40.7 points per game, 459.7 yards per game, 35:54 time of possession, and 6.9 yards per play. Those are the Green Bay Packers offensive numbers through the first three weeks of the 2020 season, and they all rank no lower than second in the NFL. The Packers are 3-0 and are on pace to have a historic offense, but now we have to wonder, when will they slow down from this blazing start?
Following last night’s game against the New Orleans Saints, Aaron Rodgers didn’t soft-sell their offensive performance. They scored 37 points, and Rodgers tossed three touchdowns and amassed 283 yards through the air without his top receiver.
“We’ve had some good offenses over the years … and put up some amazing numbers, but this offense is just so different,” Rodgers said via Bill Huber of PackersCentral.
Without Davante Adams, Rodgers and company didn’t miss a beat. Allen Lazard finished with a career day of six receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Robert Tonyan was the second leading with 50 receiving yards and a score. While Green Bay doesn’t have a distinguished number two receiver, Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling collectively fit the bill.
Matt LaFleur has also done a great job utilizing the dominant traits of his running back, Aaron Jones. Jones is second in the league with 303 rushing yards, tied for first in touchdowns, and has added 95 yards as a receiver.
Through the first three games this year, the Packers offense has performed beautifully. However, soon they will face more resistance, and that is when we will learn more about this team.
The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions are 30th and 27th in total defense, respectively. Meanwhile, the Saints defense followed up a grim performance in week two against the Las Vegas Raiders, with an equally bad performance last night against Green Bay.
There’s no denying that the Packers offense has overwhelmed their opponents, but there’s also no denying that the defenses have been underwhelming at best.
Statistically, New Orleans is the best defense they have faced. Their total defense is 11th in the league at the moment, and they are relatively healthy. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to keep teams out of the endzone. The same goes for Detroit and Minnesota, who both are allowing at least 30 points per game.
Adams will return soon, but they could probably get away with resting him another week. Next week, Green Bay faces the Atlanta Falcons, who are arguably the most demoralized team in the NFL. They have the second-worst total defense and are dead last in scoring defense.
After that, the Packers head into their early bye week. If they take care of business like they should against Atlanta, they will be 4-0.
Coming off the bye, they face Tom Brady in his new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sporting an offense riddled with talent and a defense more than capable of holding their own, Tampa Bay could end up being Green Bay’s toughest test to date. Brady at the helm of a stacked offense only becomes more daunting when looking at how well their defense has performed.
The Buccaneers defense ranks fifth in total defense and seventh in scoring. So, while the Packers offense has been lighting it up so far in this season, they may not fair their first true test until week six.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.