Packers found new offensive blueprint against Cowboys, but how sustainable is it?
The Packers offense thrived against the Cowboys by playing under center more frequently and dialing up more play-action. That approach, however, can only take the team so far.
For the first nine weeks of the 2022 season, the Green Bay Packers couldn't figure out exactly how to navigate their new reality on offense. While the roster still featured Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon as well as plenty of talent along the offensive line, a remade receiving corps necessarily required adjustments by the coaches and the quarterback that neither seemed completely willing or able to make.
The earliest versions of the 2022 offense featured, essentially, a ground game based on Jones and Dillon -- often sharing the field -- running wide-zone and pin-and-pull concepts along with straight dropback shot plays. That approach, unsurprisingly, proved prone to stops and starts, with the Packers struggling mightily between the 40-yard lines.
Those problems led to weeks of consternation. Aaron Rodgers publicly requested the offense become "simpler" with head coach Matt LaFleur responding that he didn't know what the quarterback actually meant. Meanwhile, the short-circuiting continued with the unit hitting rock bottom during a nine-point outing against the Detroit Lions.
With nothing left to lose and playing without multiple key receivers, the Packers tweaked their approach for Sunday's tilt with the Dallas Cowboys. The ground attack remained front and center of the operation, but they built the passing game out of play-action. While not a novel concept -- LaFleur's offenses have previously featured no shortage of play passes -- Green Bay hadn't done so much in 2022.