Packers must 'come up with some better stuff' to maximize scoring chances

Red-zone and goal-to-go stats had been improving slightly before struggles returned in Miami

QB Aaron Rodgers

GREEN BAY – The Packers know they left too many points out there Sunday against the Dolphins, points they likely can't afford not to score this week against the Vikings.

Green Bay was a frustrating 2-for-5 in the red zone at Miami, and just 2-for-4 in goal-to-go situations, settling for field goals far too often in the 26-20 victory.

In discussing the failures Monday, Head Coach Matt LaFleur chalked them up to a combination of factors, from play calls to execution to the defense forcing the Packers' hand.

"That was not our best, obviously," LaFleur said. "We've got to do a better job of anticipating some of the things that maybe have shown up, or have not shown up that could show up, and then go out there and execute when we do have the looks we wanted.

"But I definitely could have done a better job giving our guys better plays."

The Packers got touchdowns on a fourth-and-goal pass to a wide-open Marcedes Lewis and a 1-yard plunge by AJ Dillon. But on two other goal-to-go's, a sack and botched handoff exchange ruined promising opportunities. A negative run on a red-zone first down also contributed to kicking a field goal on the last offensive drive.

All told, the Packers are now scoring TDs just 51% of the time in the red zone (25-of-49) and 50% in goal-to-go (9-of-18), both of which rank in the bottom third of the league.

LaFleur added one thing the Packers are seeing the closer they get to the end zone is a loaded box to stop the run, daring Green Bay to throw the ball. But he cautioned the offense can't let the defense simply dictate what it should do.

"It makes it very, very difficult at times to run it in, although I still think it's not like we can just abandon the run," he said. "We have to I think try to still run it in and then have some run solutions off of our running plays."

That said, both the red-zone and goal-to-go numbers had been trending slightly better prior to the Miami game.

After a number of frustrating breakdowns led to a loss at Detroit in Week 9, the Packers had scored TDs on 10-of-18 trips in the red zone (56%) and 4-of-7 in goal-to-go (57%), with one failure in each category coming when they took a knee at the 1-yard line to close out the Monday night win over the Rams last week.

Miami's red-zone defense came into Sunday's game ranked in the bottom third of the league, making the return of the struggles all the more frustrating.

This week's opponent, Minnesota, ranks middle-of-the-pack statistically in red-zone defense, though the Vikings began the season stuffing the Packers at the goal line and getting another turnover on downs in the red zone in Week 1.

"Certainly we've got to come up with some better stuff," LaFleur said. "I'm sure they're looking at all that."

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