Let’s set aside all the obvious terrible lessons to take away from yesterday’s game and look for something positive.
The Saints, behind a talented quarterback, who has been nothing but a turnover machine bust his entire career, looked like a world-beating offense, despite only having one player of note at skill positions.
The Packers have a talented quarterback who has displayed some erratic traits reminiscent of Jameis Winston, too, and there’s a lot that they can learn about how to be successful with him.
- Offensive Line – The Saints had an absolutely dominant offensive line and it gave Winston all the time he needed to efficiently pick apart the Packers defense.
- Run Game Support – The Saints established the run with Alvin Kamara. Alvin Kamara was contained all game and started off very slowly. In fact, the Packers held him to 3.5 yards per touch in the 1st quarter, but the Saints still controlled the game. This was because of the commitment to the run, not the run production – defenses have to play differently and it set up the Saints offense to allow Winston to throw 5 touchdowns. The Packers have 3 very good running backs on their roster.
- Fantastic Coaching – Sean Payton is one of the top coaches in the league. Not only did he design an offense of Jameis Winston to play within himself and call plays that pencil-whipped a flummoxed Green Bay defense, he coached his quarterback to be conservative and patient, to take what the defense gave him to efficiently move down the field.
The results were pretty impressive.
So there’s the formula: good offensive line, a commitment to the run game, and good coaching.
This shouldn’t be surprising – these are basic football concepts for success. We lose sight of this stuff in a quarterback-driven league that shows us nothing but wide receiver highlights on 24-hour football coverage, but games like this remind us of how football works at it’s core.
So, could the Packers do this with Jordan Love?
Let’s see how they rate with those three key factors.
- The Packers have a very talented offensive line. Young starters like Royce Newman and Josh Myers should grow along veteran stars like David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, while role players like Billy Turner, Lucas Patrick, and Dennis Kelly provide depth and flexibility.
- The Packers have Pro Bowl Aaron Jones, complementary power back AJ Dillon (who seems itching to break out if given the chance), and rookie spark plug Kylin Hill. That’s plenty of talent to build a versatile running game to combat any defensive scheme.
- The Packers have Matt LaFleur, who seems like a bright offensive mind with a long track record of getting the most out of his quarterbacks. There is no reason to think he can’t get the most our of Jordan Love.
All in all, the Packers have the pieces they need to be successful with Jordan Love.
We don’t know when or if Love will get the chance to start, but if and when it does come, the Packers have built a team that can be successful.
The Saints just showed us how.
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