For the past decade, the Green Bay Packers have had a solid offensive line, but this year is not the case. After losing RT Billy Turner, the o-line has had a gap at that position. Currently, Elgton Jenkins is trying to fit there, but it doesn’t seem like a good fit, and his replacement at RG is wholeheartedly struggling. Comparing pressure percentage from the last two seasons to this season, you can see an increase in pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Before, he had a pressure of 14.2% in 2020, and 22.3% in 2021. But that has been up to 26.5% this season.
The Issues from Week 6
The New York Jets defensive line showed how truly uncoordinated the offensive line is for Green Bay. They were calling simple shunt plays and picked up on the o-line not guarding the right players, which allowed their standouts to create gaps and cause pressure. Aaron Rodgers was sacked 4 times, hit 9 times, and pressured more than 20 times. Imagine if a team like the Chargers or the Commanders (who the Packers play in Week 7) ran this exact defensive against this offensive line? They would get torn apart.
The Packers should have Yosh Nijman playing at RT as he proved he was a worthy tackle last season when he moved there. With him playing at that position, Elgton Jenkins can move to his normal position and the line will strengthen. Royce Newman is an issue, against the Jets he constantly picked up the wrong man allowing defenders to go unblocked because Jenkins didn’t have anyone to block on his side.
Everyone goes one way and Newman goes the other. Just brutal. pic.twitter.com/u95Bm19Gvu
— Brandon Carwile (@PackerScribe) October 18, 2022
Looking at this game footage film, the entire offensive line goes one way and Newman goes the opposite allowing a defender right through to Aaron Rodgers. But, he isn’t the only player at fault. Jenkins routinely was beat off the line as well.
Bryce Huff with one of the quickest wins you’ll see
Has been a much-needed injection of juice for the pass rush pic.twitter.com/kvjJGrJnVD
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) October 18, 2022
In this video, you can see the defender use a simple Speed Step move to fly past Jenkins towards Rodgers. If Rodgers didn’t have such a quick release and high football IQ he would have taken a huge hit from Bryce Huff. This offensive line needs to be re-configured or changed before it gets worse and teams exploit the lack of effective offensive line play.
Looking at Statistics
The common narrative online seems to be that the young Packers’ wide receivers aren’t getting open, but that just isn’t the case. According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Robert Tonyan has the 5th best separation rate and Romeo Doubs has the 13th best out of all receivers in the NFL (including TE). Comparing Doubs to Davante Adams, Doubs has 3 less receptions on 16 fewer targets than Adams on the Raiders. So, the wide receivers are getting open and catching the ball, the issue lies within the offensive line not doing their job.
John Runyan is also playing excellently right now and has proved himself to be a good draft selection up to this point. Before the game against the Jets, Runyan was the only offensive lineman out of all 191 to have played 75 or more snaps and not allow a pressure. He is playing better than he was last season. Josh Myers as well has been playing better than previously, not allowing any sacks this season.
With the right side of the line playing so poorly, not being able to stop a simple two man shunt, it gave Rodgers little to no time to make his reads of the receivers. Even with the insane pressure the New York Jets put on him, Aaron Rodgers still managed to have a great stat line, even if he couldn’t get the win. Rodgers still had 246 yards for 1 touchdown and a QBR of 88.1.
With the line playing so badly, it lowers the play of the offense as a whole and left the defense to pick up all the slack. The Green Bay Packers defense only allowed 3 points in the first half, but with the offense not doing enough, they can only hold them for a certain amount of time before they score. The defense has not been playing great, but the play calling has changed since the Giants game. They played more man coverage today and it showed with how excellent they were in the air. But, the run game still needs improvement and they need to be on the field less.
Nobody should be calling Aaron Rodgers name yet, he has been playing great for someone with an intense amount of defensive line pressure on him. He still managed to throw some dimes to Allen Lazard and didn’t commit any turnovers in the air. The offensive line needs to step up and it will allow for the whole offense to play better. With less pressure, it will give Rodgers more time to read receivers and make better decisions.
Bottom line is that the Green Bay Packers do not need to sign a new WR and while they could benefit from signing a veteran guy like T.Y. Hilton or Odell Beckham Jr. it is not the main need. Strengthen the offensive line and the offense will become better. Like Rodgers said in 2015, R-E-L-A-X, it is only Week 7.