There’s PR gaffes, and then there’s Matt LaFleur’s admission that he’s so out of ideas to improve the Packers offense that he’s even considering stealing plays from other franchises.
After Week 6 of the 2023 season, Green Bay have scored 113 points in their five games played – that leaves the offense sitting tied-20th in the NFL standings, which evidently isn’t going to be good enough to kick on to the playoffs with.
While LaFleur and his defensive coaching team deserve praise for making the Packers hard to score against, progress will continue to stall unless they can improve a Packers offense that is looking anemic – will the head coach’s thievery yield the necessary improvements?
You know there are issues when Kurt Benkert is in the news. He’ slammed LaFleur’s offense on X on Monday:
“I’ll start by giving my honest opinions about the scheme. It’s outdated, and there is a better way to play offense right now. I’m not going to go into full detail, but I talk about this stuff all the time on my reviews.”
Beg, Steal or Borrow to Help Packers Offense
The writing appears to be on the wall for the Packers in NFC North.
Sportsbooks like Sports Interaction make Green Bay a +800 chance to win the division, which is an implied probability of just 11.1%. And that’s concerning, as this operator is one of the most generous bookmakers when it comes to their football odds – a fact confirmed by the Sports Interaction review articles that are available online.
The only chance they have of catching the Detroit Lions is to implement an instant improvement to their offensive play – a task made more difficult by the presence of a first-year quarterback in Jordan Love and injuries to key figures like Aaron Jones.
Allied to such a youthful roster, LaFleur evidently has his work cut out in transforming Green Bay into a postseason-worthy outfit. His solution? A little artistic robbery, as reported by ESPN:
“I’m going to study some of the things around the league and see if there’s something that we can steal to try and find a way to generate, specifically on the offensive side of the ball, just generate some momentum for our offense,” he said ahead of Week 6, during which the Packers had a bye.
Green Bay supporters will be hoping that the videotapes and the data provide LaFleur with the inspiration to immediately improve his side’s ailing offense.
Running It Back
One of the keys to any Packers offense transformation could be the form of the returning Jones; particularly if he can recapture his vintage form of 2019.
The running back powered home 16 touchdowns in a season in which Green Bay won their division before losing to the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
But injuries have hampered the 28-year-old in recent times; not least the hamstring strain suffered in Week 1, which as muscle injuries is one of the more niggling to overcome and return to full speed from.
Much of the focus this term will be on Love, the quarterback who is effectively a rookie given that he has played second-fiddle to Aaron Rodgers since joining the franchise in 2020 – he had started just ten games prior to the 2023 campaign.
Love has talent, of that there’s no doubt, but a rank of 20th for yards-per-game in the NFL after six weeks of action confirms the size of the task he faces in replacing such a legendary figure as Rodgers.
So the return of Jones, allied to that of Christian Watson, will lighten the load in terms of being quality targets but also in shouldering the burden of making things happen from an offensive standpoint.
If that trio can click, maybe there will still be some life left in this season for the Packers.