The Crescent and Cheese

where east meets the midwest

How the Packers Can Win Tonight

with 2 comments

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: no way. Fine, I admit it–this is a pretty long shot. Still, the Packers have a chance. A good chance, in fact. If Rodgers were the quarterback, I would pick them to win, but since it’s Flynn, I’ll temper my excitement. Here’s what the Pack needs to do in order to win:

1. Limit the Patriots Offense to Twenty Points

If the Green Bay defense can limit the Patriots to seventeen points or twenty points, the Packers have a really good chance of winning. How can they accomplish this? Only one way: get a good game by Clay Mathews on the edge and B.J. Raji up the middle. He has to be stout against the run and collapse the pocket. Clay will need Brady to get pushed out of the protective pouch. If B.J. can collapse it consistently, Brady will get flushed out. Sure, there’s no one in the league (except maybe for Rodgers) who can stand in the face of immense pressure and deliver a strike. If you do it consistently, however, even the best break. The caveat? If you blitz Brady continuously, he’s going to destroy you. He’ll get the ball into the weak area of the blitz, and Welker is smart enough to be there waiting for him.

There is a second way: play your bend but don’t break D. The Packers D doesn’t need to be the Tampa or Baltimore D of their respective Super Bowl years. The D can let Brady drive all over the field except for the  endzone. Make them kick five or six field goals–just don’t let them into the endzone. This is where the leagues best scoring D has to step up and make big plays on big downs. You don’t need to stop every third down: you simply need to stop one third down per drive.

Tramon and Chuck have to play their best ball. Capers needs to ensure that Shields is not on Welker, and that these two are placed in the best position to take advantage of their skill sets. One thing that plays in the favor of the Packers: the Patriots love a short passing game, and there are perhaps no two better corners against a short passing game than Williams and Woodson. If you dink and dunk, they’ll take one away from you.

A small thing to look for: holding the Patriots running game. Lost in Brady’s big day was the second quarter of the Bears game when he threw only 10 passes. Most of the yardage came on runs. The Patriots O-Line and TEs absolutely brutalized the Bears D-Line and LBs. If the run gets going, Capers is not going to be aggressive. If he doesn’t get aggressive, Brady is going to pick him apart. Thus, it is imperative that Raji, Pickett, Wynn, and Wilson (who had a pretty OK game. Remember the big third and one that he blew up yesterday?) control that line of scrimmage. They’ve done it before: they all but forced the 49ers to give up on their run after they absolutely neutralized the line of scrimmage. Big difference: Jenkins isn’t healthy. That’s going to hurt–and possibly a lot.

2. Blockers Need to Have a Good Game

The Patriots D line is not the D-Line of old, and their linebackers are a far cry from the days of Vrable and Brusci. Bulaga and Sitton need to make holes for the Packers running backs, and the whole O-Line needs to keep that pocket for Matt Flynn. Last week, they were terrible. Clifton got beat on bull rushes and speed rushes. Crabtree got manhandled in the run game. Clifton got blown up. Wells got blown up. Sitton got blown up. Bulaga got blown up. Can’t fault College for getting hurt, but he needs to play solidly as well. The left side of the line was a disaster. If the center of the line can handle Wilfork (tough, but they have to), the Packers should be able to run. That should make it easier for them to pass block. Speaking of which…

3. Flynn Needs to Play Well

That doesn’t mean four hundred yards and five touchdowns. That mens no picks and converting third downs. I doubt McCarthy is going to give thirty carries to his backs, unless number 2 goes off better than anyone could have imagined. Otherwise, McCarthy will call a game like he did in the second half: a short passing game with a few of runs thrown in coupled with a few passes over the top when the D sneaks up a bit. What I want to see is how Flynn handles the blitz. Can he read it at the line? He made a super mistake on the goal line last week: he read a blitz but didn’t bother to see if the blitzer actually came in and ended up throwing right to him. If he can read the blitz and throw to its weakness, it will be a good day for the Packers offense.

4. The Packers Wide Receivers Have to Rise Up for Flynn

Last week, the wide outs got Rodgers hurt. If Jennings catches that ball, Rodgers doesn’t get hurt. It’s that simple. The O-Line has been pretty bad all year round (with a five game stretch of acceptable play), and yet Rodgers has never gotten so frustrated because his receivers have played extremely well (excepting the Washington/Miami weeks, where they were ok at best). This week, if they lay an egg, Flynn is finished. He doesn’t have the ability of Rodgers to stretch a play and make something happen. He can run a bit, and he’s slippery, but only a few QBs have Rodgers’ ability to make a play when everything goes wrong (The Rapist, Vick, Rodgers being the ones that come immediately to mind). If the Packers are to have a chance on offense, the wide outs need to win their one on ones (which should be expected, considering how mediocre the Patriots secondary is and how talented the Packers wide outs are), and get to that hole in the Patriots defense when they blitz. Also, there was an obvious lack of synergy between Flynn and the wideouts last week (not knowing the depth of routes and reading different things on option routes), and that needs to get fixed.

Also, watch Quarless to have a good game. He’s obviously played with Flynn before, and the two of them seemed to have a tandem going last week. Also look for B-Jax, who has as many receptions as Driver (minus 1; 39 against 40) to have a good game as well as McCarthy calls screens and the like the counter his shaky line and the Patriots’ blitz.

5. McCarthy Has to Convince This Team They Can Win Without Rodgers

Or, maybe another line he could use is: your ineptitude got him hurt last week (I’m looking at you O-Line, Jennings). How about your make up for that this week?


Written by AdmiralPrice

December 19, 2010 at 3:00 am

Posted in Preview

Tagged with , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. The only way they can beat the pats is if Brady gets hurt. And you know it.


    December 19, 2010 at 3:46 am

  2. Way to read the post Zu >_> I know, I know, TLDR


    December 19, 2010 at 5:21 am

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