Packers look to get passing game going against Bears
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Getting the passing game going in Green Bay means paying more attention to the details for the Packers.
The results have been spotty this season. The solution sounds simple from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“You know, we’ve just got to throw it and catch it better. I’ve got to be as accurate as I know I can be, and we’ve got to make sure we’re as detailed as we can be in the routes so we’re on the same page more consistently,” Rodgers said Tuesday.
Maybe the game on Thursday against the NFC North-rival Chicago Bears will be the one that gets the Packers’ passing attack clicking consistently again.
Rodgers is completing 60.2 percent of his passes, which ranks an uncharacteristically-low 23rd in the league. It’s also 4.7 points below Rodgers’ career average.
In the loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, Rodgers threw an out-of-character interception on second-and-8 from the Dallas 46 to Barry Church after saying that he never saw the Cowboys safety. Rodgers overthrew open receiver Randall Cobb in the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers also fumbled on first-and-goal from the 1. Unwinding after the tough game, the quarterback poured himself a scotch and watched the film.
“The scotch was great,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “You know, I saw things that we’ve been seeing throughout the year. We’re close. We’ve been making some plays at times, but not good enough consistently.”
And what specifically would Rodgers like to be doing better after reviewing film?
“I just think it’s accuracy. I’ve missed a couple that I’m used to hitting. And you hit those and you take away the throwaways, being able to hit some things on some of those plays instead of extending and throwing the ball away and we’re right where we need to be,” Rodgers said.
Taking better care of the ball was a priority for the team overall after a season-high four turnovers against Dallas. Drops have also been an issue at times for receivers.
The last couple of weeks, the Packers have started using more personnel packages after relying primarily on a three-wide receiver set. They’ve used jumbo packages with offensive lineman Jason Spriggs lined up as an eligible receiver. Last week, they went with five receivers on the field at times.
Conversely, the Cowboys also at times dropped eight defenders in coverage, a scheme that could make it more difficult for receivers to get open.
Coach Mike McCarthy has been honed in on details and sticking with a tried-and-true focus.
“But at the end of the day, it’s about connecting, taking advantage of those opportunities,” McCarthy said. “We’re well aware of it, but you just stay in tune with the fundamentals.”