The Green Bay Packers finished the 2022 season ranked 24th in the NFL scoring touchdowns in the red zone and dead last in scoring touchdowns in goal-to-go situations.
Coach Matt LaFleur was well aware of the struggles inside the 20-yard line.
“There is a lot we have to study this offseason. Whether it was poor play design, or lack of execution or all of the above, it wasn’t good enough. We did a piss poor job in the red zone,” LaFleur said Monday. “I’ve said it before, sometimes you kick enough field goals, and you’ll get yourself beat. That’s kinda what happened (vs. Lions).”
The Packers drove into Lions’ territory four times in the first half but kicked three field goals and had a turnover. What could have been a commanding lead at halftime ended up at only three points, 9-6.
In 2022, Aaron Rodgers threw 17 touchdown passes in the red zone, or 11 fewer than 2021 and 18 fewer than 2020. He also threw eight fewer touchdown passes inside the 10-yard line (11 in 2022, 19 in 2021).
Running the ball for touchdowns was a bigger struggle. Between Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, the running back pair ran 12 times and scored only four touchdowns inside the 5-yard line. Jones received only two carries inside the five and didn’t have a touchdown. Overall, Jones and Dillon carried 56 times and scored seven total touchdowns since the red zone. Compare that with Jamaal Williams, who received 57 red-zone carries and scored an NFL-high 16 red-zone touchdowns in 2022.
Overall, the Packers only scored 26 touchdowns in the red zone. The offense also had 17 plays losing yards in the red zone, including three sacks.
Inside the 10-yard line, the Packers ran 71 plays but scored just 17 touchdowns. In 2021, the Packers ran 100 plays inside the 10 and scored 32 touchdowns. In 2020, the Packers ran 91 plays inside the 10 and scored 40 touchdowns.
On third down, the Packers were stopped short of the sticks/end zone, threw an incomplete pass or turned the ball over 24 times on 32 plays ran in the red zone. The offense scored only four touchdowns on third downs inside the 20-yard line. Four. On 32 plays. The Packers had as many negative yardage plays (including two sacks) as touchdowns on third down in the red zone.
The four third-down touchdowns: Romeo Doubs touchdown catch vs. Buccaneers, Doubs touchdown catch vs. Patriots, Christian Watson touchdown catch on free play vs. Titans, and Rodgers scramble in fourth quarter vs. Vikings.
The Packers went for it on fourth down nine times in the red zone. The results: two touchdowns, two conversions, five turnover on downs. Of the turnover on downs, three ended the game: Week 1 at Vikings, Week 5 vs. Giants and Week 9 at Lions.
A lot of things went wrong for the Packers in 2022. A lack of success by the offense inside the 20 and 10 ranks right near the top of the biggest failures.