The first answer was in the title of this post: Mike McCarthy has already fixed it. Against the Seahawks, it was a tale of two halves. The first half was an endless loop of sacks, eight in total, and the offense went nowhere as the Seahawks skunked them. Then McCarthy made some adjustments at halftime which included more short, quick passes, and a lot more running by RB Cedric Benson. The offense went on three scoring drives in the second half (two field goals and one touchdown) which over the course of an entire game (26 points) would have been less than the dynamic 2011 offense (35 points per game) but similar to their 2010 season (24.2 points per game). That's probably not going to win QB Aaron Rodgers another MVP award, but it was good enough to win the Super Bowl. Of course, they can still do better.
The first place to look is the offensive line. I don't know who kidnapped RT Bryan Bulaga and replaced him with ex-Packer Allen Barbre, but some adjustments need to be made. I don't expect them to bench Bulaga for undrafted rookie RT Don Barclay, but they need to have a Plan B ready in case Bulaga doesn't turn it around. Right now, the Packers lead the league with 16 sacks allowed, and it reminds me of their 2009 season, when the Packers once again led the league in that category (51). Using ESPN's QBR, which includes sacks in the quarterback's rating, here's a comparison of 2009 to 2012.
|2009 Opponent||2009 QBR||2012 Opponent||2012 QBR|
Unfortunately, the entire offensive line is having some problems this season, though Bulaga's disaster in the Seattle stands out as the worst of them. They can play better, and hopefully the veteran group turns it around ASAP.
After Clifton and Tauscher returned in 2009, Rodgers went onto finish with a season QBR of 70.2, the second best ranking of his career. He's not going to repeat his 2011 season, but a return to 2009 is likely.
Then there are the Packer wide receivers. Are they not getting open? Here are the rankings from Football Outsiders for Rodgers's top three wide receivers:
All three wide receivers are down from last season, but Greg Jennings has fallen off a mountain. Of the receivers who have been targeted more than 15 times this season, only two other receivers are worse than Jennings. Nothing good is happening when he is thrown the ball. A groin injury has played it's part, but they need to focus at getting him back on track and seeing how that effects the rest of the offense.
But the thing that might help the most is that the Saints are coming to town. Currently, Football Outsiders has their defense ranked as the 6th worst overall and 3rd worst against the pass.