The good, bad, and ugly for Packers entering the bye week

Green Bay Packers
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The Bad: Packers coaching

Following a dominant Week 1 performance against Chicago, each following game has raised skepticism about Green Bay's coaching staff. While it's easy to point the finger at the players, it's hard for even the great ones to thrive in lacking schemes.

The Packers came into their last game against the Raiders with 11 days to prepare but would go on to display their worst game plan of the season against one of the worst defensive units in football.

In fairness to Matt LaFleur, the offensive line is not run-blocking well, deep passes aren't connecting, and teams aren't respecting any play-action the Packers are running. If players aren't executing the basics, it's difficult for a coach to open up the playbook.

But for a head coach in his fifth season leading a team, LaFleur deserves skepticism as an offensive-minded coach struggling to scheme ways to get skill players open and sustain production from his offensive unit.

Too often, LaFleur abandons the run game after a few unsuccessful attempts, and the offense fails to look dynamic. This leads to full quarters with seemingly zero attempts to run the ball, and it shows by Green Bay ranking 26th in the NFL in rushing attempts.

The Packers also rank 23rd in average yards per play (4.9), and their 86 first downs are good for 23rd in football. Without running the ball well, the Packers haven't been able to effectively set up the deep passing game, commonly resulting in Jordan Love throwing incompletions to tightly covered receivers.

The Packers are 25th in the NFL in total yards (1,408), and across the board of offensive stats, there are very few other teams with offensive head coaches ranking below Green Bay.

The largest target on LaFleur's back comes from hiring and continuously retaining defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

Barry headed up the defense for the 2008 Detroit Lions, who went 0-16, and since then, his units have yet to finish inside the top 20 despite having no less than five defensive first-round picks and highly-paid free agents every season in Green Bay.

A glance at his resume after leading defenses in Detroit and Washington would likely have disqualified him from serious consideration in Green Bay had it not been for a personal friendship with LaFleur.

No team has retained Barry for over two seasons as defensive coordinator until LaFleur granted him a third season in Green Bay. So far, Barry's 2023 defense has been characterized by more head-scratching scheme decisions.

Packers fans watched in disbelief as their middle linebacker lined up 10 yards off the line of scrimmage to cover the Falcons' star running back Bijan Robinson on the perimeter or, more recently, outside linebacker Preston Smith covering All-Pro receiver Davante Adams.

Then there are decisions like having only three down linemen backed up against the goal line against a Lions team intent on rushing the football or having man-to-man coverage playing 10 yards off the ball at the 10-yard line, allowing for an easy catch and score.

To cap it all off, The Packers still have no answer for stopping an opponent's run game.

Per Pro Football Reference, the Packers' defense is ceding the 15th-most yards (1,689), fifth-most first downs allowed (108), sixth-most rushing yards allowed (717), and the second-most first downs allowed by rushing (47).

Overall, Green Bay is only averaging 5.2 first-half points per game (30th in the NFL), so they consistently play from behind, and the defense is not getting off the field.

The Packers must use the bye week to take a hard look in the mirror and make necessary adjustments to turn around a 2-3 start to the season. At the current trend, hot seats are warming up. Some are hotter than others.