All of a sudden the Green Bay Packers are having trouble on offense. What makes no sense is that they finally have an effective running game and they are having issues throwing the ball.
Yes that is right, I just said that about the Packers.
Don’t get me wrong, the sky is not falling and I am not saying this is going to continue, but obviously Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense are struggling with rhythm in the passing game.
The Packers offensive line was very, very good Sunday going against one of the better and dangerous defensive lines. Rodgers was sacked only once and they helped the running backs rush for 180 yards. This is the second game in a row that the Packers have rushed for 180 yards and the second game in a row they have struggled throwing the ball.
So why are the Packers, all of a sudden, having issues?
Well let’s start with some questionable play calling by head coach Mike McCarthy. On the opening drive the Packers had already run 14 plays and had first and goal at the four yard line.
Eddie Lacy had already run the ball five times on the drive for 24 yards. We have heard from McCarthy how important our running game is and here we are running it effectively and instead of continuing to run on first down, he called a pass play and Rodgers was sacked for the only time in the game, losing 5 yards. That set up the Packers in must-throw territory and they eventually had to settle for a short field goal.
With the Packers leading 6-0 in the second quarter the Packers were near midfield with a third and one. Again, instead of calling a running play, McCarthy called another pass – a near-lateral that was intended for Randall Cobb on the outside – was knocked down at the line of scrimmage.
On the Packers’ second possession of the second half that started with the 67-yard run by Cobb, the Packers again had a third and one from the 13. Rodgers called a timeout before running the play and McCarthy again comes out of the break calling another pass play that goes incomplete.
So when the team had a fourth and one in Cincinnati and the only available running back was the smaller, change of pace running back, Johnathan Franklin, McCarthy called a running play up the middle. Flash forward to Sunday when the team has its big back Lacy – McCarthy chooses to throw the ball on short yardage plays and ends up having to settle for field goals.
I love Aaron Rodgers as much as the next person, but I also like the higher percentage play if our big back can get the job done and extend drives.