How to Fix the Packers struggles

How to Fix the Packers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sits on the bench with wide receiver Allen Lazard at the end of the loss to the Jets. MIKE DE SISTI / MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

There are a lot of things wrong with the Packers. Nearly halfway through the season, the green and gold sit at a pedestrian .500 record. Their only wins come against the low-expectation Bears, an injury-riddled Bucs team, and a Patriots team starting their third-string quarterback. The Packers have more issues to fix than a playoff-hopeful team, let alone a team who started with Super Bowl hopes. Luckily, most of their issues have solutions that are already available within the team.

Run the Ball

The Packers know they can run the ball yet for some reason, their signal caller and head coach always come away from post-game pressers talking about how they should have run it more. Aaron Jones has averaged 5.8 yards per carry thus far. That’s good enough for 7th in the league. He also has carried the ball 70 times, which is good enough for 23rd in the league. Ideally, you may want to use a top ten running back like a top-ten running back. While the second head of the two-headed backfield in AJ Dillon hasn’t exactly been on top of his game, it’s inexcusable to not use Aaron Jones at a higher rate.

Readjust the Packers OL Lineup

While the Packers have been able to produce holes in the run game, their pass protection has been downright abysmal at times. The real issue has been on the right side of the line. Elgton Jenkins, since coming back from injury, has been asked to play right tackle. His performance in one word? Shaky. Next to him, right guard Royce Newman has been even worse. Both lead the team in pressures given up. While Elgton might still be recovering from his ACL injury 10 months ago, it’s hard to trust this line right now. One solution, a popular one at that, is to kick Jenkins in at guard and play Yosh Nijman at tackle. This does come with it’s own problems though. Jenkins, although having played above average at nearly every position on the O-Line, has one career snap at right guard. Yosh, although having played an abundance of snaps at left tackle, hasn’t played right tackle since college.

There are other options as well. Zach Tom looked impressive in the preseason. Jake Hanson is a veteran who may be serviceable as well. In fact, Newman was benched for Hanson in their last game against the Jets, but an injury forced him out of the game. An unlucky injury, but at least it shows LaFleur and OC Adam Stenavich are willing to shake things up. LaFleur even talked about it post game.

Amos at Linebacker

Quay Walker has shown flashes of greatness. He’s also shown that a lot of times his head is swimming. Whether it’s fellow linebacker DeVondre Campbell shifting him into position pre-snap, or him just failing to fill in the run game, it’s obvious he is struggling. It’s too early to write him off, but perhaps they can simplify what he does instead. In the meantime, Adrian Amos could fill in as a sub linebacker. Amos is a thumper at safety and is not afraid to stick his head in for a hit. He also is a heady player who rarely makes mistakes. With the Packers allowing the sixth most rush yards this season with 811, he could be the steady rock they’re looking for in the middle.

Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry has already made adjustments in the secondary albeit for one game against the Jets. However, the passing game did look better across the board. It was the run game that did them in. One of the adjustments was using Amos in the box more, something he had been elite at in earlier years. Maybe it’s time to take that a step further.

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