Steven Bisig- US PRESSWIRE
Yes the replacement refs undoubtedly cost the Green Bay Packers a win on Monday night over the Seattle Seahawks; however, there was still some problems with the high-powered Packers offense. Every week this season now Green Bay has not been able to score in the first quarter. Not only that, the Packers failed to score at all in the first half against the Seahawks.
Throughout the entire first half there wasn’t any chemistry or rhythm with the offense and Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times. The offensive line wasn’t able to contain any outside pass rush while Rodgers was holding onto the ball too long during some of those sacks. For any fan of the Packers this was hard to watch as they are used to see the fast-paced offense march down the field and score multiple times in the first half. Now there is something missing from this team. All of wide receivers are the same so the chemistry should be there for Rodgers and company, but it’s not. The receivers also seem to be having a harder time getting open this season. This shows that opposing coaches might have figured out how to defend the Packers offense and there might need to be changes made on how the Packers start a game.
Last night was a great example of how head coach Mike McCarthy might need to change his gameplan. The first half featured 23 passing plays for the Packers to only two rushing plays. The Packers are a passing offense and they rely on that to do well. However, no matter what team you are in the NFL, you have to run the ball more than twice. In Week 2, Green Bay did an excellent job running the ball and having a good balanced offense. That philosophy was expected to happen going into Seattle, but the first half showed no indication of even trying to run the ball.
Cedric Benson was signed this offseason to provide a spark to the Packers running game and to bring a more balanced offense to Green Bay. He has done a good job when given the chance, but he hasn’t been utilized enough to get his full potential. He is a power runner who excels the most in short yardage situations and the Packers haven’t taken advantage of this yet. In last night’s game against Seattle, the Packers had multiple third and short situations that led to pass plays. There seems to still be no confidence in the running game even with Benson and defenses aren’t surprised by the Packer throwing in these situations. Coach McCarthy even acknowledged in his press conference, after refusing to answer questions about the officials, that he should have changed his gameplan earlier and establish a running game.
So if you are one of the fans who hasn’t decided to boycott the NFL, watch for the Packers to run the ball more this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have one of the worst defenses in the league and just gave up over 230 yards rushing to Jamaal Charles. The Packers should be able to take advantage of New Orleans bad defense and establish a balanced attack that will give them a huge advantage in opening up the game. The Saints are soft in stopping the run and Benson should be able to power his way for a big day. This time coach McCarthy needs to stay balanced early and get the running game going to open up the pass which has been struggling to start games. If McCarthy does this, the Packers early woes should be behind them.
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