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The Packers Offense Is Primed to Burst Open

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The Packers Offense Is Primed to Burst Open

Just two wild and highly stressful games into the 2018 Green Bay Packers season, the team’s offense is leaving fans clamoring to see the true potential that the unit could possess with the playmakers that have been assembled on it.

Entering the season opener against the Chicago Bears, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had only thrown four total passes in preseason action.  And this wasn’t a huge drop from the norm in previous preseason action where Rodgers attempted 13 passes in 2017 and just nine passes the year prior in 2016.  But this obviously begs the question of how can the Packers offense be in full effect at the start of the first week’s play with such little action from the starting quarterback during the preseason and it was pretty obvious in the home opener against the Chicago Bears.

After the horrendous start and blow to the knee, Rodgers heroically led the starting offense out of the tunnel in the second half against the Bears and guided the team to 24 points and a historic come from behind victory.  When the offense took the field against the Vikings this past Sunday, they were almost moving the ball at will at times against one of the top-ranked defenses in the league.  Unfortunately, there were just too many missed opportunities when the Packers offense found themselves in enemy territory and had to settle for five field goals.

Following the game, Rodgers was visibly disappointed and reiterated so in his post-game press conference.  While mentioning the need to convert touchdowns rather than settling for field goals, Rodgers also put some of the onus on his own play.  Mentioning specifically the blown opportunities on the second down fumble and the subsequent sack following to put them out of field goal range, Rodgers’ accountability bodes well as a learning opportunity for himself and the Packers offense moving forward.

Sitting at 1-0-1 and heading into what appears to be the friendliest stretch of their schedule this year on paper, there are many reasons to remain hopeful that the Packers offense has yet to show their full potential. 

First, this Sunday’s trip to Washington to take on the Redskins will feature the return of Aaron Jones to the Packers backfield.  After his two-game suspension to start the year, the second year running back should be primed to bring a new dimension to the Packers running game and passing attack.  During his rookie season, Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry and showed some dynamic playmaking abilities.  If he can pick up where he left off last season, the three-headed attack of Jones, Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery has the potential to really open things up for the offense.

After many questioned the release of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, the team entered the season with questions at the wide receiver position.  After two games, it seems that those questions have been more than answered with the performances so far from Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.  Adams continues to show his playmaking abilities as one of the top receivers in the game and Cobb proved his offseason doubters wrong in the opening contest against the Bears.  To sweeten the pot, Geronimo Allison has once again stepped into his role as the third wide receiver in the group and has done all that he has been asked of and then some.

Through just two games, I think we are just starting to see the tip of the iceberg in relation to what Jimmy Graham and the rest of the tight end group will bring to the table for the rest of the season.   The Bears made an obvious effort to bottle up Graham and they ended up paying for that in the second half when the wide receivers were left to roam free in the secondary.  Against the Vikings, Graham led the team with 95 receiving yards and unfortunately had a touchdown negated due to a shoddy holding call on Lane Taylor.

With the running backs group at full force, the wide receivers playing well and the tight ends ready to break out at any moment, opposing defensive coordinators may have to pick their poison in their impending deaths when this offense starts firing on all cylinders.

After two contests against very tough defensive units in the Bears and the Vikings, the next four opponents for the Packers could equate to a great opportunity for the offense to get rolling.  In Washington this weekend, the Redskins defensive unit sits near the top of the defensive rankings through two weeks in yards against and points against.  These early statistics are more than likely masked by the inferior opponents they have faced in their first two games and the Packers can hopefully expose that.  Following the trip to Washington, the Packers face the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers prior to the bye week and all of those units could provide ample opportunity for the offense to put up big numbers and build momentum for a critical stretch of the season following the bye week.

Knowing that the Packers offense may be only starting to scratch the surface of what they could become in 2018, opposing defenses will hopefully be put on notice in the coming weeks.  Echoing prior comments from both Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy in 2014, I will never believe that a unit or an entire team can peak too early in the season and I’m looking forward to seeing what this offense can prove in the coming weeks.


Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (68) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Johnblood27's picture

Washington seems to be undermanned on both lines and I could see the Pack gaining control in the trenches of this game which will lead to a stingy D and an explosive O.

Lets hope that the Pack plays to potential and takes advantage of a seemingly obvious advantage.

Oh yeah, look out for the black and white striped skunks.

Lare's picture

As always, officiating will dictate the outcome of the game.

Coldworld's picture

I tend to agree. The best is yet to come. We have played what many feel will prove to be two of the best offenses in the NFL.

I believe that the D will also improve as the season progresses too.

TheBigCheeze's picture

coldworld.....2 of the best OFFENSES??......I don't think so....

Coldworld's picture

Defenses. It must be the topsy turvey logic of the nfl. Two of the best DEFENSES

Chuck Farley's picture

I'm pick8ng the skins. Pass d is again 5th year in row, non existent. This d scheme is capers old scheme run by petunia. Pass rush is God awful. Did Perry actually play. Wilkerson is an old man now and Mathews is just running around mostly full speed past the qb uncontrolled.

Johnblood27's picture

Troll Be Gone!

Jonathan Spader's picture

Sounds good Chuck you can pay me via pay pal.

Bure9620's picture

Capers and Pettine's schemes are not similar. You literally know nothing about football. What's it like being ignorant?? I need to try it sometime, I will stop reading and start throwing out random blind assertions based on alternative facts.

The TKstinator's picture

You might also consider a career in politics. ;)

Johnblood27's picture

or CNN...

GBPDAN1's picture

The only thing that you got right, Chuck, is Perry and Matthews are grossly over paid and have been basically non-existent. They should make half of what they're paid and should be backup rotational players.

This D will have a top 5 CB group by years end. They are already playing way better than last years group. The interior D line is good and getting Burks back to play next to Martinez will help.

The problem with this D is pressuring the QB with the front 4. We need quality edge rushers bad. BG will finish the rebuild next off season. I'm glad we have 2 first round picks.

dobber's picture

My hope is that Josh Jones will be a kick in the pants to the pass rush. Creating that kind of threat will change how OLs will identify their blocks and create opportunities for other players. That's how Pettine has typically been characterized in how he puts together his pass packages: variety and interior pressure. Maybe he just had much better interior horses with the Jets (Richardson and Wilkerson) and he won't be able to do it the same way in GB...but hopefully he'll figure it out.

Mdcheesehead's picture

Let’s hope the return of Aaron jones and a suspect defensive line for Washington gives the pack a burst out of the running game

Gforcetrivers's picture

Few more games of flag football and you won't need a pass rush...whats the point? Cant hit the QB...just set the edge let them pass. Its not worth throwing the game for. How can you hurry the passer if he knows you cant hit him?

Pierre's picture

Mahome 6 TDs - Fitzgerald 4 TDs - and Aaron Rodgers1Passing TD! He needs to watch some film of those guys throwing downfield. 5 field goals to 1 TD is not the play of a potent offense with a superstar at QB.
That’s a real concern when you say all the Packer receivers are doing so good and Rodgers can’t throw it to them into the end zone. He needs to throw receivers open a lot more quickly and show improvement soon or it’s just gonna be another mediocre year for the Pack.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Mahomes was playing the Pittsburg defense in a shootout. Rodgers was on one leg playing against the Vikings. Fitz ate Connor McGregor. If the Geaham TD wasn't called back that's 2 TDs for Rodgers. The Adams TD that was ruled incomplete makes 3. I don't blame Rodgers. Let's see what Fitz looks like game 3. Let's see how Maholmes holds up now that there's tape put there on him.

