The Green Bay Packers have had a disappointing season, particularly on offense. An underrated aspect of their poor performance has been the injuries to wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.
Through 12 weeks the Packers offense ranks 16th in points per game, Rodgers is 26th in completion percentage and as a team their success in the red zone is almost identical to that of 2017, when Brett Hundley was the quarterback for most of the year.
It’s been well documented over the years that Rodgers needs to have a strong rapport with his receivers if he is going to trust them in games. Unfortunately with the injuries for much of the season to Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, the only receiver he retains that strong rapport with is Davante Adams.
Rookies Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS) and Equanimeous St. Brown (EQ) have been thrown into the fire and the fans along with media are expecting the same results as if it were veterans Cobb and Allison in the lineup.
What has made Rodgers so special over the years is his ability to ad-lib and turn nothing into something. But in order for those types of plays to happen, the receivers and Rodgers must be on the same page. This comes from hours and hours of practice and at this point Rodgers and the rookies just haven’t had enough time together.
One example of the lack of chemistry is when Rodgers is scrambling. Many times we have seen veterans such as Cobb and Allison run back towards Rodgers to give him an easier target to hit, Yet there have been numerous times on film this season we see the rookies moving further down field, making it a very difficult pass to complete.
Whether the blame should be on Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers or both, the Packers offense has continued to operate as if they had Cobb and Allison in the lineup. Instead of utilizing the simplified short and crossing routes, Green Bay has continued to take shots down the field, making it even more difficult for the rookies.
In addition, there have been multiple times this year that MVS or EQ have ran the wrong route, a sloppy version of the correct route, or if they are in the correct position have dropped the pass. Further hampering the trust between Rodgers and his rookie receivers.
We will never know for sure how much different the Green Bay Packers record would be at this point in the season if both Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison had remained healthy. Nevertheless we do know that Aaron Rodgers’ job would be easier and the Packers offense would be running more efficiently.