The 2022 Call Sheet: 2nd & short

Dusty builds out the 2nd & short section of his call sheet based on how the Packers performed in 2022

Our series of building our call sheet continues by looking at 2nd & short (1-3 yards). This is an area that can be pretty fun, depending on how you feel about your 3rd & short game. If you’re confident that you can pick up the 1st down on 3rd, this is a good opportunity to take a shot. Of course, defenses know that as well, so it’s helpful to have some options if you want to play a little closer to the vest.

The Packers found the most success with some of the “safer” options, so that’s what we’re sticking with. After all, there’s no point in messing with success.

On average, the Packers faced 4 2nd & short plays per game in 2022. In this situation, they had a success rate of 76.8%, which ranked them 2nd in the league behind the Bengals. They gained a 1st down in this situation 69.6% of the time, 4th in the league. Their average gain of 5.2 yards in this situation ranked them 9th in the league.

Overall some room for improvement, but a nice performance in this situation in 2022. Let’s build the call sheet.


Strike (11.5 YPA)

We’ve been through Strike enough to where you all can probably quote the specifics right back to me. Wide Zone blocking up front to mirror the core run play as well as their PA Boot concept. Draw the defense up to the line, then hit the dig behind it.

This is a concept more generically known as PA Bang Dig. QB quick-turns off play action and BANG, hit the dig.

Hank (Jet) (11.0 YPA)

I waver as to whether this fits more into the Hank or Spot bucket, but literally no one cares about that but me so let’s just call it Hank with a wheel.

On the right side we’ve got Hank: a hitch route paired with a flat route. It’s a three-step concept, read inside-out. If the hitch isn’t open, the hitch route itself can create a natural rub for the flat route.

On this one, they pair it with a jet wheel - overloading that side and giving it a shot potential - then having the isolated backside receiver running a out-breaking route that then breaks hard to the inside. 

I really like this look. You’ve got an alert on the wheel (throw that as the #1 if you have a favorable look), a quick-game staple in Hank, and a one-on-one route on the backside.


Power/Glance (11.0 YPA)

I’ve talked about this a lot, so I won’t get into it a ton here. The Packers haven’t been big users of post-snap RPOs. They did dial up their usage this year, but those were rarely thrown. Still, that shows me that it’s something they’re looking to incorporate into their offense a little more, and what do you know: so am I.

The Packers went with a more power-heavy run approach early in the year, but questions along the line forced them to switch some things up as the season went along. Still, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them try it again in 2023. They did some really cool stuff by pairing wide zone looks with TEs working as pulling guards, but I really want to see another attempt at power. I’m begging.

Anyway, as with all RPOs, you’re looking for an advantage in either the run game or the pass game and forcing the defense to be wrong, regardless as to which way they choose to defend. On this type of RPO, you’re running Power to one side with a glance route tag on the backside, and the QB will read the conflict defender. If the defender is part of the run fit, the QB will pull the ball and fire on the glance route. If the defender falls under the pass, hand the ball off.


Inside Zone (6.0 YPA)

Again, I can get a little generic with my run tags. There are differences between straight Inside Zone, Split Zone, Y-Insert, Duo, Mid Line, etc. I don’t chart it that deep because there are only so many hours in a day, ya know?

Anyway, the core idea is roughly the same. The idea is to get a vertical push, attacking the defense to create gaps to run through. Wide Zone presents as a little more passive, while Inside Zone is a more attacking run.

Wide Zone (5.1 YPA)

The key to the whole system, man. Get those bears on parade, put the train on the tracks, etc. Move laterally down the line, blocking the zone in front of you. Running back aims for the playside tackle, while looking for the potential cutback. 

This is the engine that makes the whole thing go - so to speak - so if it’s even mildly efficient in a down/distance, it’s going to be on the sheet. That’s just the nature of it.

If you missed the previous articles, you’re in luck! I’ve gathered them all here.
The Introduction
1st & 10
2nd & long
2nd & medium

Albums listened to: Nada Surf - Let Go; Silver Moth - Black Bay; Daughter - Stereo Mind Game; Sunny Day Real Estate - How It Feels to Be Something On


Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].

3 points

Comments (5)

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SoCalJim's picture

May 10, 2023 at 03:11 pm

Another great article, Dusty! Thanks!

2 points
gkarl's picture

May 10, 2023 at 05:37 pm

Always enjoy you articles. the question is not what they have been doing but what the passing game will look like next year. I hope its different than past, the players are changing and hopefully so will the passing concepts.

2 points
DustyEvely's picture

May 11, 2023 at 08:39 am

I think the past can tell us a lot about the future. Not everything, of course, but they're not going to be making wholesale changes to the offense. Boost some concepts here, tweak some concepts there, etc.
I have been thinking about what some of those changes may be, though. I actually talked with Tyler Brooke a little earlier this week about that.

1 points
T7Steve's picture

May 11, 2023 at 02:23 pm

Plays changing and tweaking is all well and good (good lesson Dusty). They need to change attitude. "No more mister nice guy, no more mister cle,e,-ean" (per Alice Cooper).

Thanks Dusty!

0 points
jont's picture

May 11, 2023 at 04:11 pm

"The Packers haven’t been big users of post-snap RPOs. They did dial up their usage this year, but those were rarely thrown. Still, that shows me that it’s something they’re looking to incorporate into their offense a little more, and what do you know: so am I."

In another thread somebody was hoping the Pack will call a few runs for Love. I don't recall him being a big runner, but that comment and the line above got my imagination going a bit and not just as called runs.

The Eagles and maybe da Bears do an RPR where the QB reads for the run or pass option and, if not loving either, runs it himself. Hurt and Fields are good runners so this can go.

Now if the other commenter is right and Love can run well, MLF the offensive innovator could copy the RPR and mix it in, maybe very early in the season to give defenses something to think about.

0 points