Through the first 3 weeks of the Packers season, the story for the offense has started and ended with it’s superstars. Aaron Rodgers is of course the straw that stirs the drink. But Davante Adams and Aaron Jones have almost entirely been responsible for the production on the offensive end – combining for 6 of 8 total touchdowns, and 57% of total yards. While there is no doubt that they need their stars to shine, for this offense to position itself for a postseason run the Packers role players will need to step up.
With an added regular season game this year, the physical toll for players will be even greater. The Packers’ Super Bowl aspirations means the Packers ideally are preparing for a 21 game season. In the postseason, the margins for error are even smaller, and teams rely even more on their top players to perform.
But Davante Adams has only played a full 16 games twice in his career, and is currently on pace for 193 targets this season – which would not only set a career high but would put him tied for 6th all-time. He also has more targets (34) thus far than every other WR on the Packers roster combined (31).
Matt LaFleur did a great job in 2020 of scheming a lot of the passing game so that Davante Adams was the primary read for Rodgers. But the deep play threat of Marquez Valdes-Scantling adds another dimension to this offense – that we haven’t seen so far this season. They haven’t had the same rate of explosive plays, though Aaron Rodgers admittedly missed MVS on several in Week 1. This may in part be due to the amount of two-high safety looks the Packers have seen to this point.
If this trend continues, the Packers should be even more capable of having success with the running game. And while Aaron Jones has been productive – he also is on pace for a career high in touches. In the past Matt LaFleur has been very cognizant of limiting Jones’ touches – sometimes frustratingly so.
Yet AJ Dillon has received only 15 carries through 3 games this season. He and Jamaal Williams combined for 165 carries a year ago, and many expected a more even split between Dillon and Jones coming into the year. Throughout training camp Dillon showcased solid hands and route-running proving he can be more than a two-down bruiser, and can continue to not only spell Jones but allow the Packers to create mismatches with 21 personnel packages with both Jones and Dillon.
Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.