Fixing Packers' Week 1 problems

Weak running game can be overcome; defense should improve

Originally Published: September 13, 2012
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Aaron RodgersJoe Robbins/Getty ImagesAaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers' offense were shut down in Week 1.

One of more surprising results of Week 1 was the San Francisco 49ers going into Lambeau Field and dominating the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers' defense was outstanding and their offense exhibited a great balance of run and pass. Many of Green Bay's weaknesses of a year ago were exploited in Week 1, but going back and studying the film, there isn't as much reason to be worried as Packers fans think.

Here's a look at the major problem areas against the Niners and how I think the Packers can overcome them.

Short passes can help lackluster run game

The Packers had only 45 yards rushing against the 49ers and 27 of those were scrambles by Aaron Rodgers, meaning that running back Cedric Benson had only 18 lethargic yards on nine carries. With the 49ers' safeties playing very deep there was room to run, but this offense couldn't get it done. As a result, the Packers abandoned the run game early and morphed into a one-dimensional passing game -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Packers went to a spread attack and ran 31 of 61 plays without a running back on the field. This is an offense that doesn't seem to be obsessed with offensive balance, so how can it make up for a lack of a ground game?


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Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.