The Packers young offense has been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2023 NFL season so far. Although the have had moments of brilliance, there has been so much inconsistence. After four weeks, the Packers rank 24th in points scored and 25th in total yards. This must change if the Packers want to be competitive throughout the rest of the season.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to the Packers’ offensive struggles in 2023. The biggest problem has been the team’s inability to run the ball effectively. The Packers rank 30th in the NFL in rushing yards per game, averaging 74.5 yards per contest. This is a major step back from the previous season, when the Packers ranked 15th in rushing yards per game, averaging 124.3 yards per contest.
The Packers’ inability to run the ball effectively has had numerous negative consequences for the offense. First, it has made it difficult for the Packers to establish any kind of rhythm on offense. Second, it has put immense pressure on Jordan Love to make plays with his arm, which he has been unable to do consistently thus far. Third, it has made it impossible for the Packers to control the clock. This has led to them giving their opponents too many opportunities to score points in bunches and wearing out the Packers defense.
Another problem for the Packers’ offense has been the inconsistent production from the wide receiver position. Christian Watson, the Packers’ top wide receiver, has been injured almost the entire first quarter of the season. While Romeo Doubs has been a bright spot, the Packers’ young receiving core has struggled to step up in Watson’s absence. Luckily, Watson should be back this week in full to help the packers young offense.
Finally, the Packers’ play-calling has also been a problem this season. Matt LaFleur has had several questionable play calls and personnel decisions. LaFleur needs to do a better job of calling plays that put the Packers’ players in the best position to succeed. He also needs to do a better job making his best players the focus of his offensive game plans.
Here are some specific things that the Packers must do to improve their offense in the second half of the 2023 season:
- Make Aaron Jones the cornerstone of their offense. Jones is the Packers’ best offensive player, but he has not been used enough in the game plans this season. This needs to change immediately. The Packers need to give Jones significantly more touches in order to maximize his production. This will give the Packers young offense someone to rally around.
- Improve the run blocking of the offensive line. The Packers’ offensive line need to do a better job of displacing defenders in order to help the running backs find clearer running lanes.
- Use more ‘quick solution’ passes. Thus far this season, Jordan Love has been asked to make more intermediate level passes, demonstrated by his league leading 10.1 yards per pass attempt. Short, quick passes can be a great way to keep Love in rhythm and open up the deep passing game. Additionally the Packers need to utilize these easier completions to take some of the pressure off of Love.
- Get Christian Watson deeply involved in the passing game. Watson is the Packers’ new number one wide receiver, but he has not been on the field due to injury to start the. The Packers will need to design plays that take advantage of Watson’s athleticism and speed in the open field to give him opportunities to make plays.
If the Packers young offense can improve in the second half of the season, they will not only have a better understanding of their team but have a chance to make the playoffs. However, they need to take a hard look in the mirror and make some significant changes do so.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.