Packers: Red zone issues continue to slow down offense

Although it has improved over the last three weeks, the Green Bay Packers’ touchdown success in the red zone still isn’t at the level that is should be at given their offensive weapons.

So far through the first six games of the NFL season, this Green Bay Packers team has been inconsistent at best.

And that includes quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers offense.

They have been playing from behind in just about all of their games, and a big reason is because offensively Green Bay is failing to produce in the opponent’s territory, specifically the red zone.

Packers red zone numbers

Inside the red zone over the last two weeks, Green Bay’s touchdown success has improved, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

And some of the success is due to the defenses that they have gone up against. The Detroit Lions are giving up 27.4 points per game this season, ranking 25th in the NFL. San Francisco is giving up 29.8 points per game, good for 29th in the league.

Through the first six weeks, the Packers rank 22nd overall in the NFL by scoring a touchdown 50 percent of the time when they are in the red zone, according to TeamRankings.com. This is up from three weeks ago when they scored a touchdown just 41 percent of the time, which ranked 28th overall.

Mason Crosby has the most field goal attempts in the league with 20 so far this season. That is a reflection of the Packers offense not having success moving the ball when inside the opponent’s territory.

Given the emergence of the rookie wide receivers to complement Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, a dynamic backfield led by Aaron Jones, and of course Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Packers should be top in the league in this category.

Even with Brett Hundley starting at quarterback for most of 2017, the Packers scored a touchdown 61.9 percent of the time when in the red zone.

Red zone issues

The Packers’ struggles inside the 20-yard line can stem from a few reasons. Like many of the offensive issues that Green Bay has experienced this year, one factor is head coach Mike McCarthy’s play-calling.

We’ve seen a number of times this year the Packers utilizing a number of run-heavy plays to move the ball down the field, only to stop and become one-dimensional once they cross midfield.

The Packers have had 39 snaps in the red zone this season, and just 14 of them have been rushing plays. Often times the Packers turn to only throwing the ball when in the red zone and going away from what has gotten them into that position.

This leads to another issue which is that Rodgers has not been as efficient as he usually is. On the season, Rodgers has completed just 16 of 36 pass attempts in the red zone, totaling a 44 percent completion percentage. He has been able to generate nine touchdown passes but often times the offense sputters.

A lack of success from Rodgers could be due to McCarthy’s predictable play-calling, Rodgers hardly having any practice time because of his knee injury or a combination of the two.

Either way, one thing remains certain and that is that Green Bay needs more touchdowns. An Aaron Rodgers-led offense needs to be scoring more than 2.5 touchdowns per game as they are currently doing.

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

With the schedule ahead, if this sort of play in the red zone continues, it will be a long season for the Packers and their fans.