Since '61's picture

If the rest of our team played at the level of Aaron Rodgers, even playing on one leg, we would be undefeated Super bowl champions. I guess you missed the 3 TDs passes on one leg in the 4th quarter against the Bears, not to mention the rest of his career prior to this season. Aaron Rodgers is the least of the Packers problems. When you get a clue come back and try to post again. Until then thanks for playing, troll.
Since '61

Pierre's picture

Is that the way this site works? Anyone who has a different opinion on the Packers performance is labeled a troll? I started with Lombardi also.
If Rodgers is hurt don’t use it as an excuse for not being able to throw touchdowns, let someone else play QB until he gets to full health.
Mahomes is a first year NFL QB and Fitzgerald is a journeyman. I merely pointed out that they are playing the QB position a lot more effectively than Rodgers is the first two games and he needs to step up his play for the money and the superstar status he receives.

Matt Gonzales's picture

Fitzgerald is one of the most senior WRs for the league and is catching passes, not throwing them, for the Arizona Cardinals.

Fitzpatrick puts up a few gonzo games every year because he pushes the ball and takes risks. Which is why he averages at least 1 INT and .5 fumbles per game, including his fabulous 6-INT outing in 2016.

Pierre's picture

Thanks for the correction on QB Fitzpatrick.

Since '61's picture

I didn't use Rodgers injury as an excuse. In fact I pointed out that he threw 3 TDs against the Bears after he came back from an injury he sustained during that game. Let's see how well Mahomes and Fitzpatrick play on one leg against the Bears and Vikings defenses. Or maybe we should trade Rodgers for Mahomes or Fitzpatrick. Yes, that would make sense after the first 2 weeks. Or maybe we should play Kizer who had that glorious debut against the Bears in Week 1. Rodgers would probably play better with both legs injured than Kizer plays with two good legs.

It's not Rodgers who needs to improve his play. We need the other 50 or so guys like Perry, Matthews, Dix, Daniels, and a few others to reach their salary level of play. Rodgers is the last player we need to worry about on the Packers roster.

If you've been watching since Lombardi you should realize that Rodgers is the only player on the current roster who would have made it onto Lombardi's roster. Him and maybe a young CM3 but I would still take Dave Robinson at OLB long before CM3, especially the version of CM3 we have seen since about 2013-14. Thanks, Since '61

Pierre's picture

Kizer made some good throws, he just made some poor judgement plays that lead to turnovers with Mack involved in both...that’s just inexperience. Don’t forget The Bears shoukd have won that game when on that last drive Rodgers threw it right into Fuller’s numbers for a easy pick...but he let it slip away. That was an awful pass Rodgers got away with if you remember the play.
Of the QB backups, I am actually more impressed with the way Boyle stands up in the pocket and throws the football downfield. If Rodgers does need to heal up a few games I’d like to see what Boyle could do with these receivers. Also like to see Tonyan our there at TE with the offense.
As far as comparing the 60’s Packers with today’s team players, the athletes today are all so much bigger, stronger and faster than most on Lombardi’s team. Any present GB lineman would be able to play during that time and be superior in the trenches quite easily based on their size and athleticism.

Barazinho's picture

I remember the near interception to fuller. Adams was knocked off of his route by the defender. It was not an "awful pass".

Pierre's picture

No you’re right, it was a very accurate, fine the Bears CB.

Oppy's picture

The receiver got hit and lost his footing during his route while the ball was in the air- had he not, he would have been in the area of the ball. What is difficult to understand about this?

Since '61's picture

Pierre - Kizer did make some good throws but I hope we don't see him again in a live game unless it's a mop up role. As for Boyle, I agree he looks good in the pocket but he is still "under development". Remember he looked good during the preseason and we've seen more than a few QBs in recent seasons who have looked good during the preseason, Hundley being the most recent. But given time Bolye could be a viable backup.
I wouldn't mind seeing Tonyan play but I hope that we see more of Lewis sooner rather than later.
I agree that today's athletes are bigger, stronger and faster than their predecessors from the 60s but if we could equalize those factors from the two eras the players from the 60s era were better fundamentally, the games were better and those teams would slaughter todays teams if we could equalize the size, speed and strength factors.
Enjoying your posts. Thanks, Since '61

Tarynfor12's picture

As of 3:45 PM est, Rodgers is not listed on the injury report.Should we assume his knee is all better or should we expect a match of dink and dunk vs Wash with Capt check down.

