Packers offense still effective entering bye, but play-action shot plays remain elusive
The Packers offense overcame a rash of injuries with creative game plans, but the unit could benefit from reincorporating more of the core concepts that made it nearly unstoppable last season.
After producing the NFL's premier offense a season ago, the Green Bay Packers have remained highly efficient in 2021. They enter the bye week fifth in offensive DVOA despite Week 1's outlier performance against the New Orleans Saints. Those marks seem especially remarkable given All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari has yet to play a down this year while recovering from a torn ACL and additional injuries have depleted the offensive line to as few as two preferred starters in recent weeks.
The personnel issues have forced head coach Matt LaFleur to significantly reconfigure his game plans and play-calling. Against the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers leaned heavily on empty formations and RPOs get the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands quickly, thus mitigating the protection concerns. LaFleur took a somewhat different approach facing similar obstacles this past week, producing winnable matchups through pre-snap motion and formations against a talented Los Angeles Rams defense.
But while an impressive effort, the Packers probably need to return to the core concepts that made their offense nearly unstoppable last season. Opponents have now seen several games of LaFleur's O-line-circumventing game plans and will eventually find the proper adjustment, forcing another counter from Green Bay.