Let’s face it Green Bay Packer fans – the hot start with a first-year head coach at the helm always had an end date to it. The bad news is that that clock was not expected to run out against the Los Angeles Chargers in their soccer stadium.
Lack of running back involvement doomed the team from the start against the Bolts, which has been this team’s MO since the preseason. Head coach Matt LaFleur has brought with him a steady diet of running back involvement in the passing game, which is exactly what has helped this team get out to a seven-win, one-loss start on the year.
But for both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to combine for 40 yards rushing across 10 carries, their success rate was doomed from the start in the passing game. For LA, their ability to key in on a single offensive element with GB being down from the get-go immensely limited the RB involvement in catching passes.
No team can function if it is only one dimensional, and LaFleur and company found that out first-hand to a team that was desperate to keep up in the race for the AFC West. Even with every single team in the NFC North losing today, Green Bay has shown their weaknesses to the rest of the league, which will only make their fast start that much more of a mirage if they do not address them.
In the second half, the only reason they put points on the board was that they played with a sense of urgency and ran hurry-up the vast majority. Against certain teams like the Chargers who rely on a stout pass rush to generate pressure and mask their secondary deficiencies, hurry-up is the easiest way to shut it down – the issue is that with not having started it until the second half, that gameplan efficiency was a lot less helpful as the game progressed.
Moving forward, this one-week trip through offensive hell can be addressed, starting against Carolina at home next week. Facing off against MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey and young QB Kyle Allen, the makings of a shootout are forming, provided that GB can fix their offensive woes on the fly.
Mixing in the hurry-up offense, going back to running the ball 20+ times, using a similar scheme to what they ran against Kansas City with screens and quick throws, and changing up game pace will be exactly what this team needs to get its eighth win of the season. While Carolina is no slouch, their offense is run through CMC – keeping the GB offense at a two-dimensional unit is going to be key to making LaFleur’s first season a very successful one, and not just a good one.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23