Traditionally, the Packers have been consistently strong on offense since Aaron Rodgers took over as starting quarterback in 2008. This hasn’t quite been the case this season, due in part to injuries to key members of Rodgers’ receiving core — most notably top WR Davante Adams.
The Packers have already clinched one of the NFC’s six playoff spots, but they face a tough path through the playoffs if they don’t fix their offensive inconsistency. This is a glaring weakness, and it could give them an early exit in January if they don’t fix it soon.
The Packers’ inconsistent offense in 2019
In first place in the NFC North, the Packers are 11-3 heading into the penultimate week of the regular season. But they should be concerned by their offense.
Through 14 games, the Packers have nearly scored 11 or fewer points as often as they’ve scored 30 or more — three games and four, respectively. This isn’t what we expect from an offense led by Rodgers. In fact, the QB hasn’t lived up to expectations he has set for himself in his career.
Earlier in his career, Rodgers consistently threw 30-plus touchdowns in a season. But with 24 through 14 games, he is on pace to finish with fewer than 30 for the third straight season. The 36-year-old has surpassed 300 yards passing just three times in 14 games this season.
Rodgers isn’t playing as you’d expect from a two-time MVP. Additionally, he’s not living up to the $33.5 million in average annual value under his current contract.
One reason for the lack of offense involves injuries to wide receivers, the biggest of which being Adams. The wide receiver has missed four of the team’s first 14 games but still leads the team in receptions, which doesn’t say much for the rest of the pass-catchers. Overall, the Packers rank 14th in scoring offense through 14 games.
Consistency matters in the playoffs
Inconsistency isn’t going to fly in the playoffs because the Packers will play teams with a mix of strong offenses and defenses. Even first-year head coach Matt LaFleur knows Green Bay needs to do better to make a deep playoff run.
After the team’s Week 14 victory over the Redskins, LaFleur said the Packers have “a lot to clean up in order to move forward to get to where we want to get to.” He continued, saying they have to critically study the film to find their biggest weaknesses and improve upon them.
LaFleur explained that the team has to make sure the players “know what to do when they’re out there and we’ve got to get better.” Having a struggling offense is enough to beat teams like the Redskins, but it’s not going to cut it against teams in the postseason.
How the Packers stack up against potential playoff opponents
The Saints have one of the best offenses in the league. The 49ers are among the NFL’s best defenses, with a good offense, too. With the Packers currently in position to have a first-round bye, one of those teams could be the Packers’ first opponent in January.
If the Packers play the Saints, Rodgers will have to keep up with Drew Brees, who just set the record for career touchdown passes. Against the 49ers, Rodgers would go up against their vaunted defense. This could be a huge challenge if the Green Bay offense remains inconsistent.