If the offense is ready to burst, I sure hope it's the right kind of burst....didn't want to say bust for fear of offending some...oh wait, I did....doesn't matter since most get offended no matter what..

Packers should this game by 14-21 points so get your excuse cards filled out. : )

Tundraboy's picture

You sure are in peak form ,especially so early in the year, to be so pessimistic, no?

Oppy's picture

She's a realist.

Johnblood27's picture

Is it wednesday?

Injury report is officially due then, not whenever you feel that it should be put out.

Johnblood27's picture

Oh yeah, I almost forgot...

Troll Be Gone!

dobber's picture

There are no injury reports until Wednesday for Sunday games.

Besides: #12 played a full game on Sunday with reasonable mobility and was reported to not sustain any new or further injury. Who would they be trying to fool by putting him on an injury report?

RCPackerFan's picture

I think the offense is close to busting out. The first few weeks are tough for teams especially GB. Lets face it with the little they play in preseason, and the little amount of training camp time it takes teams longer to gel. Especially for the Packers and their offense.

We saw Graham making an impact against the Vikings. We have seen Adams, Cobb and Allison all making plays. Montgomery has been running really good. The OL has been really good overall since the 2nd half of the Bears game.

Now we get to add Aaron Jones. Who should give the running game and the receiving game out of the backfield a boost.

Another player to keep an eye on is MVS. He slowly is earning more playing time. He gives Rodgers a big fast target, who should get little attention when Adams and Graham are on the field.

In my biased opinion. I think the offense is going to really take off and start to dominate games and teams a bit.

Jonathan Spader's picture

I'd like to see MVS used in a jet sweep along with go routes. Take the top off a defense and open up the middle of the field even more.

Dash Riprock's picture

I have a feeling that will happen in time. He'll fill the role Jeff Janis could not his first year. At least they are slowly getting him more and more involved. He's clearly the most talented of all the rookie receivers. His speed will kill soon.

dobber's picture

If the Packers weren't smart enough to do this with players suited to play this way before, why would they start now?

Shame on he who invokes the Janis!

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, I think we are going to see him getting more and more involved in the offense. He has speed and size. I think they will find ways to use it.

Now that Graham is getting more involved in the offense, Cobb and Allison also have really benefited from a lot of single coverage, I think we will see MVS making a big play deep!

Donster's picture

I agree. The tools are there. But when is MM going to get Mercedes Lewis involved? He has been pretty much a non-factor so far. I'd also like to see Tonyan get on the field too. Sit Kendricks for a week. Put him in for Graham when he needs a breather and split him out wide. And where is J'Mon Moore? I can't swear to it, but he hasn't even been on the field yet has he? MVS has, and I think Equanimeous St. Brown has. Correct me if I am wrong guys on if they have played yet. Thanks.

RCPackerFan's picture

In time.
They were going to in the first week but they got behind, Rodgers got hurt and they had to go hurry up.
Against the Vikings I think they wanted to keep them spread out more.

I think this week we will start seeing more Lewis.

Moore is clearly behind MVS and ESB on the depth chart. The first week Moore was the only one inactive. Moore needs more work catching the ball. You are correct. Moore hasn't been active either game.
I do think by the end of the year he could be active. But right now MVS is the clear top WR of the class right now.

Oppy's picture

MVS 8 snaps on offense
no other rookie WR has had offensive snaps yet

Bearmeat's picture

Agreed, RC.

Assuming health, this is going to be a 30ppg outburst for the next 6 weeks. I fully expect to be 6-0-1at their bye.

The CB unit and DL unit are really solid and the arrow is pointing towards excellent. ILB is fine. OLB and Safety are the two most concerning spots on the team, and I do think we're going to need some help at one of those positions to make it work in January.

But the NFCN title? Yeah. I expect that to be the case.

RCPackerFan's picture

Honestly this team can be as good as it wants if it remains healthy.

I think the offense is about to explode.
-They are getting Graham going.
-Adams is becoming one of the hardest WR's to cover. (watch him shaking off Rhodes down in and out).
-Allison is becoming one of the best 3rd WR's in the league. Which to the many people complaining about not using Lewis more, I think its Allison's play that is the biggest reason. How do you take him off the field?
-Cobb has been extremely good!
-Montgomery has been really good
-They are getting Jones back this week!

I fully expect to see the offense just take off one of these weeks. They just faced 2 of the better defenses in the league with a QB basically on 1 leg.

I think the defense is still figuring things out. I'm going to hold off on that unit for a while to say how good/bad they are.

Since '61's picture

Bearmeat and RC - completely agree with both of your posts. If we can get AR back to 100% and keep the OL healthy this offense should start to fly over the next few games, providing the officials understand what a catch or a tackle is. Looking forward with both of you and others here to see this offense soaring. Thanks, Since '61

Nick Perry's picture

Right now Washington has the top ranked defense in yards against and passing yards allowed. They have the #2 scoring defense and are about 10th best or so against the run.

With all that said it's obviously a small sample size just 2 weeks. What I'm most excited about is to watch Jones play with Rodgers in the line-up. IIRC all his snaps came with Hundley playing for the most part.

Johnblood27's picture

reference NFL regular season 2017, Cowboys, Dallas

Jones and Rodgers.

Jones went off for 125

4thand10's picture

I’m anxious to see more JimmmaY G. 55 yardsntaken away, a TD taking away+ h still ended up with 95 yards....he’s going to be a monster. Lewis is a damn good red zone threat as well....I’d say the arrow is pointing up....just like viagra

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, they also played the Cardinals in week 1 which maybe the worst team in the league? They have scored a combined 6 points in 2 games. And they played the Colts in week 2 who maybe ok?

I also can't wait for Jones!

White _tornado's picture

I'm also excited for jones to play. But if MM plays him like I assume he will it wont make much difference. MM is a passing coach!! He calls passes when hes expected to pass, and calls passes when he is expected to run.

I do not believe MM is a good coach. His whole scrub brush to the playbook thing was just more coach speak. Same McCarthy = same results.

As dynamic as Rogers has been over the years, imagine how good he could be with a real running game.

I honestly think MM would leave Barry Sanders sitting on the bench.

PatrickGB's picture

Nick, you are right. Never underestimate an opponent. However, I think that this game is winnable even against that passing defense. I am not sure how well Jones can pass protect but I do know he can run. Some concerns about the injury to King and the drop off from House and HHCD. Smith is a good QB and have added a veteran WR that was unexpected. I think because of our lack of outside pass rush we will rely on our DBs more than we want. But it will be ok.

canadapacker's picture

I will be concerned that Smith can find something to shoot for - after all he was picked ahead of our guy. So he must be better - right - just joking. But he can play and the game is in Washington. We need to play our game. PS why isnt anybody mentionning how bad Dix is playing. It is easy to stand back in the backfield doing nothing and to come up with the odd interception when the opposition overthrows or tips a ball your way. But on too many times he is always a step away watching the play. Even the 2 point conversion - he was supposed to be the deep guy and and he stayed underneath and let the ball go over his head. Totally disappointed in his lack of effort.

White _tornado's picture

Oh boy. Better watch out! I mentioned Dix's play a month ago and was told I didnt know what I was talking about. How could someone watching a game know what the safety's job is.

I dont need to step in a big steaming pile to know that I wouldn't like the outcome.

dobber's picture

I don't fault a guy for making plays that fall into his lap...imagine the venom around here if he was dropping those tipped passes!

davy jones's picture

There is good reason to be excited about Aaron Jones' return, but i'm not sure it helps our passing game. Against Vike's I desperately wanted to see a couple of passes to Montgomery out of backfield, but they just don't call it. I'm not sure they will call Jones' number either out of the backfield. He can only help our passing game if if coaches call plays that allow for it. If they don't pass to Monty out of backfield, are they going to pass to Jones?

