With all the talk about the importance of the Packers’ defense improving in 2012, it’s easy to forget that there’s a fairly significant flaw on the offensive side of the ball.
The Packers finished with the third best offense in the NFL last season, no thanks to their sixth-worst running game. The Green Bay passing attack, led by league MVP Aaron Rodgers, lifted the Packers to an average of more than 400 yards and a 15-1 record.
Rodgers says that has to change.
“I think you just have to have at least a little bit of a threat at it,” Rodgers tolk Homer & Thunder of ESPN Milwaukee, “because we do a lot of play-action, movement game, where we’re breaking and rolling out or just play-action and throwing timing routes, and the defense has to respect it enough to suck up a little bit on the fake and give you some good throwing lanes. Sometimes you can do that by just having a big-name back in there and sometimes you need to be effective doing it. We’re going to have to prove that we can run the ball.”
They may have that threat now with Cedric Benson, who has generated more than 1,000 yards rushing in three straight seasons. But here’s the thing. With each additional rushing attempt, there’s necessarily one less pass thrown.
Last year, the Packers averaged fewer than 25 rush attempts per game, seventh-fewest in the league. (Rodgers ran 60 times in his 15 starts last season.) So, if they’re going to run more, they’re going to pass less.
Maybe that’s what will happen. It’s just hard to picture one of the most prolific top-to-bottom passing games we’ve seen not be utilized to its fullest extent.