Packers look for fundamental fixes on offense ahead of Lions - Sports Illustrated

Packers look for fundamental fixes on offense ahead of Lions

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Generally, Packers coach Mike McCarthy has been happy with how his team has practiced this season. What is happening during games continues to confound Green Bay, especially lately with its once-potent offense.

The Packers will need to figure out their problems in a hurry with a trip to surging Detroit coming up on Thursday night.

''Let's make it clear - we've been successful here, and success, you don't own success, it's rented. And you've got to earn it each and every day,'' McCarthy said Sunday before practice.

This is another odd week for the Packers with back-to-back Thursday night games on the schedule. They're at least getting a full week to prepare after having just a three-day turnaround between the win a week ago at Minnesota and the Thanksgiving night loss at home to the Chicago Bears.

Practice on Sunday was akin to a midweek practice for a normal game week. There is a lot to work on again, and the plan in part goes back to basics.

Drops have been a problem for receivers, who are also dealing with press coverage from defenses that don't have to worry about the Packers' best deep threat, injured star Jordy Nelson.

Davante Adams, who was lauded for his work in the offseason and preseason, hasn't had the expected jump in production to help make up for Nelson's absence. Adams was hobbled by a sprained ankle in Week 2.

''I think that's been hampering him a little bit but I don't think anybody's lost confidence in him,'' quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Sunday after practice.

Against the Bears, Adams had two catches in 11 targets for 14 yards.

''Just a lot of missed opportunities, just ball on the ground too many times. Gotta fix that,'' Adams said.

James Jones didn't have a catch in six targets. Running back Eddie Lacy had a fumble deep in Bears territory that led to a Chicago score, and there were a few anxious moments after his 25-yard touchdown off a screen pass while it was reviewed to check if he had dropped the ball before crossing the goal line.

McCarthy urges a focus on fundamentals. For some reason, it has been an uncharacteristic problem of late.

''And the games that are close always come down to the details, and when I'm minus-2 in a football game, I'm never going to be happy about that, because I know how much time we put in to taking the ball away and taking care of it,'' McCarthy said. ''We better take care of the football and we better take it away when we have opportunities.''

Rodgers has said he needs to do more work to get in sync with receivers. The Packers made a switch this year to have the quarterbacks and receivers in the same meeting room.

''I definitely felt the structure of it was the right way to go, but yes we need to get more results,'' McCarthy said.

The low point for the offense was thought to be the 18-16 loss at home to Detroit on Nov. 15. There were glimmers of hope in the 30-13 win against Minnesota before another dud against the Bears on Thursday night.

''We're not even being effective enough anywhere near our potential, I think,'' Rodgers said. ''The positive signs are that we're running the ball better. The line's been blocking really well, they had a great game of pass protection and running the ball. We've just got to do a better job of winning consistently and completing passes.''

Lions coach Jim Caldwell isn't buying the talk about Green Bay's problems on offense.

''What I see is, without question, one of the top quarterbacks that ever played the game,'' Caldwell said. ''This is as dangerous a team that you'll ever face.''



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