Packers need new offensive coordinator : Packers Insider

Packers need new offensive coordinator

September 21, 2014 by  
Filed under News

By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com senior editor

~The Packers offense is as healthy as they will be all season long. Healthy are all of their wide receivers, from number one down the line to number five Jeff Janis.
All of their top three running backs are healthy in Eddie Lacy, John Starks, and DuJuan Harris.

All of their top tight ends are healthy, still, in Andrew Quarless, rookie Richard Rodgers, and Brandon Bostick was back today as well, as evidenced by his two holding penalties.

Bryan Bulaga was back at right tackle, and the rest of the starting offensive line was there as well. Perhaps center Corey Linsley isn’t as good as advertised, or as good as JC Tretter would have been.

And Aaron Rodgers is healthy, as far as we know.

Rodgers has looked terrible in both of his road games this year, for some reason or another. In 2 road games, Rodgers is 38-60, for just 351 yards, and 2 total touchdowns. He's averaging a Brady Quinn-like 5.8 yards per pass attempt. The Packers have scored 23 total points in road games.

Rodgers has looked terrible in both of his road games this year, for some reason.
In 2 road games, Rodgers is 38-60, for just 351 yards, and 2 total touchdowns.
He’s averaging a Brady Quinn-like 5.8 yards per pass attempt.
The Packers have scored 23 total points in road games.

So what’s the problem?

At a Detroit team that was decimated in the secondary by injuries, and who lost their best linebacker early in this game in Steven Tulloch, the Packers might have been expected to roll in Motown, as they used to do. Rodgers had never lost at Detroit except the game he was concussed in the second quarter in 2010.

Sure the Lion defensive line is good. They have been for a few years.
Last week, the Jets brought a good defensive line to Green Bay. And Seattle in week one had defensive linemen flying all over the place, as they usually do.

The problems with this offense, aside from the last two and a half quarters last week at home against the Jets, start with the offensive coordinator.
Even last week, the offense came out flat. The team fell behind early.

Nobody outside of the Packers front office and players know how much of the design and playcalling is actually Tom Clements, and how much is Mike McCarthy.

Usually injuries are a valid excuse for many Packer problems, but this offense is as healthy as it will be all year long. It's calling runs when the defense is looking for runs. It's calling passes when and how the defense wants. Week one, Seattle took away the whole right side of the field as the Packers were afraid of Richard Sherman. Today, the Lions kept a safety over the top of Nelson all game long. This is the worst the Packers offense has ever looked since Rodgers too over.

Usually injuries are a valid excuse for many Packer problems, but this offense is as healthy as it will be all year long.
It’s calling runs when the defense is looking for runs. It’s calling passes when -and how- the defense wants.
Week one, Seattle took away the whole right side of the field as the Packers were afraid of Richard Sherman.
Today, the Lions kept a safety over the top of Nelson all game long.
This is the worst the Packers offense has ever looked since Rodgers too over. Perhaps it’s time to suit up, and unleash, Jeff Janis.

I’m not sure if McCarthy should go back to scripting the first 15 plays. Something’s not right, and especially right out of the gate. But it’s more than just the beginning.

Fans, and the Packers up-close, saw in week one at Seattle how effective a guy able to run the new “Jet Sweep” can be against NFL defenses. Percy Harvin hurt the Packers with it numerous times. He scored a touchdown on it last week at San Diego, and he also killed Denver in the Super Bowl with it. It’s a hard thing to defense, if you have a guy like that.

Randall Cobb is like that. He’s not quite as strong of a runner as Harvin is, but he’s a good poor-man’s version of him.

Plus, if you could imagine something “new” and “innovative”, Cobb also can throw it. He’s en emergency quarterback, and played the position sometimes in college.
Are the Packers not aware of Cobb’s ability, do they not think they can teach and learn it, or are they saving it for the playoffs? At this rate, they aren’t going to make the playoffs.

What were the problems today in Detroit?

Well let’s start with the Packers offense’s first drive.
Remember, the Lions got the ball first, and Dom Capers’ defense did a great job forcing a quick punt and gave the Packers the ball in good field position at the Packers 37-yard line.

The first play was a basic run to Lacy, for a three yard gain. Nothing special, but positive gain and a nice 2nd & 7, which allowed options for the playcaller.

