The Green Bay Packers’ last four games have been as frustrating as they come. After scoring 38 points against the Chicago Bears in Week One, the Packers are averaging just 19 points per game. For three consecutive games, Green Bay’s offense has failed to score a touchdown in the first half.
Of course, there are several reasons for the lack of dynamic playmaking since Week One. One of the most glaring reasons is the injury to Aaron Jones. In the Packers’ victory over the Bear, Jones had 127 total yards and two touchdowns. On that day, he accounted for 38% of Green Bay’s yards on offense.
Since he has been out/limited with an injured hamstring, the Packers have not been able to replace that level of production.
Hopefully Jones is completely healed after the Bye Week and Green Bay can come out of the long break ready to look like the team that put up 38 points in Week One.
But that is not the point here; even in the last four games, Green Bay has been a much better second half team than first half team. The formula is there for them to put together a complete game, with or without Jones.
Green Bay Packers’ Starter Jordan Love Is the Best Second Half Quarterback in the NFL
Head coach Matt LaFleur obviously has a lot of work to do when it comes to having his team ready to play at the start of the game. However, his halftime adjustments have improve dramatically. As poor as Jordan Love and the offense have looked in the first half of games, they are among the NFL’s best second-half teams.
- Second half passing yards: 753 (first)
- Second half passing touchdowns: six (second)
- Third quarter passer rating: 137.2 (first)
- Fourth quarter passing touchdowns: two (sixth)
The Green Bay Packers Have the Best Second Half Offense in the NFL
As Love’s play improves in the second half, so does that of the offense. Like Love, the offense ranks quite high in second half statistics this season:
- Second half scoring differential/game: +8.6 (second)
- Second half points per game: 17.4 (first)
- Second half passing yards per game: 147.4 (first)
Obviously, Green Bay has the ability to win more games than they have. The issue has been the first half and their inability to complete drives and put points on the board early.
How Can the Green Bay Packers Score More in the First Half?
As mentioned previously, getting Aaron Jones back from his hamstring injury will do wonders for the Packers’ offense. Had he not gotten hurt in Week One, it is entirely probable that Green Bay would have won in Week Two against the Atlanta Falcons and in Week Five against the Las Vegas Raiders.
But getting Jones back is not going to magically fix the offense. It will certainly help (a lot), but Coach LaFleur has to do a better job of calling plays early in the game. Even in Green Bay’s Week One win, Jones got five carries on the first drive, a drive which ended in a touchdown, and then did not get the ball again until the third quarter.
Indeed, LaFleur likes to say that when things go wrong, blame starts with him. And in this case, it is quite true. There is no excuse for him to not have a gameplan drawn up that won’t lead this team downfield and into the end zone in the first half.
Love plays well when he is rolling out of the pocket and throwing on the run. Call more plays like that. Love struggles with downfield accuracy; call more short passes.
The offense does not need to rely on home run plays; they can cut and dice opposing defenses to pieces with their athleticism in the short game; if LaFleur lets them.