@GBPack2Fan makes a good point, “No Jordy, No Deep Ball?: The Packers are winning games and scoring points without Jordy Nelson, but t…”
Through three games, Aaron Rodgers has 13 balls thrown for 20+ yards and only one for 40+ yards. In 2014, he had 59 for 20+ and 15 for 40+ yards. The 15 40+ throws tied for the NFL lead.
Jordy had a knack for making a double move and finding himself wide open deep on the sidelines. There is no one in the current Packers receiving corps that has that talent.
In the NFL, it is extremely hard to get the ball at the 20 yard line and march all the way down the field for a touchdown. The defenses are just too fast and too good. Referees are also too good at throwing flags that put offenses back into 2nd and 3rd and long situations. So the odds are against teams scoring TDs on long drives.
However, the 2015 Packers may be the exception. Aaron Rodgers’ decision making this year has been flawless. He is completing 73.6% of his passes. He has thrown 10 TD passes and zero INTs.
He keeps plays and drives alive by escaping out of the pocket and surveying the field and finding the open man, running for a first down or yardage to make it 3rd and manageable or throwing the ball away and not taking the sack.
Red Zone efficiency is improved this year with the Packers scoring TDs on 69.23% of their opportunities. Aaron Rodgers has a 124.0 passer rating in the Red Zone. And according to footballoutsider.com, the Packers are the #2 most efficient team in the NFL, behind only the Arizona Cardinals.
One reason for the high efficiency is that (knock on wood) the Packers have had only one dropped pass all season. That is one way to sustain drives.
My only concern is that the Packers, with Eddie Lacy hobbled, have only scored one rushing TD. Andrew Quarless’ knee injury limits the Packers to only one tight end with NFL experience. Opponents defenses will play more press coverage, unafraid of the Packers beating them deep. Limited tight ends mean fullbacks will be in to block more. Less options mean more predictability.
The MVP has been incredible the last several years but now he is playing the best football of his career.
Next: Week 4 Injury Report