The frustration of the Green Bay Packers loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday has caused many fans to question the ability of this team to make a push for the playoffs. I think there are some simple changes that would allow the Packers to turn things around, even without Aaron Rodgers.
- Stick to Running Between the Tackles
Aaron Jones was carving up the Saints run defense between the tackles. His balance, vision, and decisiveness work perfectly in the middle, but the Packers largely abandoned the run after the first drive in the first half. After halftime, they came out with a dedication to the running game, but were trying to run outside too often. The injuries to the offensive line get exposed when trying to stretch block and pull, and Jones isn’t as effective in space.
The coaching staff can put Brett Hundley in a much better situation if they let the running game be the focal point of the offense.
- Get the Tight Ends more Involved
Hundley was struggling on deep throws and outs. There seemed to be some issues with his anticipation, and as a result Green Bay needs to give him some easier throws. There is so much talent at the Tight End position, and the Packers have struggled to find ways to get them involved. First, having multiple TEs on the field will help the offensive line, and it allows the offense to be more unpredictable. Richard Rodgers, Martellus Bennett, and Lance Kendricks can give Hundley safe throws over the middle to big reliable targets. Play action passes to Tight Ends would be a great way to build a young Quarterback’s confidence and lengthen drives to give the defense rest.
- Play more Base Defense
Green Bay has very rarely played its base defensive package the entire season. I believe it is a major reason the defense looks very worn down towards the end of games, why teams are able to run it with ease in the second half, and why the tackling as a whole has been so poor. Playing multiple Safeties sounds great on the surface, but tackling and getting off blocks has been such a problem for their personnel, I think Dom Capers has to start to look at getting the base package back on the field.
The Packers have three winnable games after their bye week, and I think with some critical changes can start their push to the playoffs.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