Packers Offense Playing on Borrowed Time

“That’s really, really, really far from ideal.”

“Can you say Justin McCray and Adam Pankey?”

“Bears DC Vic Fangio has a great track record vs. Rodgers.”

“Can Cobb play tackle?”

 

All of these tweets, and many more, were posted last Thursday night after it was confirmed that the Packers would be without their top four tackles on the depth chart at the beginning of the season. Yours truly had one wish going into the evening: Please have #12 walk off the field under his own power at the end of the night. That wish came true, and then some.

Much to the delight of cheeseheads everywhere, Aaron Rodgers’s all white uniform was virtually as clean when the game clock expired as it was when it read 15:00 in the 1st quarter. Lane Taylor was plugged in at left guard and even performed better than Josh Sitton did a couple years back when he was thrust into duty there. Justin McCray, who looked incompetent at his natural position of guard in the preseason, sprung a couple leaks, but largely left Rodgers untouched. Offensive line coach James Campen and company deserve some credit. They left the maximum amount of talent they had out on the field.

The unexpectedly solid performance from a patchwork offensive line has soothed over much of the anxiety voiced on Twitter before the Thursday night matchup. In a perfect world, the Replacements will continue to surprise. In reality, this just can’t be expected. In two weeks, they will be squaring off against two Pro Bowl talents in Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen from the Vikings. That pair will be licking their chops if they’re up against McCray and Lucas Patrick. Mike McCarthy has to be cognizant of this and game plan accordingly.

While the broken plays and improvisation often reap benefits, they must become the exception instead of the norm. Seeing Rodgers de-cleated at the end of the Atlanta game followed by 6 sacks and several more hits vs. the Cincinnati is an unsustainable trend. He was protected vs. the Bears and has an extended break going into a contest against an underwhelming Dallas defense. If Bakhtiari and/or Bulaga can get healthy enough for the Vikings game, then the chances of keeping one of the top five quarterbacks of the past 30 years on his feet will significantly increase. Otherwise, the unsustainable trend will arrive at an agonizing end. That you can take to the bank.

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John Piotrowski is a UW-Eau Claire alum, spending most of his life in western WI. He makes the trek east to Lambeau whenever possible. Follow him on twitter at @piosGBP.

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  • 4205

    The key was a much quicker passing game – either hit receiver quickly as diagrammed or get rid of the ball. AR focused on that approach against the Bores. This will work against weaker offensive teams when every possession isn’t critical. Or if defense could occasionally stop the better teams (not yet convinced of that).

    • Mark Weinfurter

      Lucky the queens offense is not very good. They lost their rookie running back for the season. They will be lucky to score 17 points a game. Green bays d held the bears running game in check all night; Chicago ran all over Pittsburgh the week prior. The D is legit, the secondary is better and they have been great against the run for a couple of years.

  • croatpackfan

    My God! So many pessimism… I can remember, few seasons ago, when projected starter LT got injured and was lost for the season. Suddenly 4th round pick became starter. A guy, “guy with short arms that will never allow him to become good, not talking about pro bowl player”, who raised the panic even above this level we read in this article above.
    You want more example? Start of the 2014 season. Last preseason game and J. C. Tretter, projected Packers center was down by injury, significant one. Panic was “normal” state of mind in Packersnation… “We are doomed, Aaron Rodgers will not survive!” were the titles of articles before season starts…
    Another one? Packers released Josh Sitton few days before 2016 season started. Lane Taylor was again A GUY. Panic was so intense that many if not all requested Ted Thompson dismissal, because he was stupid, irresponsible, arrogant, egomaniac etc.. Lane was playing much better than Sitton that season!
    Conclusion?
    Do not write stupid articles..

    • John Piotrowski

      “You want more example?”
      —Yes, me want more example!

      “Lane was playing much better than Sitton that season!”
      —Who played in the Pro Bowl last year? Sitton or Lane?

      “Do not write stupid articles.”
      —Sorry, I can’t accommodate this. I enjoy your stupid comments too much.

      • croatpackfan

        Thank you!

    • dennis

      Without Rodgers escaping for his life, our offense lacks creative play calling. One can sit at home and call the play. MM is NOT vomited to running the vsll. Period.

  • Jerry Hansen

    “Can you say Justin McCray and Adam Pankey?”

    Not, if they have to play in Dallas or Minnesota!! A lot of “Look Out” blocks.upcoming, if Bak and Bulaga don’t return!
    A-Rod running for his life vs. average pass rushers

    • dennis

      Agree totslly. Be crestive, not predictable. Watch and see I guess.

  • dennis

    The key is not being predictable on offense. The offensive play calling lacks any change is very predictable. Have you watched the Chiefs offense with their different formations and creative play calling? Maybe I’m all wrong, but we are a very pass offense with the same play calls. Other receivers are wide open, ours, barely get separation in routes, why? Same routes and patterns; study film and you got them covered tight. We need a few end arounds, pass to backs, quick slants, more use of tight ends. 3 TE’s, but not used to potential. O-line banged up, but use your TE options more!