GREEN BAY, WIS (WBAY) 17 teams in the NFL are scoring more points right now than the Packers, who at 23 points a game with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, are not meeting expectations. “Not quite the standard we've set here over the years,” Rodgers admitted Thursday.
Is 23 points a game acceptable for this amount of talent on offense? “No,” said Davante Adams without hesitation. “We've got to punch it in a few more times than that. We've got weapons all over the place, we've got a bunch of them in the wide receiver room.”
Moving the ball and racking up yardage has not been an issue as the Packers rank 10th in the NFL at just over 400 yards per game. Left guard Lane Taylor is well aware of that number. “You can look on the film, we are moving the ball effectively picking up first downs; I think we had 30 last game. We just have to finish when we get in the red zone,” said Taylor Thursday.
Yes, the Packers are moving the ball, and getting into the red zone. Their 16 trips into the red zone ranks in the top half of the league. But they have only scored 8 touchdowns on those trips, and have had to settle for 6 field goals. They have left far too many points out on the field. “I've got to do a better job coaching, execution is a part of it too,” said Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
But there is reason for optimism. “The most important thing is we are getting down there, but we have to score touchdowns. I think we all recognize that and it is one of our main objectives on offense this week,” said McCarthy.
For Rodgers, the red zone issue is easily remedied. “It's about players, not plays. So we have to find a way to execute better. The difference between being a great team and an average team is very small; it's a few plays every game. And the difference between scoring 23 a game or 35 a game is plays that we need to make, and we expect to make, and I'll make moving forward.”
The Packers need that to start Monday night against a 49ers defense that ranks 29th in points allowed.
Rodgers and tight end Jimmy Graham did not practice Thursday. Rodgers did say he suffered a bit of a setback in the Lions game when he was tackled awkwardly in the first quarter. But he hopes to practice Friday and still be able to wear the smaller knee brace he used in Detroit, as opposed to the larger brace he had been wearing in weeks 2-4.
Also, WR Geronimo Allison has cleared the concussion protocol and did practice on a limited basis Thursday. As did WR Randall Cobb, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.