Green Bay Packers offense facing a daunting two weeks


The Green Bay Packers have used some opportunistic football to open up the season at 6-0 despite still searching for their groove as an offensive unit. Defense has covered the offense when needed and vice versa, but with the most challenging two weeks in the NFL lying ahead of them, the Green Bay Packers offense is about to be pushed up against a wall.

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Two games, both on the road and both against 6-0 opponents. After facing the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night football this weekend, the Packers will travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers in an early start on November 8th.

Denver and Carolina represent two of the top defenses in football, with Denver’s all-world secondary lurking as a hobbled Packers wide receiving corps looks for some level of consistency. The loss of Jordy Nelson has thrown off the roles behind him, and with Randall Cobb‘s shoulder injury still holding him back, Aaron Rodgers has been forced to pick at scraps.

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Any attempt to establish a deep passing game may need to be put on the backburner until mid-November. Denver ranks second in football with 5.8 yards allowed per passing attempt, while Carolina ranks right behind them with 6.0. Both teams are tied for fourth in the NFL with nine interceptions, while the Broncos lead the way with an absurd 13 forced fumbles.

While the secondaries led by Aqib Talib and Josh Norman are formidable, these defenses begin up front with an excellent pass rush. DeMarcus Ware is expected to return from injury this week across from Von Miller, who’s helped push Denver to a league-leading 26 sacks, and Carolina is no slouch either.

This is worry for Green Bay, as tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga have continued to put Aaron Rodgers in some uncomfortable positions. Bakhtiari especially. Rodgers has been able to cover these up the majority of the time with quick throws and nimble footwork, but facing an elite secondary, those emergency options may not be there.

Establishing a running game might work against the Panthers, who have allowed 110.2 yards per game on the ground, but the Broncos have held opposing runners to just 3.6 yards per carry. Eddie Lacy continues to worry Packers fans, and is somewhat of a wildcard coming out of the bye week. Was he being hampered by that ankle injury and just needed time, or is this really an issue of conditioning or performance? Expect James Starks to be heavily involved alongside him.

As is often the case when met with adversity, some creativity with Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery out of the backfield may be needed. This should be easier to work in with Davante Adams set to return from injury, as he and James Jones can handle the outside spots with Cobb rotating between slot and halfback.

The Packers defense covered for a sub-par offensive showing against the St. Louis Rams, and it looks like they’ll need to do the same in weeks eight and nine. Rodgers and the offense may not have the 30-point opportunity they’ve grown accustomed to, but efficiency will be the name of the game. If they’re able to play sound offense within their limitations, the defense will have every opportunity to take a win from Peyton Manning and Cam Newton.

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