The Green Bay Packers have a new starting quarterback for the first time since 2008. Yet, Jordan Love is not the key to this season’s success. Yes, I know, a franchise in the NFL can’t win the Super Bowl without an above-average if not elite quarterback leading their team. But, if you think the only way for this Packers team to have success is for them to win a Super Bowl, then I have bad news for you. Success for this season is to see what the Packers have at quarterback. The offensive line for the Packers is the key to success.
Offensive Line Project Starters
With David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins back from injury, the Packers left side of the offensive line seems locked and ready to go. But that can’t be said for the rest of the line. Josh Meyers is the current starter at center, but after a rough 2022 NFL season and a meh start to training camp, he has finally been given competition. That competition just so happens to be Zach Tom.
The Curious Case of Zach Tom
What do the Packers do with Zach Tom? He is one of the best five on the team for the o-line. Where do the Packers put him? Tom can play anywhere on the line and is currently competing in two spots on the line. These spots are at center and right tackle. So, the Packers have a huge decision to make with where to put him.
If center Josh Meyers continues to struggle and Zach Tom can play well enough at center, then look for Tom to take that center position from Meyers. This would imply that Yosh Nijman has earned that right tackle spot.
With right guard also being a lock for Jon Runyon, the projected offensive line starters would be (from left to right) David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Zach Tom, Jon Runyon, and Yosh Nijman. If David Bakhtiari’s knee were to flare up, then the backup line formation would be Yosh Nijman, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Meyers, Jon Runyon, and Yosh Nijma. It is important for the Packers to keep Josh Meyers.
Offensive Line Dominance
The Green and Gold offensive line can be dominant. With the projected offensive line starters, they could find themselves being a top five unit. This is the key to success this year. The Packers (especially Bakhtiari and Jenkins) are well-known for their impressive pass-blocking abilities, but success will be found in their run blocking.
Green Bay will be a more run heavy team this season. The Packers o-line will have to perform well in the run game, and they will. When asked about the importance of Bakhtiari and Jenkins on the left side of the line, Brian Gutekunst emphasized the success the Packers have had in the past running behind those two. Green Bay is looking to run the ball more.
Success in the run game leads to play action. Coach LaFleur is well-known for his run game and play action scheme. If the Packers have success in the run game, look for Love to have opportunities to pass the ball using play action. This will give Love more opportunities to have success with throwing the ball down field.
It doesn’t hurt that the Packers offensive line is fantastic in pass blocking. If Love is going to have success and have the opportunity to grow, then he needs to be protected when it comes to the passing game. The Packers offensive line will allow for this to happen.
Offensive Line and Love
Love needs to play. Green Bay also needs to learn what they have in Love. That is where the Packers will be successful in 2023. If Love doesn’t have the opportunity for success, then the Packers will not have success either. The Packers offense goes only if the o-line goes.
Ultimately, the line of scrimmage is important to the success of the team. Just like it is every year. So, as training camp continues on, keep an eye on the trenches.
Note: David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins were both nonparticipants in Saturday’s Family Night.
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.