact that they just kept having Richard Rodgers run the flat route. Please, don’t make Richard Rodgers run a flat route. Ever.

Spin (14.5 YPA)

This is a concept that has been used sparingly in this offense. In fact, we didn’t even really see it in use until Jordan Love stepped on the field in Philadelphia. Love found some nice success with it, and then we saw it a few times after that as well. It’s a concept you can find in similar offenses, but it’s one that just hasn’t grabbed hold in Green Bay. 

My theory is that Rodgers didn’t like it, so it just never saw the light of day. Not a knock on Rodgers at all: every established QB across the league gets a chance to say yay-or-nay on calls. I think Rodgers wasn’t overly comfortable with it, so he nixed it. It looks like Love is a fan, so I’m dialing this up for him in 2023.

All Go HB Seam (23.0 YPA)

One of my favorite concepts, but one we don’t really see much anymore. It was an extremely powerful concept for a few years, but the rise of two-high coverages across the league saw defenses throwing an umbrella over this concept. This is really more of a gameplan specific concept at this point so it probably wouldn’t see the light of day against some defenses, but since this is my call sheet, I’m throwing it on there. One play on 1st down in 2022 is a mighty small sample size, but I’m taking a swing. For the glory of love.

Middle Read Dagger (11.0 YPA)

The Dagger concept has been good to the Packers over the years. I’m particularly fond of this one, as it has a Middle Read option route take advantage of how the deep safeties are playing. If it’s two-high, the route will turn into a post route to split the safeties. If it’s single-high, the route will break off in front to take advantage of the underneath space. 

But it also works as a Dagger concept, with that Middle Read route working as a clear out for the dig route behind it. I love that it gives answers to multiple coverages, while also giving you the clear-out advantage that Dagger gives you.

Alright. Let’s lightning round the rest of these.

Cross Country Dagger (12.0 YPA)

Four Verts (9.7 YPA)

“Cheese Wheel” (14.5 YPA)

Drive (10.7 YPA)

Hank (5.5 YPA)

RB Screen (6.7 YPA)

Smash Fade (5.7 YPA)


Wide Zone/Glance (6.0 YPA)

The Packers RPO game has gotten a bit predictable over the years. They’re heavy users of RPOs, but most of them are of the horizontal nature. Have an Inside Zone run and tag it with a Bubble from a receiver to the three receiver side. If there’s a numbers advantage, throw it. If there’s not, hand it off.

There are two problems with this approach. The first problem is that defenses are aware of this so they have started gaming the system a bit by having an overhang defender who splits the difference between the run and the pass. He’s far enough away to trigger the throw, but is still in a spot to be able to shoot through and make a tackle on the receiver.

The other problem is that Davante Adams is no longer in town. Davante was so good at making guys miss in the short area that they could just flip it out to Davante and watch him cook. They don’t have anyone on that level, so what used to be a 5-7 yard gain is now a 1 yard gain.

I’ve been wanting the Packers to run more vertical-pushing RPOs for years. These are post-snap reads, where the QB would read a conflict defender post-snap and make a decision whether to hand off or throw based on his movement. It’s something that other offenses have had good success with - the Bills and Eagles have done some real damage with these - but, again, Rodgers didn’t like to run them. With Love under center, I’m hoping for an uptick in these. This pairs the Wide Zone run with a vertical Glance route. 

The software I use to catalog all my plays is giving me issues, so I wasn't able to pull a 2022 example of this in time. Please take this imperfect, Glance-off-Inside-Zone clip as a cheap replacement. I have failed you all.

Wide Zone/Slant (11.0 YPA)

Same general idea here, but we’re pairing the wide zone run with a slant. Rodgers ran some of these last year based on pre-snap looks, but it really should be more of a post-snap read. Regardless of when the QB makes the decision, I’d really like to see more vertical RPOs from the Packers in 2023, so I’m going to lean into them a bit here. They’ve had success with them, but they just haven’t used them very often.


Wide Zone (4.9 YPA)

I’m pretty generic with my run tags, so we’ll plan on running Wide Zone 4 times on 1st & 10 in a game. You’ll occasionally break a big one, but, for the most part, this is just a steady gainer. Beyond that, it helps set up a lot of other things the offense wants to do, so it needs to get some fairly heavy run. 

Inside Zone (4.3 YPA)

The Packers like to rely on Inside Zone (and some of the Duo variations) a little more in short yardage situations, but they still averaged this about twice a game in 2022. Again, it’s not going to give you a lot of big gains, but it gets the offensive line moving downhill and smashing into some people, which is something I’ve heard they very much enjoy doing. 

Seeing as how this comes in below the success threshold we’re looking for, I’d like to run this a little less in this situation if we could. If Wide Zone is doing some nice work, I’d rather run that one more time rather than running Inside Zone twice.

Power (4.9 YPA)

I’ve tagged Power pretty much anything that has a pulling member of the offensive line. Where zone runs is more about having the offensive line blocking an area and having the running back looking for a seam, the Power series is more about having the offensive line attacking a specific part of the defense and having the running back follow them. It’s something they tried doing early in the season, then found more zone-heavy approaches to attack that same thing a little later in the season. They had nice success when they ran it, so we’ll dial up a Power run at least once in this situation.

