Following the 17-13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Green Bay Packers head into their bye week with more questions than answers.
Is Jordan Love the future? Can the key players stay healthy? Why does Joe Barry consistently have his defense not ready to perform to the level they should? All valid questions through the first five weeks of the season.
To get answers to these questions and more, the Packers need to consider changing a few things about their process and play style to right the ship during the second half of the season.
Packers need more aggressive offensive play-calling
It may just be me, but the Packers offense looked completely different from Weeks 1-3 than it did during the last two games. Jordan Love had back-to-back three-touchdown games with no interceptions, posting a league-leading passer rating, and looked like he was one of the better players on this young Packers team.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the script has been flipped. Love has only thrown two touchdowns and five interceptions in the last two games.
The interceptions were going to come at some point for a quarterback who has only started six NFL games in their career, but the play-calling is not helping Love at all.
The Packers seem reluctant to be aggressive when they enter the red zone. A good example of this would be during last week's Monday Night Football game against the Raiders. Following a 77-yard catch-and-run by Christian Watson that set Green Bay up in a goal-to-go situation, the Packers came out and ran the ball twice on first and second down (gained nothing). Only then, in an obvious passing down, did they decide to throw. It was incomplete, and the Packers settled for a field goal.
Punching it in the end zone would have changed the rest of the game. Being up a touchdown makes the Raiders play more aggressively, allowing the Packers' defense to take advantage of any mistakes the Raiders may have.
The Packers cannot do anything productive in the first half of games this year. Over the past three games, the Packers have only scored six total points in the first half combined. Yes, six points. This is a mix of bad game-planning and not being aggressive early in games. If the Packers can come out hot and fast to start a game, maybe they look better heading into the bye week.
Packers must get key players involved earlier
The Packers will play better when their playmakers get the ball more. For example, when the Packers give Aaron Jones 15 or more touches, they are 35-2 all-time. So, why do key players like Jones and Romeo Doubs not get enough chances to make plays?
Against the Raiders, Doubs was targeted only four times. He finished the game with one catch for four yards. Doubs has proven he is a guy that needs double the amount of targets in a game. He leads the Packers in yards, catches, and receiving touchdowns. Getting him more opportunities is crucial.
Another issue is the Packers don't give Aaron Jones enough touches in a game. It's like Matt LaFleur wants to see players like Patrick Taylor and AJ Dillon take carries away from Jones. This is a terrible idea. As I mentioned earlier, the Packers go as Jones goes. If the Packers can get Aaron Jones going early in games, they will likely come out on top.
Hopefully, during the bye week, the coaching staff will look at film and find a way to get their key players more involved in the game plans.