Aaron Rodgers and the Packers came into this season expecting to have another banner year for Green Bay. Week 1 took some of the wind out those cheese-head sails with a 30-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and hopefully will make them re-think their offensive approach. The Packers offense was so one-dimensional that it should be embarrassing to their coaching staff. Yes, even from my comfy red leather couch, I can tell you throwing on every single possession is a recipe for disaster.
Green Bay only ran the ball 14 times and 5 of those were Rodgers scrambling out of necessity, not design. Contrary to this meager investment in their running game, they put the ball in Rogers’ hands to throw 44 times. I understand Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the game, but when every play is a throwing play it allows the other team to simply load up the secondary and send their defensive lineman charging at the quarterback, completely ignoring the run.
The 49ers didn’t worry at all about the Green Bay running attack and instead treating every play like a pass. If the Packers are going to be effective offensively this year they need to give Cedric Benson more than 9 touches a game. They need to keep the defensive line honest.
The 49ers on the other hand brought a balanced offensive attack with Alex Smith going 20-26 for 211 yards, a 76.9% completion rate, and 2 TDs. The reason Smith was capable of being so efficient was that his offense also ran the ball 32 times for 186 yards.
The couch QBs of the world can’t understand why Green Bay wouldn’t make adjustments to their offensive flow. They’ve got Benson — a more than capable runner — in the backfield, so let him run. Give him a few touches and take some of the pressure off Rogers.
For better or for worse the Packers decided to live or die by Rodgers arm and this Sunday they died. If they’re going to recapture the dominance they showed last year, they need to stop treating Rogers as the next coming of the messiah and form an offensive plan that involves their runners.
Photo Credit: Getty