Packers Still Needs More Second Down Passes Next Season
Green Bay Packers always seemed to do one thing this season that annoyed Packers’ fans on offense. It was run the ball on second and long all the time. It frustrates the hell out of people because it typically goes nowhere and means that Aaron Rodgers has to pull something out of his ass for third down. Now luckily for Green Bay, that would happen often. But what’s interesting when you pull the numbers from Warren Sharp about situational passing, Green Bay is not as bad as it might seem but there is some work to be done.
NFL situational pass rate over expectation
Bills were #1 in 1st & 10 pass rate & it made sense because runs (non-QB scrambles) were bad:
passes: +0.29 EPA (#1)
rushes: -0.17 EPA (#31)
also the Jags ran the ball when it was best to pass… and passed when it was best to run 🙃 pic.twitter.com/iMpS94Uoxr
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) February 22, 2021
Green Bay ranked near the bottom of the NFL when it came to pass the football on any down that was 2nd and 6th to 2nd and 9. That seemed to be the almost sweet spot for Matt LaFleur wanted to run the football. Green Bay ranked 26th overall in that category. While Green Bay had the best offense in football this season, this can lead to being a little more predictable than you’d like from your football team. Aaron Jones was good enough to make shit happen. 26th in the league feels a little too heavy on the run side when you have an MVP like Rodgers.
Now this graphic isn’t all negative. Look if it’s longer than second and 10, Green Bay is likely passing the football. That’s a good sign. They were one of the top teams in passing the ball on third down no matter the distance and fourth and short. That tells you everything you need to know about their trust in Rodgers this season. They put it in his hands. And it also shows you that Green Bay never gave up on possessions. They always tried to make something happen even if the down-and-distance wasn’t there.
We’ll see if these kinds of numbers get back to LaFleur and if we see some different things on second down.