Why is the Green Bay Packers Offense Struggling to Score TDs on Long Drives?
The Packers have scored just three touchdowns in their last 22 drives of nine plays or more. Two of those touchdowns came late in the fourth quarter to tie the game (against the Dolphins and Falcons). For the season, the Packers are 6 for 26 on drives of nine plays or more.
The Green Bay Packers offense has been pretty successful in recent games thanks mostly to big passing plays. But if the Packers want to win out and make a run deep into the postseason, they are going to have to figure out how to score touchdowns on long drives. Chewing up the clock and then settling for field goal attempts will not cut it.
I know I probably sound like Mr. Negative because the Packers just beat the 49ers and are in the middle of the playoff chase. But if this team wants to get from good to great, this is one of the areas it needs to figure out.
It is great to have an offense that is capable of scoring quickly and generating big plays. But the offense would be that much better if it could consistently put seven points on the board after a long and sustained drive.
On Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers came out and put together a 14-play drive on their first possession. But the drive stalled in the red zone and Mason Crosby shanked a field goal. Against the Atlanta Falcons, the Packers had drives of nine plays and 11 plays in the first half. They came away with a field goal and a fumble, respectively.
Failing to score touchdowns on long drives keeps bad teams like the 49ers in games and often proves to be the difference between a win and a loss in games against better teams.
Opponents have been copying the Chicago Bears blueprint of how to stop the Packers since week 3. Teams are trying to take away the long plays downfield and force the Packers to methodically drive it all the way to the end zone without stalling.
The offense is good enough to beat this strategy on a regular basis and get big plays anyway. But what if it isn’t one Sunday? We know Bill Bellicheck will have the Patriots prepared to take away the deep ball in a couple weeks. And the Bears have already proven that they are content to let the Packers dink and dunk until they make a mistake and settle for a field goal (or penalize themselves out of the game).
The Packers need to cash in with seven points on those long drives. It takes some pressure off the defense, demoralizes the other team, and might mean the difference between a magical season or a frustrating finish.——————