While losing a road game on the road to a playoff team, doesn’t necessitate the type of panic spreading rapidly throughout the Packer fandom, the way the offense has played over the last 20 games is cause for extreme concern. Aaron Rodgers continued his struggles against stout defenses. My main cause for concern is the play calling. Mike McCarthy has been unoriginal and the execution has been poor.
When the Packers ran slants, rub routes, and screens against the Vikings they had success. Davante Adams had several key catches on slants working against Trae Waynes, and Jared Cook and Randall Cobb were able to get open over the middle on curls and deep ins. For some reason, the Packers seem content on throwing 20 yard back shoulder throws on the sideline into contested coverage. Whether it is due to design or Rodgers decision-making, that part of the game plan needs to be scrapped.
Aaron Rodgers play has been very average lately. I have to question if he is healthy or if his fundamentals are starting to slip. Rodgers has had the best footwork in the game for quite awhile, but on Sunday he continued to throw passes off his back foot, fading away, and off balance. Even when he made plays with his feet, he was extremely careless with the ball. It is possible he has lost some arm strength as he is aging, but I am worried that the offseason knee injury has not completely healed.
I liked what I saw with the two Tight End sets in the 2nd half. I think Green Bay needs to get back to some more traditional running formations, including utilizing Richard Rodgers and Jared Cook, and allowing Eddie Lacy to run behind Aaron Ripkowski.
Most of Packer nation thought the return of Jordy Nelson would bring back the explosiveness to the offense, but it hasn’t yet. While it isn’t time to panic yet, if the Packers don’t fix the issues with their offense quickly, they may struggle to make the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season.Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig