Allen Lazard is the key to the Packers offense.
The media tends to follow Aaron Rodgers whenever the Green Bay Packers are mentioned, but in the upcoming NFL season, I don’t think Rodgers is the player that will cause the greatest change in Matt LaFleur’s offense.
Rodgers will do his part and play at an elite level as he always seems to, but there is another Packer I have my eyes on to shift the dynamic of the offense. That player is number two receiver Allen Lazard.
The Iowa State alum is a big body with speed and was one of Rodgers’ favorite targets towards the end of the season. Ever since his clutch touchdown late in the Week 6 victory over the Lions, Lazard has gained Rodgers’ trust.
Here are three reasons why Lazard is the key to unlocking the 2020 Packers offense’s full potential:
1. Lazard’s emergence as a true number two will open the field for others
Having Lazard take the next step as a reliable threat opposite Davante Adams makes the entire receiving group more dangerous. We have seen Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS) show glimmers of potential running fairly straight, deep routes down the field, but unfortunately his production and connection with Rodgers has been inconsistent.
Lazard’s growth will positively impact MVS and open the field for him to thrive. Similarly, Equanimeous St. Brown will be returning from injury and will look to add another threat to the Packers offense. He may be the diamond in the rough for the Packers in the future, but a lot of that depends on the success of Lazard. Not to mention, Adams probably wouldn’t mind a little less attention on him every week.
2. His growth will hush the media
Ever since LaFleur became the head coach in Green Bay, the media has been looking for any possible way to predict the end of the Packers’ success. In his first season, LaFleur led the Packers to a 13-3 record and guided them to the NFC Championship Game.
That still wasn’t good enough for the media. The story changed to the idea that the Packers were “frauds” and played more like 8-8 than 13-3. Now after a shocking draft to most, Lazard’s emergence can silence critics once more. LaFleur and GM Brian Gutekunst have placed all their faith in the Packers’ current receiver group, and Lazard thriving will make that decision look impressive.
3. It will improve an already rapidly-improving run game
Aaron Jones‘ rise into NFL stardom and the steady production of Jamaal Williams as the number two back have made the Packers offense more complex and more dangerous. Also, their production catching out of the backfield has been a pleasant surprise for Packers fans.
Adding rookie running back A.J. Dillon out of Boston College only makes that position group scarier for defenses coming into Lambeau Field. Lazard continuing to rack up targets will force defenses to have to worry about one more guy, allowing the Packers’ promising young group of backs to flourish.