The 2021 Packers are a far cry from the high flying, aerial assault that we witnessed just a season ago. This year’s squad is finding ways to grind out wins with short passes, running the football and playing excellent defense. The 2020 Packers offense ain’t walkin’ through the door…and that’s okay!
Championship Level Offense?
It’s hard to wrap your head around a Packers offense that’s not centered on an other-worldly Aaron Rodgers slinging the ball 40 times a game.
We’ve seen a transition this year, whether it’s been apparent or not, to the offense that Matt LaFleur wanted to run all along.
Perhaps it’s a byproduct of Rodgers natural regression from his stunning (and unsustainable) 2020, or maybe NFL defensive coordinators have gleaned a little something?
Maybe Rodgers has lost a little touch on his fast ball or his deep ball?
Does it matter?
The 2021 Packers offense is imposing its will on enemy defenses by grinding out tough yards between the 20’s.
Keeping down-and-distance reasonable, keeping the clock moving and keeping the opposing offense off the field.
Matt LaFleur has his Derrick Henry in AJ Dillon, oh, and another pretty good guy in the room in Aaron Jones.
While I still believe Rodgers and the receiver group will eventually find their groove and that we’ll see some vintage performances from QB1 yet this season, if we don’t, that’s okay too!
The Packers offense we’re seeing this season is one that doesn’t go out of style. An offense that has the makings of a classic championship offense. Something…dare I say..you might see out of a team in New England.
Rodgers is winning against opposing defenses more with his virtuoso understanding of the game than pure arm talent this year.
He has continued to take what the defense gives him, eschewing the deep ball for finding an open man past the chains.
Others may call it boring, I’ll call it concise and efficient. A repeatable formula that will play in any condition against any opponent.
The Best Offense Is A Good Defense
The big question to me is what happens when you have to play from behind?
The answer is that if the Packers defense keeps rolling, they may not have to!
Of course the Packers won in dramatic come-from-behind fashion at the 49ers in week 3, but they’ve been fortunate to not be in that position much this season.
The one caveat to a black-n-blue, [insert football cliche here], type of offense is that if you get down big it’s that much harder to dig yourself out.
The Packers defense must continue to play at a high level and be a partner to the offense if this team wants to reach its goal of winning a Super Bowl.
I think the defensive unit is the best equipped it’s been in terms of both talent and confidence since late in the 2010 season.
Even Kevin King, who I wrote off weeks ago has stepped up and shown signs of life. Atta boy King!
You can see with the on-field product that the defense has a swagger that only comes from knowing you’ve got the ability and scheme to stifle your opponent.
Speaking of scheme…how impactful has Joe Barry been?
He deserves a mountain of credit for the job the defense has done through 10 weeks. I’ll be the first to eat crow after thinking he was an uninspiring hire.
Couple that with a fall-flat-on-face week 1 performance and I was pining for Pettine.
Joe Barry may have finally unlocked the potential of an undoubtedly talented unit perpetually lacking cohesion.
You can follow Adam on twitter at @adamjcarlson28.