The Packers need to air it out in Week 4
The Green Bay Packers are starting to get their passing game together. The Packers’ offense couldn’t get much going in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. Aaron Rodgers moved the ball at will against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. Rodgers got the young wide receivers involved last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now they need their deep threat at tight end to take off in Week 4.
One thing the offense is still missing is a deep threat in the passing attack. Rodgers’ average depth of target when passing this season has been 5.6 yards a throw. He hasn’t been held under eight yards in that category since the 2017 season. Rodgers has just one pass that’s gone over 40 yards this season. Those stats aren’t normal through three games for the back-to-back MVP.
Injuries at the offensive line and receiver positions have been an issue through the first few weeks. Besides wide receiver Sammy Watkins, the Packers have good news recently on the injury front. With a more healthy team in Week 4, one would hope the Packers will go back to business as usual with Rodgers and Co.
Analyst suspects Robert Tonyan will be a deep threat Vs the Patriots
One player, the Packers, have missed in the deep threat this year has been tight end Robert Tonyan. The tight end has 11 receptions for 83 yards this season. But most of his yards per reception, 7.1, come after the catch, 6.7. He’s done well after the catch, but he’s not creating space down the field for the Packers.
That might change against the Patriots this week. Kris Burke, an analyst for SB Nation, expects Tonyan to be back as a deep threat in the Packers’ passing attack soon. Burke thinks Tonyan was able to build trust on his knee following the Buccaneers game last week:
Yet Tonyan had to wait until Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay to truly test his rebuilt knee when it was hit on a simple three-yard reception. Tonyan hopped right up and cleared a psychological hurdle every player has to clear in return from a major injury.
Now it’s time for him to get back in rhythm with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and become the key cog to the offensive machine that he was in 2020. His workload has slowly been increasing and Tonyan is confident it will “click” again.
If the Packers want to re-establish the deep passing game, Tonyan needs to be a big reason why. He excelled there two years ago and can again.
Rodgers should air it out to Tonyan in Week 4
The Packers should have the edge against the Patriots this week. The Patriots will be down their starting quarterback and key wide receiver against the Packers. The Packers should be able to dominate this game at home by halftime.
If the Packers build that early lead, they should continue experimenting with their young wide receiver and targets who need the practice like Tonyan. Rodgers needs to use this game as a chance to let it rip to his receivers so they can build confidence before the season gets more brutal. With Watkins out for the foreseeable future, Tonyan needs to be the guy who can push back opposing secondaries wide this season. That will ultimately help a rushing attack that was figured out by the Buccaneers in Week 3.