Aaron Rodgers, Packers offense need more explosive gains

Skip: Aaron Rodgers is not that good (1:41)

First Take's Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith share their thoughts on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' 77-yard passing performance in Green Bay's 29-10 loss to the Broncos. (1:41)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers are going to have to find a way to get more explosive gains, especially in the passing game.

Four in one game, only one of which was a pass play, won’t cut it. That’s how anemic the offense was in Sunday’s 29-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy defines explosive plays as runs of at least 12 yards and pass plays of at least 16. Here’s the short list of explosive gains from Sunday:

No wonder Rodgers only threw for 77 yards and the Packers totaled only 140.

By comparison, the Packers had 10 explosive plays, including seven in the passing game, in their Week 3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on their way to a season-high 448 yards. Eight of those plays came in the first half.

“They definitely don’t hurt, that’s for sure,” right tackle Bryan Bulaga said. “Having a couple a drive definitely don’t hurt. Regardless of whether we have one or not, we need to be able to move the ball. It doesn’t matter. Explosive gain or not, we need to be able to move the ball up and down the field.”

Here’s a look at the offensive performance in Sunday’s game (the defensive breakdown can be found here):

Total offensive plays: 53


Notes: Rodgers averaged 1.9 yards against the blitz, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Coming into the game, he averaged 9.5 yards per attempt against the blitz, third-best among qualified quarterbacks. ... Tolzien got his first action of the season and handed off twice.

Running backs

Notes: In what was essentially a reversal from the Chargers game, Lacy got 11 carries (for 38 yards and a touchdown) to Starks’ five (for 9 yards). Even on Lacy’s 15-yard run, he didn’t look quite as quick as usual.


Notes: In one of the worst games by a Packers receiving corps with Rodgers as the starter, the trio of Cobb-Jones-Adams caught just eight passes for 37 yards, a pitiful 4.6 yards per catch. Adams, in his first game back after missing three with an ankle injury, had one reception for 8 yards and also dropped a pass. Ty Montgomery (ankle) was the only injured player on the inactive list.

Tight ends

Notes: Rodgers caught a pair of passes for 16 yards but almost never breaks any tackles, and his blocking is suspect. Perillo, who was active over rookie Kennard Backman, caught the only pass thrown his way for 6 yards. The Packers badly need someone at this position who can stretch the field.

Offensive line

Notes: Rodgers was sacked three times and hit seven, but not all of it was the fault of the offensive line. On one sack, Rodgers held the ball for 4.7 seconds because he couldn’t find an open receiver.