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How Packers’ Offense Melted Down in 2015

Why did the Green Bay Packers perform so poorly on offense in 2015? The Packers couldn’t make their offense go for a number of reasons.

Green Bay has been using a West Coast Offense going on 25 years with success, but last year the system broke down.

The West Coast favors passing over running, and favors using short horizontal passes to set up the running game and open up the field for longer runs and downfield passes.

The unpredictability of play calls is supposed to prevent defenders from focusing on a likely play.

High pass completion percentage is essential. This puts the offense in favorable down and distance situations, allowing for either run or pass options.

The Packers receivers’ inability to gain separation last year was reflected in the quarterback’s completion percentage. Aaron Rodgers’ completion percentage has actually fallen five years in a row now. Rodgers completed in 68.3 percent of his passes in 2011, followed by 67.2 percent in 2012, 66.6 in 2013, 65.6 in 2014 and a career-low (as a starter) 60.7 in 2015. Likewise, his postseason rate fell to 56.3 percent.

Having no deep-threat receivers on the field lessened the deep pass option. In 2015, the Packers had 55 catches of 20 or more yards; in 2014 they had 59, and in 2013 they had 65.

With defenders crowding the line of scrimmage, along with so many 2nd and 10s and 3rd and longs, the run game suffered, producing 1,850 yards, versus 1,917 in 2014, and 2,136 in 2013.

A final strategy that famed coach Bill Walsh, the founder of the West Coast Offense, adhered to was to pass early and often in hopes of getting a lead, then to control the game with running plays that wear down defenders and use up the clock. But in 2015, the Packers rarely had leads of any size to protect. Their scoring average was 23.0, 23rd in the league. In 2014, they were first in scoring (30.4) and in 2013 they were eighth (26.1).

On all fronts, the offense sputtered. Look to Rodgers’ completion percentage in games this year as a gauge of how well the team’s offense is functioning.

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Rob Born

Due to Aaron Rodgers’ reckless ways, I’m officially launching the Campaign for GM Gutekunst to Acquire the Best Available (Veteran) Backup Quarterback – NOW.

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4 Comments

  1. Mark Prott July 5, 2016

    We need more diversity to the offense. Obviously the return of Jordy and growth of our young wrs will be key. So will the rb position, which is why we should be excited about Don Jackson. Guy has homerun speed and would be a great changeup option.

  2. Packers fan July 5, 2016

    Offense struggled last year because Lacy was overweight, receivers couldn’t get open, Jordy Nelson ACL tear, playcalling and oline banged up. I do give Rodgers some of the blame because there were missed throws he did last year. But he however threw for 31 tds and 8 ints in the regular season and it shows why he is still the best QB in the NFL. You can read this article: http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl-news/4689322-aaron-rodgers-packers-offense-coaching-mike-mccarthy-play-calling

    Offense will be better this year. I don’t feel like giving out the reasons but you should know Nelson returns, Lacy looks better, Cook signing, and Jeff Janis. Its a bright future in Green Bay. Expect a 12-4 or 13-3 season if this team stays healthy. If its not, 11-5. We will win the division this year 12-4. Vikes will finish 12-4 as well but Packers will win the division. Go Pack Go!

  3. Deepsky July 11, 2016

    I only see one solid reason why the Packer offense might improve: the offensive line should be better. Barclay was an utter disaster last year.

    The receivers and Lacy are both very questionable still.

    1. Draymond Green July 11, 2016

      Maybe you should improve your dick. Offense will suck this year too. Me and Golden State will play better than the Packers. THE GREEN BAY PRETENDERS are the new name for this squad; this squad is not called the Packers anymore.