So it was another run to Lacy. Both the first play and this play, the blocking was good and it didn’t appear Lacy got the most out of each’s blocking.
Anyway, Nick Fairley popped the ball loose from Lacy, and the perfect simple bounce went right to the Lions defensive back Don Carey, who strolled in from 40 yards out for a quick touchdown and 7-0 Lions lead.

Don Carey of the Lions scoops up an Eddie Lacy fumble and waltzes in for a 40-yard touchdown to put the Lions up 7-0 on the Packers opening drive.

Don Carey of the Lions scoops up an Eddie Lacy fumble and waltzes in for a 40-yard touchdown to put the Lions up 7-0 on the Packers opening drive.

Rodgers got the ball back again, and McCarthy called a run to Starks, another run to Starks, and then on third and short, Rodgers threw deep on a fly to Cobb up the right sideline. Incomplete and a three-and-out punt.

The defense for the Packers did a great job again, forcing a Lions three-and-out.

Getting the ball back, the Packers offense on their third drive of the game, the Packers actually picked up a first down on a pass to Cobb for 9 yards on 3rd and 4.Then no gain to Lacy as the blocking was poor, then a miss to Boykin, and a sack on third and ten. Punt again.

The defense would again respond as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would get his first career interception, and the Packers first from any safety since 2012.

This would give Rodgers the ball again, and the Packers would mount their first, and last, scoring drive of the ball game. A 59-yard drive would culminate on a great catch from a well-covered (and interfered with as the DB’s right hand was grabbing him) Andrew Quarless on a 10-yard touchdown.

The next Lions drive would be a good-bad deal.

The good is that Davon House made a beautiful interception on a deep pass intended for Calvin Johnson. House dove and made the catch as he was running towards the end zone, and he landed at about the half-yard line and of course the fast momentum carried him into the end zone, where he was touched for a touchback.

But the replay zebra watched it in slow-mo, super slow-mo, and decided to give the ball to the Packers at the one-yard line instead of the 20 yard line as the on-field official called it.

So first and ten from the one yard line, against a strong defensive line, you have to call a QB sneak there on the odd front and take your two yards, or you have to call a quick pass before Rodgers could get sacked for a safety or an offensive lineman would get a holding call.

But Bob Schnelker called a running play to the right, to Eddie Lacy.

It might have gotten a yard or two, but Richard Rodgers attempt at a block on 275-pound defensive end Jason Jones was absolutely disgusting, and he was blown back four yards into Lacy, causing the safety as then DeAndre Levy was able to come in and corral Lacy for the big two-point safety. Not only was it two big points, but it took the ball away from the Packers.

Tight end Richard Rodgers gets blasted back into Lacy, stopping the running back for a crucial safety for the Lions. DeAndre Levy was the recipient of Rodgers' weak attempt at blocking someone.

Tight end Richard Rodgers gets blasted back into Lacy, stopping the running back for a crucial safety for the Lions. DeAndre Levy was the recipient of Rodgers’ weak attempt at blocking someone.

That play made it 9-7, with all 9 points for the Lions coming against the Packers offense by the Lions defense. Those 9 points would be all they needed as the Packers ended the game with just 7 points.

In the fourth quarter with almost 8 minutes left, the Packers mounted a drive, and had a 2nd and 1 at the Lions 16-yard line, down by just 12 points. Still almost 8 minutes remained, so a touchdown there and the Packers would have just been down 5, with the Packers defense having played well.

A run off-tackle left to Lacy on 2nd and 1, but Lacy didn’t like what he saw there, and instead of putting his head down there and getting nothing or maybe a tough yard, he tried to bounce it back and outside to the left, and he lost 4 big yards. Now it became 3rd and 5.

Rodgers missed Quarless and it was now 4th and 5.

He went to Jordy Nelson on the right side, who ran a slant in the end zone, got a half-step behind linebacker Levy, and before the safety got over, Rodgers threw it to the open window, but a split-second late and it was incomplete, ball to the Lions and no comeback in store. No Favre last-minute heroics here. And to the bottom of the NFC North at 1-2, with the Vikings.

Nelson got open but the pass was a bit late, so instead of a touchdown and a 19-14 score, it became Lions ball and still 19-7. Maybe Rodgers underestimated Nelson's speed.

Nelson got open but the pass was a bit late, so instead of a touchdown and a 19-14 score, it became Lions ball and still 19-7.
Maybe Rodgers underestimated Nelson’s speed.

 

 

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