Packers Running Game: Back to the Drawing Board

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Cedric Benson

The Green Bay Packers running game was non-existent during their season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Aaron Rodgers led the team with 27 yards on five carries. Starting running back Cedric Benson had 18 yards on nine carries, which is an unacceptable two yards per carry.

That’s not even the bad part, though. The Packers passed 47 times (including three sacks). They ran 14 times. If you take out Rodgers’ five runs, which were actually passing plays he had to scramble on, the Packers only ran nine times.

That’s nine designed runs in 61 total plays.

What buffoon put that game plan together?

I know the Packers are a passing team, but they’re not going to be a good passing team if their opponents can just sit back and expect pass on virtually every play.

Further, Benson isn’t going to get any rhythm going with only nine carries. Hell, Alex Green, who’s probably one of the fastest guys on the field, didn’t even touch the ball on Sunday. How do you not try to get Green some space to run with the ball?

Buffoonery!

Here’s what the other pass-happy NFL teams did on Sunday.

The New England Patriots handed the ball to their backs 32 times on Sunday. Stevan Ridley carried 21 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. They won 34-13.

The New Orleans Saints gave the ball to their running backs only 10 times. No one had more than 17 yards. They lost 40-32.

The Detroit Lions handed the ball off 18 times. Kevin Smith had 13 for 62 and a touchdown. They won 27-23.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

16 Comments on "Packers Running Game: Back to the Drawing Board"

  1. Ed Gein

    The only time Cedric Benson seems to be on the field is when they run it. Man, leave him in there and let him block, throw him a screen once in a while. How do you ever run play action when your in the shotgun every play except the few that you actually do hand off to Benson. How the hell do you just ignore the fact that you need to run the ball? And why the 60 yard bomb on 3rd and 1 when you really needed to stay out there and controll the ball and let their defense get winded. What percentage of 60 yard passes are complete? Why throw to Jordy in double coverage when you needed a yard? I believe they will get it right, but if teams with a running game can have there way with them like that…shit. P.S. I like the Packers, it just seemed like a really odd game.

  2. Harry Hood

    He’s not a buffoon for making the decision to only get 9 2 yard runs. I’d rather have that than, 25 2 yard runs. That will get us nowhere real fast, quick, and in a hurry. What we needed to do was use our just developed package of Cobb out of the backfield as out threat to run. More passes in the middle of the field may help too

  3. Asimov

    At 2 yards/carry I don’t want to waste plays running the ball into the best run defense in the league last year. If they know they can stop it, and you know they can stop it, you might as well throw it.

    If you run it 25 times and only gain 50 yards, it won’t make the defense honest.

  4. Cheese

    Well one of those two yard runs would have gotten a first down on 3rd and 1 instead of chucking the ball down the field 60 yards for an incompletion.

  5. TyKoSteamboat

    3 things…
    1.) Stop & realize we were probably playng the #1 run defense in the NFL
    2.) It’s important to at least keep trying to run to keep teams honest vs. the pass
    3.) compared to all 32 teams in the NFL, we’re a real C average defense…

  6. Shawn iltarion

    The Packers and Saints rarely ran the ball partially because they both trailed the entire game.

    The Patriots ran the ball partially because they led the entire game.

    The Lions are a bad example because they were playing the Rams, who were dead last against the run last year, and nearly lost the game.

    I don’t know where this myth that the Packers threw the ball deep all game comes from. To my memory, the Packers only threw the ball deep 3 times, and one of those was the final play of the game.

  7. Packerfan2008

    Go 7 wr sets every so often and throw bubble screens as running plays. Force the defense to change it up

  8. Packerfan2008

    3 linemen. And maybe the defense will be stupid enough to hit Rodgers after he throws and get a penalty call

  9. Packerfan2008

    Just throwing some ideas out. Obviously the packers offensive line is fucking worthless so running up the middle or off the edge is out of the question. That just leaves bubble screens for short yards. If you want to bitch about protection then use 5 lineman. But Rodgers has the best release time of any qb. He could easy get the throw off before anyone got to him so why not put the two extra blockers out there. And he can always roll out as well. So yeah I’m for real. So shut the fuck up. Packers problem is they are so fucking predictable. Switch it up to fuck with the defense. I’m not saying its goons work but it’s worth a shot and it would prob make defense waste a timeout

  10. Cuban

    That would be an illegal formation and if anything it would make blocking worse cuz the receivers would have to play the oline and block

  11. Packerfan2008

    Yeah McCarthy had mentioned a possibility of a 7 wr set during the preseason. I assumed that meant 3 linemen and everyone else lined up as wr. But I didn’t know you had to have 5 linemen required. So yeah it wouldn’t work. Dumb that defense only needs 1 down lineman but offense has to have all 5. I was just trying to be creative lol. But some kind of bubble screen with 5 wr wouldn’t be too bad

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