Skip to main content

Rodgers on Packers' O: Maybe I have to let it fly more

The Packers posted the worst offensive production numbers of the Aaron Rodgers era during the regular season.

Green Bay ranked 23rd in total yards per game in 2015 (334.6). The franchise hadn't ranked 20th or worse in total offense since 1991 (ranked 24th), when Lindy Infante was coach and Mike Tomczak, Don Majkowski and Blair Kiel were the QBs -- the season before Brett Favre joined the team.

In their final two games of the season, the Packers scored a combined 21 points -- their fewest points in the final two games of a season since 1989.

The Pack's third-down conversion rate of 33.7 percent (28th in NFL) was the team's worst rate in a season since 1987 (31.3 percent).

Rodgers finished the year with his first sub-100 passer rating in a season since 2008 (his first as a starter), and posted a passer rating below 100.0 in 10 straight games.

I could keep going with the sadness, but you get the point.

The only times in the past 10 weeks that Green Bay's offense has shown life are when Rodgers plays sandlot football, freelances and takes chances. While it's not generally a sustainable mode of offense, the quarterback told the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Pete Dougherty this week that he's willing to do more of it now that the playoff tournament has started.

"Maybe I have to adjust my mindset and kind of let it fly a little more because we've had some success doing that, throwing the ball down the field, adjusting some routes, making some scramble adjustments and playing a little looser because the urgency is up in those moments," Rodgers told Dougherty. "Hopefully, we can start the game in that mindset collectively and put together a better performance."

Not only is "Hey Aaron, figure it out" not a sustainable offense, with most quarterbacks it leads to turnovers, which Rodgers abhors. But the quarterback is willing to take chances if it's the best shot to win.

"Whatever it takes to win," Rodgers said. "At this point we haven't been very consistent in any capacity on offense, so if it means being a little riskier with the ball with a bigger reward on the back end, that's something you've got to think about."

The discussion about the offense with Dougherty stemmed from separate interviews with Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy about the perception that there is more tension between the coach and quarterback this season. The two agreed to talk about it because they realize it's become a major topic among Packer fans.

"The thing that Mike talks about is that conflict is good," Rodgers said. "I think first of all we have a ton of respect for each other, we both want the same thing. We're both strong competitors. ... When you get a couple competitors together, there's always going to be conflict at times. It's always been constructive and always been two guys who care about winning so much."

Rodgers has regularly looked irritated on the Packers' sideline, more than any other season -- which should not be a surprise given the offense's struggles.

"This is the most frustrated I've ever seen him," McCarthy said.

The coach added: "I think you'd like the fact that your star quarterback is fiery, he's emotional. I think a big part of his greatness is the emotion he plays with and how he plays. The other part of it too, he wants to be challenged. I'm the guy that's able to challenge him the most."

Whether it would help to take more shots on offense remains to be seen (to what receiver?), but something with the Packers' offense needs to change this weekend or Green Bay will be one-and-done, and the frustration could boil over.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content