By Jack Wepfer
In 2016, the last time Aaron Rodgers played a full season, the Green Bay Packers were lethal in the red zone. The trend more or less continued in 2017 during Rodgers’ first five starts.
This year, however, that hasn’t been the case.
The Packers are ranked 19th in the NFL in touchdown percentage in the red zone and points per drive, per Football Outsiders. Even worse, the Rodgers-led offense is ranked 23rd in touchdowns per drive (.190).
In 2016, the Packers were one of the most efficient teams on offense, finishing fourth in yards per drive (36.73), third in points per drive (2.60), and third in touchdowns per drive (.305).
There are a few plausible reasons why this might be.
One is the absence of Jordy Nelson who, for as many “steps” he seemed to be losing, had tremendous chemistry with Rodgers (Rodgers, on a fourth-down incompletion that almost resulted in a pick-six to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, remarked how that three-to-four yard hitch was a pass both he and Nelson completed “in their sleep”).
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