The short answer is that the offense is missing WR Jordy Nelson. It's also been missing WR Davante Adams, but the good news is that he's back at practice this week. As good as WR James Jones has been, which isn't his fault because Nelson is one of the best in the NFL, he hasn't been effectively a replacement for Nelson. Jones and rookie WR Ty Montgomery are effectively replacing what was hoped for from Adams. Despite the extra attention above, Cobb's basically been the same as last season, though a few more passes have falling incomplete to him.#Packers WR Randall Cobb was drawing some extra attention on Sunday. Take a look at the film: http://t.co/kG6L0PJ5HG pic.twitter.com/C5fSiZRu1p— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 14, 2015
His absence has also hurt the ground game, probably because the opponent's safety is less worried about deep coverage without Nelson around and more interested in RB Eddie Lacy. The run game wasn't helped when RT Bryan Bulaga missed a few games either. Lacy's yards per carry are significantly down this season (4.6 in 2014 vs. 4.1 in 2015) and it's even worse for RB James Starks (3.9 in 2014 vs. 3.3 in 2015). With the run offense struggling, it's getting harder to convert on 3rd down. Here's how they've done through the first five games:
|Team||3rd Down %||Points Scored|
Unfortunately there's no easy answer to get the offense back to how it was in 2014. Bulaga is back, which can only help since he's much better than Don Barclay, and Adams will eventually recover from his high ankle sprain. Montgomery should continue to improve during his rookie season. But the only player who can really take them to the next level is Nelson. So the best offense in the NFL might just have to settle for being No. 5 overall this season.