Three Things the Green Bay Packers Need to Work on During the Bye Week
Normally, I’m writing a game preview for the Green Bay Packers, but this week is their bye and I’m going to give you three things I think the team needs to work on in the week off to get them back to their winning ways.
The Packers have been ravaged by injury this season, particularly on the offensive line and in the secondary. As of last week’s game against the New Orleans Saints, they had used 10 different offensive line combinations, which was by far the most in the NFL. The team has had multiple starters in the secondary miss time over the course of the season with starting safety Morgan Burnett missing three games thus far, starting corners Kevin King and Davon House have both missed time with various ailments, and Quinten Rollins was placed on Injured Reserve and is out for the year. The team has been dinged up at other positions, but these are the primary ones. With Aaron Rodgers out, these two position groups need to get healthy to keep the team afloat and in games.
Brett Hundley did not look comfortable in last week’s loss to the Saints and that was obvious when looking at his final stat line. 12-25 for 87 yards and an interception is not going to get it done. This offense, when given a quarterback who isn’t a superstar, slumps, and it even slumped last season with Aaron Rodgers behind center, because they don’t have the personnel to make it work how it’s designed. With Brett Hundley behind center, this offense needs to be adapted to him and the receivers the Packers possess. Teams around the league have had success with the short “rub” route concepts to take advantage of receivers’ size that lack speed, which is what the Packers should do. Of the top four receivers on the depth chart, Randall Cobb is the only one to have run a 40-yard dash faster than 4.5 seconds, but he’s not a true deep threat. The Packers moved Clay Matthews to middle linebacker a couple years ago coming out of the bye to help shore up their run defense, and it caught many teams off guard. It’s time for another change, because it is broken and it needs fixed.
Last week, starter Ty Montgomery had seven total snaps compared to 44 for rookie second-stringer Aaron Jones, which shows that maybe Mike McCarthy and the rest of the coaching staff might be moving in the proper direction. In the two games that Jones has received the majority of the carries, he’s averaging 7.1 yards per carry. On the season, Montgomery is averaging a paltry 3.1. He represents a great change of pace back for 3rd downs, because he’s a better pass blocker than Jones at this point in time and he still possesses good hands from his time as a receiver. However, Aaron Jones is the better and more pure running back that needs to become this team’s starter. The year that Rodgers broke his collarbone, the team leaned on Matt Flynn heroics and physics defying spin moves from eventual rookie of the year Eddie Lacy. Now is the time to do that again. Ty Montgomery did a good job of holding down the fort, and is still useful in the right situation, but he was never going to be the future at the running back position.
There you have it. The Packers are a different team without Aaron Rodgers, and they’re going to be without him for possibly the rest of the season. If they want to get back to their winning ways, then these are the main changes I feel they need to make.
Be sure to follow me on twitter @Gbridgford_13.