GREEN BAY - Last season, the Packers offense fell from first in scoring to fifth, third in yardage to 13th and first in passing average (yards per attempt) to 14th.
The Packers invested in the running game with 27 rushing attempts per game, but despite facing two deep zones (pass coverage defenses) predominantly they did not get the kind of production in the running game that kind of investment should produce. Much of this had to do with one injury after another in the running back corps.
The Packers ranked 20th in yards rushing per game 106.4 and 22nd in yards per rushing attempt 3.9. The NFL average last season was 115.9 yards rushing per game and 4.3 per attempt. After excluding QB carries, the Packers had 375 running plays for 1,446 yards 3.86 per carry.
Some have said physical teams give the Packers offense problems. That’s not entirely true in my opinion.
Defenses that are most effective against the Packers offense are those who play 4-3 and do not blitz (blitzing Aaron Rodgers is defensive suicide) - allowing maximum coverage of the receivers on the perimeter. Seattle, San Francisco and the New York Giants are the best examples of the type of teams that make life difficult for the Green Bay offense. Chicago’s cover two defense under former coach Lovie Smith was also very effective in containing the Green Bay attack.
An effective running game is a key for pulling a defense out of a “two-deep” cover shell and that has been a point of emphasis for the Packers in the draft and during the off season.
Monday, we begin to break down the Packers offense starting with that running game when our pre-camp preview continues.