Dash Riprock's picture

We survived and thrived against what I think is two potential top 5 defenses in the NFL in MN and Chicago. That was impressive especially with Rodgers literally playing with one foot. The offensive line is doing great and Bulaga and McCray are settling in. Not worried about the others. Geronimo is my biggest surprise exceeding my expectations. Graham coming on and we have a three headed monster with our rb's. Yeah, things are looking great now that we got past Chi and MN. My only concern on this team is Kevin King. We found out just how important he is to our defense. He needs to get healthy and stay healthy. Getting tired of his nagging injuries as it's killing us when he's not out there.

Kubyskins12's picture

Not sure why house replaced king when we have josh Jackson. Pretty sure we win if he comes in cause Diggs most likely doesn’t get 75 yard td against him. I know Brice should’ve helped over top but house got smoked. Jackson plays that better in my opinion.

Dash Riprock's picture

I agree 100% with you. Jackson should have been in there over House. I think they know this now so I don't expect them to make the same mistake twice. Jackson clearly is better already.

4thand1's picture

We should see new wrinkles in the offense. It seems every year MM gets better as the season goes on. The Packer's record in Dec is pretty dam good, except when AR isn't on the field. Washington scored 9 points last game? This game should be fun and not a nail biter. Pack 31 Skins 17.

Dash Riprock's picture

Like what you had to say and agree. We should roll.

dobber's picture

Skins scored 9 points... home...
...against an undermanned Indy defense.

There's only so much you can take from opponent to opponent in sports, but the Packers D should be lined up for some success this week: especially if King plays.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Do not take the Redskins lightly!! Playing a team on it's home field is not a walk in the park, especially with a QB like Alex Smith and a pretty darn good defense. The Packers are an excellent team and loaded with talent and the Redskins will be all pumped up for the challenge. And Allison is an excellent receiver. Go! Pack! Go!

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

They will be pumped up for the challenge until we pop them. Then they will whimper and go away. We are not the Cardinals or the Colts so their D stats will go south this week.

Dash Riprock's picture

Agree. GB needs a solid decisive victory with no what ifs. Just destroy them with no apologies.

DD's picture

Most of you make some good points but are wrong. We didn't really stretch the field, Cobb disappeared the second half. Why did we draft all those receivers? To stretch the field. Apparently they can't. Number two, our offense still fails to use our running backs in multiple schemes against a fierce pass rush, with MM still vanilla, predictable, and I'm seeing no new plays. What I still see is Rodgers having to do it all again. Number three, our defense lacked any pass rush again (Mack was was a superbowl changer, like Reggie), and we have continued failures to cover Diggs and Theilen in big moments in the fourth quarter. Diggs and Theilen are better then Adams and Cobb. Vikes dont need a third receiver! Zimmer builds an awesome defense in less then five years! Our defense looked a lot like Capers fourth quarter defenses. We have failed on a legitimate pass rush. Wheres high paid Perry? Sellling hot dogs? You tell me the difference? I'm a realist, watched film, and am telling it like it is. No fluff.

PatrickGB's picture

I blame our less than stellar defense on TTs drafting. Pettine has done ok with what we have. Sadly, the talent is not what it should be. And we are doing ok with what we have. Gute has drafted better.

I bleed green more's picture

Just saw injury report King is doubtful and 3 others questionable. Offense seems good, the defensive has to step it up.

Fordham Ram's picture

We do have the makings of something special this year o offense but with Aaron still gimpy I don't care what the score for this game will be. Just win baby and come home in one piece.

Otto's picture

With the return of Jones and the addition of Lewis, I'd love to see them dial up the run game. They could keep the heat off Rodgers so he could protect his knee.

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