When Matt LaFleur was hired to be the new head coach of the Green Bay Packers, some growing pains were to be expected. While there are still some fundamental elements of the West Coast offense that has been a fixture in Green Bay for decades, overall it is a brand new scheme. After Sunday’s dominating win, the Packers are now 6-1 under LaFleur, something very rarely seen with a new head coach. So what makes the Packers so special?
Packers Offense Has Arrived
It took seven games, but Green Bay seems to have finally put together a full game on offense. Aaron Rodgers was slinging the ball in true MVP form, finishing the game with 429 yards, five passing touchdowns, and another on the ground. The running back duo of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams were hitting holes with a full head of steam and each found the end zone. The receiving group, who are without Pro Bowler Davante Adams, was catching balls that they had been dropping in past weeks and making plays.
The domination of the Raiders signals what could be the start of something special in Titletown USA.
From a schematic point of view, LaFleur’s offense seemed to be the perfect fit in Green Bay; heavy usage of running backs and tight ends with a level of creativity that has been missing for awhile. It never hurts to have a two-time MVP at quarterback either. The offense has plenty of motion and misdirection to keep defenses guessing while Rodgers chooses the read he wants to go with. Nearly every play call has multiple looks that sets up plays later in the game.
This is where LaFleur’s football IQ comes in. Former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was often criticized for not making necessary adjustments throughout the game and the team would become stagnant. With LaFleur, things are loose and dynamic. In Week 5, without Davante Adams, the Packers relied heavily on Aaron Jones and the running game. In Week 6, while trailing the Lions, Rodgers approached the coaching staff to get undrafted wideout Allen Lazard involved. They did and Lazard caught a huge touchdown that ultimately set up the win.
The culture change was evident from the first day of training camp when there was music and a new energy. There has been celebration dances, fireworks and lighting at Lambeau Field, and plenty of celebratory post game locker room speeches. With the emergence of the offense and a stout defense, the Green Bay Packers are firing on all cylinders and are a threat to be reckoned with.