Talent, Efficiency, Scheme on Offense

With Aaron Rodgers and a remarkable collection of talent surrounding him, opposing defenses are feeling defenseless. The Packers lead the NFL in scoring because they're doing practically nothing wrong.

The Green Bay Packers have been on the opposite side of this avalanche before.

In 2008, they gave up 51 points in a humiliating Monday night loss at New Orleans. In 2009, their season ended with a 51-45 wild-card loss at Arizona.

"It's tough. Once you let an offense begin to move and begin to play like that, it's hard to stop them," Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said after watching his offense unleash its full fury on Denver in a 49-23 rout at Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon. "Obviously, we faced that in the playoff game against Arizona. We let Kurt (Warner) get comfortable. They started moving the ball and it was hard to stop them at that point. It's one of those things that if you let them start, it's going to be hard to stop, so the best thing is not let them start. Our offense is going to be hard to stop by anybody. It's amazing that a team can have that many weapons."

Those weapons are the envy of the NFL. One week after Jermichael Finley wrecked the arch-rival Chicago Bears with three touchdown receptions, Aaron Rodgers threw touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, James Jones and Donald Driver. Not to be left out was rookie Randall Cobb, who had a 61-yard catch and run.

That's just the wide receivers.

You want cold-blooded efficiency?

Jennings caught all seven passes thrown his way for a ho-hum 103 yards. Nelson and Starks both caught 5-of-6.

The Packers converted 9-of-13 third-down plays.

Punter Tim Masthay might as well have been cashing an unemployment check after being called upon just once.

Rodgers completed 29-of-38 passes. After entering the game with a league-leading passer rating of 120.9 and a league-high 71.8 completion percentage, Rodgers had a 134.5 rating and 76.3 percent accuracy.

Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.

It all left first-year Denver coach John Fox filled with a bit of awe. That's saying something considering Fox is one of the NFL's most respected defensive minds and built units that carried the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII as the coach and the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV as the defensive coordinator.

"We rolled through about everything we have," Fox said. "(Rodgers) is playing as well as any quarterback I've seen in the league and this is my 23rd season. He has a pretty good supporting cast. I think Mike McCarthy and his staff do an outstanding job. They are pedal to the metal and they execute very, very well."

Pedal to the metal is exactly how McCarthy goes about his business.

Go for it on fourth-and-1 rather than kick a field goal?

Go for an onside kick when leading 14-3?

Have 38 passes (between attempts and scrambles) compared to 10 runs through three quarters?

Yes, yes and yes.

"We're an up-tempo offense and get to the line of scrimmage, but the defense has a part of it, too," McCarthy said. "We play aggressive to attack the defense, but based on where you attack them sometimes determines where the ball is distributed. (Most) importantly the guy under center has to manage it for you, and he's doing it at a very high level."

Talk about a high level: In their last two games, Rodgers has thrown 17 passes to Jennings. He's caught 16 of them.

"We have a very special guy," Jennings said.

With 148 points, the Packers have set a franchise record for their first four games and lead the league with 37.0 points per game. They're explosive with Rodgers and his abundance of pass-catching threats. They're efficient, with a third-ranked 54 percent on third down. And they're smart, with their five giveaways tied for eighth.

So, while the Packers' pass defense has struggled, at least they don't have to face Rodgers and Co.

"Aaron is at the top of his game, and he's at the top of the league as far as quarterbacks are concerned," cornerback Charles Woodson said. "He can put that ball just about anywhere he wants to, and then he's got guys on the other end of it that are going to make the catch, going to make yards after the catch and get into the end zone."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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