Packers: Three changes on offense we hope to see under Joe Philbin

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 02: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers passes during the second half of a game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field on December 02, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 02: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers passes during the second half of a game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field on December 02, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After the firing of Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay Packers named offensive coordinator Joe Philbin the interim head coach. All season long the offense has struggled but there are three simple changes that Philbin can make that will get this Packers offense back on track.

Other than a few sparks here and there, we have not seen any consistency from this Green Bay Packers offense when it comes to moving the ball and scoring points. In fact there are times where it seems nearly impossible.

It’s true that this Packers team doesn’t have the talent on the roster that it did from 2010 through 2014, but they have also gone away from what made them so dynamic offensively in the past.

With Joe Philbin taking over the play-calling duties for the remainder of the season, there are three simple adjustments he can make to this offense that could help provide a spark in the final four games.

Shorter passes and using the middle of the field

With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Green Bay Packers have always been known for their ability to take the deep shot down the field and it felt like more times than not, they were able to connect.

However with a beat up receiving corps, the Packers have had to rely on rookies this season and instead of making their job easier, they’ve continued to take the deep shots.

Aaron Rodgers has thrown the most 20-yard plus passes in the NFL this season and that has been a huge contributor to his below average completion percentage, which currently stands at 61.8 percent and is ranked 26th in all of football.

It takes time to develop the chemistry that Rodgers wants to have with his receivers and oftentimes they haven’t been in the right spot or Rodgers doesn’t trust them enough to make the throw, which has led to a number of frustrating sacks.

Instead, the Packers need to rely more on shorter passes that will get the ball out of Rodgers’ hands much quicker and on time.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling was one of the fastest players at the combine; using him on crossing routes will make it very difficult for defenders to keep up. Equanimeous St. Brown and his big body would work great on a slant route out of the slot position.

Lastly, Davante Adams has ran most of his routes outside the hash marks this season, he needs to be used more in the middle of the field as well. Whether it’s a post, slant, quick in-route or whatever it may be, Adams will create the mismatch.

Using Aaron Jones to set up play-action

What Packer fans have wanted most this season was more carries for Aaron Jones and as we head into Week 13 of the NFL season, that still remains true.

Jones has been phenomenal when he’s had the ball in his hands and has shown star potential. On the season he is averaging 5.7 yards per carry but unfortunately he is averaging just over 11 carries per game. With a player like Jones, he needs to carrying the ball at a minimum 15 times each game.

If Philbin is able to stick with Jones and establish the running game, it is really going to help out Rodgers and the receivers in the passing game by setting up the play-action pass.

Back in 2007 through 2011 during Philbin’s first stint as offensive coordinator, the Packers had one of the best offenses in the league over that time and a big part of their success was using the play-action pass.

When the defense is concerned with the run it brings everyone closer to the line of scrimmage. This creates more room over the middle due to the linebackers moving up and also allows for potential one-on-one coverage down the field with the safety sucked in as well.

An effective play-action will give the Packers their potential deep shot that they love to take and it will also make the receivers job of getting open much easier.

Hurry up offense

One major criticism of the Packers offense this year is that it has looked stale and no one seems to be in a hurry. Oftentimes the ball is being snapped with one second left on the play clock or to the disgust of many, Green Bay uses a timeout.

In the past the Packers ran a very quick offense, hurrying up to the line of scrimmage after many plays and giving multiple looks. One play they may go five wide, then the next they may have three wide with two in the backfield. Green Bay made it very difficult for defenses to diagnose what the play was.

Now some of this could be attributed to the young receivers and not being as familiar with the system, so it is taking longer to get set. But even with that, this offense appears to have no energy a majority of the time.

However, just this season we have seen how effective the Packers can be in this system. Against the Bears, much of the second half was spent in hurry up because of the deficit and that was perhaps Green Bay’s best performance offensively of the season.

When facing the Vikings in Week 2, Rodgers put Green Bay in field goal range in just 30 seconds. Then against the 49ers, the Packers tied the game with a touchdown and won on a field goal all with less than two minutes left in the game.

There are plenty of examples over the Aaron Rodgers era where the hurry up offense has worked magically but for whatever reason, this season they have shied away from it. To put it simply, Philbin needs to make it a priority.

Although the team’s playoff hopes are dashed, it is still important to win as many of these last four games as possible and to head into the offseason on a positive note.

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These are three things that the Green Bay Packers have done very successfully in the past and if Joe Philbin can work this into his play-calling, we may just see a revitalized Packers offense the rest of the season.