The Green Bay Packers came into Sunday’s contest against the Los Angeles Chargers as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Despite their recent success, Green Bay left Sunday’s game with more questions than answers after their disappointing 26-11 loss.
Coming into the game, the Packers were amid a four-game winning streak and were beating teams in impressive fashion. On the other hand, the Chargers just fired Ken Whisenhunt as their offensive coordinator and were searching for any way to win games.
Without a doubt, Los Angeles deserves credit for doing what they needed to do to secure the victory. But at the same time, this game could be more about the Packers. Considering that, here are three things we learned from Green Bay’s loss to the Chargers.
3. Matt LaFleur’s offense is reliant upon Aaron Jones getting involved as a receiver
Before the season began, Matt LaFleur was ecstatic to get to run his offense through Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones. While the Packers’ won four games in a row from Weeks 5-8, Jones was an important reason why Green Bay was able to win those games.
The dynamic running back was heavily involved in the passing attack, totaling 22 catches for 280 yards and two touchdowns in those four games. LaFleur’s offense was leaning on Jones to produce in the aerial game to open up everything else up.
Against the Chargers, the dual-threat running back had just one reception for negative one yard and Green Bay’s offense never get on track. Los Angeles may have provided a blueprint on how to contain Rodgers and the Packers.
2. The Packers lack a reliable option at wide receiver outside of Davante Adams
The Packers were finally able to get Davante Adams back in the offense after the Pro-Bowl wideout missed the past month with a toe injury. Understandably so, the team’s No. 1 wideout looked a bit rusty in his first action in the past five weeks.
Rodgers targeted Adams 11 times in Week 9, but Adams was only able to come down with seven receptions for 41 yards. It also didn’t help that the Chargers had Casey Hayward shadow Adams for the majority of the game.
At the same time, the wide receivers that don’t have the last name of Adams were seemingly nonexistent in the offense. Altogether, the other wide receivers on the roster combined for five receptions for 65 yards. There’s no doubt that Green Bay lacks a reliable option at wide receiver outside of Adams.
1. The Packers’ run defense is becoming more and more worrisome
The Chargers’ struggles on the ground were well-documented before facing the Packers. As a matter of fact, Los Angeles was averaging only 49 rushing yards per game in their previous six games.
Provided that, the Chargers were able to gash the Packers’ run defense for 159 combined rushing yards. Melvin Gordon had a season-high 80 yards and two touchdowns as Green Bay had no answers for the running game.
This isn’t the first week that Green Bay’s run defense has been abysmal against the run this season. The Packers have given up 127.7 rushing yards per game (25th in the NFL) and have allowed four teams to run for over 150 yards.
The Packers’ run defense could prove to be detrimental if they don’t tighten things up in their front seven.