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Who Is To Blame For The Packers Inconsistent 2022 Season?

After a grueling five weeks of Packers football, it’s time to take a deep dive into each positional group and see how they are doing for the start of the season. There have been flashes of greatness and flashes of disappointment so far.

After five weeks to start the NFL regular season, the Green Bay Packers are currently 3-2. The first loss was the blowout in Week one to the Minnesota Vikings and the second loss came on Sunday in London versus the New York Giants. With one of the easier schedules in the league, the Packers were expected to finish the regular season with at least 13 wins. Unless the team gets its ducks in order, the rest of the schedule could be messy. Nothing has seemed to go right for the Packers this season on offense, defense, or special teams. The coaching on both sides of the ball has also been criticized several times.

Packers Offense

After the tough loss to the New York Giants in Week five, Aaron Jones is yet another player to question the coaching. Aaron Jones voiced his frustration on not giving himself or AJ Dillon the chance to run the ball in the short-yardage situation versus throwing. The Packers turned the ball over on downs late in the fourth quarter by throwing two incomplete passes while on the Giants’ six-yard line, which sealed the Giants’ victory. The offense is currently ranked ninth in total yards leading up to Week six but 22nd in points per game.

Aaron Jones on #Packers passing 3rd & 2, 4th & 2 nearing one minute left at the 6-yard line down a touchdown. "I'd put my money on giving me or AJ Dillon two downs to get two yards, I'd put my money on it." — Cody Krupp (@CodyWKrupp) October 9, 2022

Through five games, it seems like the offense is lost. There are a few solid plays here and there but it pretty much looks like Aaron Rodgers is lost out there. This is a different offense than Packers fans have seen in the past. In years prior, there was no thinking. It was snap, step back, look, and throw. Now it’s snap, step back, look, look, scramble, and throw away in most cases. Hard to tell if this is due to a bad play call, poor route running, Rodgers not caring as much, or something else. In the last two years, Rodgers questioned LaFleur several times but I haven’t seen that yet.

Packers Defense

The Packers’ defense currently ranks fifth in total yards given up and second against the pass. The eye sore is the rush defense as opponent teams rush an average of 126.4 yards against Green Bay, which is currently 21st in the league. The bright spot has been denying teams on third down as their opponents only convert 30.2 percent of third downs. 30.2 percent currently ranks fourth in the league after previously being the number one overall team. The basic stats on paper in regards to the yardage given up and points look good but that’s not all that goes into the overall defensive rating for a team.

PFF currently ranks the Packers’ overall defense at 24th in the league. In addition to yards, points, and third down percentage, PFF gives a value based on every play that the defense is on the field for. The lack of sacks, interceptions, fumbles, and fumble recoveries are reasons why the Packers defense isn’t rated as high as the basic defensive databases show.

Packers Special Teams

The Packers’ special teams squad is two parts great and two parts bad. The two great parts have been newcomer punter Pat O’Donnell and long-time veteran kicker Mason Crosby. Pat O’Donnell was previously with the Chicago Bears before joining the Packers this offseason. He has been excellent thus far when his name has been called. He consistently pins the opposing offense deep on their end of the field. After Mason Crosby’s successful knee scope in early August 2022, he’s looked like his former self before the sketchy 2021 season. This year, Crosby is kicking 100%. Six-for-six on field goals and 11-for-11 on extra points.

The two bad parts have been punt and kick returning along with the blocking and tackling that’s included. To start the season, wide receiver Amari Rodgers has played well as the punt and kick returner until recently. Amari returned the New York Giant’s punt after their second failed drive in the first quarter and Amari put it on the ground, luckily it was recovered by the Packers. Rookie Christian Watson stepped in to relieve Amari of his kick-returning duties. When returning the ball, the blockers up front haven’t been able to provide space for the return game. On the other side, the Packers’ special teams have had poor tackling when it comes to the opponent returning punts and kicks.

Packers Coaching

In the past, defensive coordinator Joe Barry had never had several skilled players on his defense, so he always played soft zone defense. Now that he has a plethora of quality guys on defense, he should play man coverage to enhance the pass rush but he has yet to do this. The rush defense continues to be a problem but as the Packers face tougher opponents, they will attack through the air and on the ground for a multi-dimensional strike. In the last two weeks, Green Bay has faced a third-string quarterback with limited receivers in a tight win and a starting mobile quarterback with, once again, limited receivers that resulted in a loss.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has led Green Bay to three 13-win seasons in his first three seasons with the team. Unfortunately, this year does not look promising. It’s unclear if LaFleur has changed his play selections on offense or what, but, something is up. In the past, the Packers have won several games and found success without Davante Adams on the field, so that’s not the issue. If the team wants any shot at the playoffs, LaFleur, Barry, and the front office need to change some things on both sides of the ball to execute playcalling and perform more efficiently.

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