Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers: Settling for field goals … why?



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.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports photograph

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.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers

  • Buckywunder

    This continues a trend from preseason where the Pack scored few TD’s by the first-string. It’s not clear what the problem is, that’s for sure.

    • Mike King


      Thanks for reading the article and posting. I think right now Rodgers, the offense and McCarthy are all struggling to figure out how to fit in the passing game with the new found great running game. I think it is coming sooner rather than later and by the second half of the season the Packers offense will be amazing as no one will know what to try to stop, the pass or run. Which will be very important come Nov, Dec and Jan games and the weather turns.

  • Dave Hayes

    I wonder how many of the plays that are being discussed were changed at the line by Rodgers. Don’t they come up to the line with a run/pass option and Rodgers decides? I brought up the whole 3rd and 1 and why not run Lacy after all that is why we drafted him. I am also wondering if Rodgers has something wrong because he just seems off this whole year. It could be I am spoiled at seeing him with pin point accuracy and this year he is missing wide open guys

    • Mike King

      Dave, Thank you for reading the article. McCarthy was asked this in his press conference today and he said that one of them he choose to take a shot of a TD on it and he believes Jordy was held in the end zone that kept that play from being completed. If you look at the play, he has a pretty good point, however I would prefer to get the first with a run and then take your shot. I will also watch the replay of all of them and see if Rodgers audibles out of a run. My bigger point is that the Bengals were all stacked in the box and we did not option out of that 4th and 1. Again I don’t think the sky is falling, just was very curious about these three plays when he defended the Bengals call so much.

      Thanks again for reading and posting!

  • John Wendelborn

    Someone on the line has a “tell”….stop trying to run Franklin between the tackles, best outside…Jeesch!