Why is the Green Bay Packers Offense Struggling to Score TDs on Long Drives?

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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.


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


15 thoughts on “Why is the Green Bay Packers Offense Struggling to Score TDs on Long Drives?

  1. 6 of 26 on drives of nine plays or more seem pretty but I don’t think it tells the whole story. We are actually pretty good once we get into the red zone. The challenge is getting there and a main hurdle has been terrible field position. We are consistently losing the battle on special teams. We have to get 4-5 first downs on a sustained scoring drive where our opponents only need 3-4 first downs. That’s a big factor.

  2. Lack of points from production drives has been an on-going and somewhat uncorrected theme all year long for the Green Bay Packers. Inconsistent, zero points or having to settle for the 3 point minimum field goal. I’m clueless on offering solutions on how to put the fix on it, been harping about it all season long at my football board and nice to see someone else finally wrote something about that. Good read, thanks.

  3. Long drives can’t just be based on number of plays. Our issue has really been field position which more about number of yards. What is our average starting field position vs. other teams? I’ll bet the answer reveals our biggest issue – Slocum must go!

  4. Stats and Stats = Stats.Simple fact is we let Havner go and got him back damaged and all he did was get TD’s in the short and goal.We relied too much and for too long on BJ and Kuhn but neither could punch it when the defense knows your coming in a run.Hopefully,even though when Starks enters the defense will assume run but put BJ in also and now you have multiple go’s with the pass,run and screen.Did Starks play with BJ in the back field or only with Kuhn?

  5. The field position theory caught my interest so I looked it up. On average, the Packers start their drives at the 29.81 yard line. That’s 15th in the NFL.

    This issue isn’t necessarily a red zone problem, either. Some drives take 9 plays to get it to the 30 or 25. It just seems that good teams are ok with letting the Packers dink and dunk down the field because they know they’ll fizzle out before reaching the end zone. Bad teams try and adopt this strategy too, but it doesn’t work because the Packers are able to go deep anyway against inferior opponents.

    I don’t recall seeing Starks and Kuhn in the game together, but I could be wrong. Depending on how much Kuhn has kept up with his FB packages, maybe we could see it in the future.

  6. Convert third downs and “Score Early and Score Often” and all will be good in Packerville.

    The offense has to score early in Detriot and build a lead that makes Detriot take chances.

    In NE they have to score 35 points to give them a shot at a win. Brady and company is firing on all cylinders.

    NY – stop the run and a ball control offense should do the job.

    Chi just kick the crap out of them.


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