The Balance of the 2015 Packers Offense

2015 Packer OffenseWe’re getting deep enough into the season now that league-wide stats are starting to even out and they really have a fascinating tale to tell about the 2015 Packers offense. The Packers are now 3-0 and, while they haven’t been an unstoppable scoring machine, they’ve been putting up some good numbers. In the season opener, they put up 31 against their old rivals. The following game, against a Seahawks team that stole a Super Bowl bid from us the year before, the Packer offense scored 27 points on a very good defense. Then, last Monday night, they put up 38 points against the Chiefs.

That said, you might be surprised to know that the Packers rank #15 in passing yards per game, #15 in total passing yards, and #25 in passing attempts. How can a team that’s scoring that many points, and boasts the best quarterback in the game, rank so low in these categories? Simple…

They also have a powerful run game!

After so many season where Aaron basically carried this team on his right arm, and coaches and fans alike were searching for a run game that would give the team the dual threat needed to dominate in this league, it’s arrived.

In 2014, the Packers run game had gained a lot of respect as Eddie Lacy honed his ability to catch out of the backfield and added an additional threat in the Packer offense. When the season ended, the Packers ranked #11 in the NFL in rushing. Thus far in 2015, the Packers have cracked the top 10 and currently have the 9th best running offense in the league. But that’s not the only thing that really excites me about the Packer run game this season.

If you look through the stats to see where Eddie Lacy ranks in yards per game, you have to look a long way down. Eddie is #30 on that list. And here’s the beautiful part… James Starks is #34 on the list.

This is huge for an offense that has to remain fresh for 16 regular season games and (baring a football apocalypse) prepare for a deep run in the playoffs. The one-two punch will minimize the beating that most featured running backs take during a game and throughout a season, and keep them healthy.

This type of run game has allowed the passing game to be more surgical. When you’re not desperately playing from behind, you can use your passing game more when the moment is right and not rely on it every down. And, it shows in the rankings.

The Packers currently have the #1 QB in passer rating at 135.4 (no surprise there). Aaron is #5 in completion percentage. The team is #3 in big passing plays, #1 in touchdowns within 10 yards of the end zone, and #1 in passes dropped (having the fewest receiver drops in the league).

What this means for defensive coordinators is that you don’t stop the Packer offense. At best, you figure a way to slow it down just enough.

The Balance of the 2015 Packers Offense
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