Apologies for the somewhat ramshackle nature of this. This section is, by far, the longest section of the call sheet, so it’ll get a little calmer as we go on. I hope you all enjoyed this, because I’m having a blast.

Albums listened to: boygenius - The Record; Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights;Lucy Dacus - Historian;Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps




Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].


5 points

Comments (17)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
jont's picture

April 12, 2023 at 03:57 pm

This is good work, Dusty.

Most of my friends are overseas, foreigners who have some interest in football but don't understand what's happening. I often tell them American football is the most compicated team sport in the world-- as involved as chess and played against shockingly fast 300 pound men who want to hurt you-- and I'll show them this... to get them started.

6 points
BirdDogUni's picture

April 12, 2023 at 05:14 pm

So all your friends are on APC?

3 points
Coldworld's picture

April 12, 2023 at 05:08 pm

Interesting. Certainly informative. It will be interesting to see how changing personnel impact our actual O and some of these calls in particular.

4 points
SoCalJim's picture

April 12, 2023 at 06:09 pm

Great article, Dusty! I am learning a lot from your articles breaking down the various Packers plays and look forward to learning more. The call sheet series is a perfect preparation for the upcoming season, especially with Jordan Love as QB1. Thanks for sharing this with us!

4 points
LeotisHarris's picture

April 12, 2023 at 09:25 pm

Classic Evely. Drops a crap-ton of insight and knowledge in a vibrant, entertaining style, and apologizes for it being late and a bit "ramshackle." Weh-heh-hell, Dusty, Iemme tell ya this; I'm enjoying this new playground you've created, and learnin' a bunch, too. It's always a pleasure to see the game through your eyes. Thank you!

6 points
4thand10's picture

April 12, 2023 at 10:58 pm

Super informative and well written. Nice work. Course for dummies like myself I’d almost like to see em on a dry erase board!! I like screens, always have as a GB fan…and reverses. Looking forward to see what they have cooking up on special teams this year.

5 points
dobber's picture

April 13, 2023 at 07:33 am

"the Packers dialed up a Wide Zone RPO with a WR Screen tag 10 times on 1st & 10 and it averaged 2.8 YPA. That’s not gonna fly, man. We’re cutting that."

^^THIS^^ I hope this somehow filters up to the staff.

Well done, tremendous research. Keep it coming!

8 points
RCPackerFan's picture

April 13, 2023 at 08:17 am

Just impressive work Dusty!

With Love taking over at QB, I'm thinking we will see more motion and RPO this year.

5 points
cdoemel's picture

April 13, 2023 at 03:52 pm

And maybe someone who will use the middle of the field?

0 points
Since'61's picture

April 13, 2023 at 08:31 am

Dusty excellent work as always. A ton of information to take in at one time, at least for me but I will go through it a few times. I think this will be a great a series for our blog. I hope the Packers coaching staff is doing this level of preparation, review and self scouting. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
T7Steve's picture

April 13, 2023 at 08:39 am

As commented above Dusty, good stuff.

Is there a way to look back at this in a few months when TC and preseason starts? I'd like to look at this again then.

0 points
DustyEvely's picture

April 13, 2023 at 10:38 pm

I have all the data, so we could look back, but the data itself won't be changing. Might be an interesting exercise to check back in throughout the course of the year and see how everything is shaking out. Quarterly reviews or something like that, perhaps.

1 points
Packer_Fan's picture

April 13, 2023 at 08:42 am

Excellent as always.

Let you ponder this. This analysis sets my mind in motion. There is a lot of focus on the beginning drives of the game. But I see critical is the need for success at the beginning of the second half and near the end of the game. Something it seams the Pack had trouble with last year and the quick exits in the playoffs.

Also you made note of some successful plays that Rodgers nixed. I hope Love and Lafleur try many different plays. It keeps the defense honest rather than focusing on tendencies.

2 points
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

April 13, 2023 at 02:21 pm

I fully expect to see Lafleur emptying his playbook going forward. Its been apparent for 3 years now that they would have a script of 10-12 plays MLF would draw up and once those plays were exhausted the offense would immediately devolve into shotgun spread for the rest of the game. Even when the scripted plays worked, which they usually did, Rodgers would still scrap the plays MLF calls for reasons I cant fathom.

0 points
croatpackfan's picture

April 13, 2023 at 10:58 am

"I have failed you all."


You are our teacher & person who remind knowledgeable on wonderful dance offenses can do (or not!).

Acolades in the posts under your article are well deserved.

1 points
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

April 13, 2023 at 02:17 pm

If the Packers never run another rpo play I'd be more than ok with it.

0 points
LambeauPlain's picture

April 13, 2023 at 03:06 pm

Great work, Dusty. I am hoping just a little of your knowledge rubs off on me.

As I watched the plays, it got me excited for the offense next season. Most of the passes should be executed by Love with a few exceptions. (Rodgers' deep ball accuracy will be hard to replace, especially those back shoulder passes.)

I am hoping MLF is more patient this year with his play calls. Last year he was very quick to change the game plan without gaining much, if any improvement. With Love, I am thinking he will be more patient.

Also a shout out to Aaron Nagler for his kind email apologizing for the sign on issues. Classy.

0 points