News and Notes Heading into the Green Bay Packers’ First Playoff Game (the NY Giants)
I hoped to file a couple of posts this week examining the play of Bryan Bulaga and the Green bay Packers playcalling, but then I realized it was almost Christmas, so I proceeded to buy presents and hang out with my family.
Instead of a full-blown analysis, I had to go with some quick thoughts and notes. The playoffs start Sunday, folks. It should be interesting.
- The Packers’ run game showed some promise against the New England Patriots, but lets not confuse the 2010 Packers with the 2009 Jets. The Packers will go as far as Aaron Rodgers’ arm takes them, not Brandon Jackson’s legs. By all means, Mike McCarthy should try and establish the run early against the Giants. But he shouldn’t handcuff himself into sticking with it for too long if it’s not working. The Giants’ defensive backs are slow. The Packers receivers have a clear advantage and that needs to be exploited.
- What about the Giants pass rush? Getting the ground game going will help slow down the pass rush, but so will short passes. If the Packers can’t run the ball, McCarthy needs to mix in plenty of quick passes, screens and high-percentage throws. The Packers offense has moved the ball every time they’ve reverted to using more short passes. The problem has been punching through to the end zone.
- If McCarthy runs another fullback dive this week, I am going to personally travel to Green Bay and destroy that page of the playbook. If you want to gain one yard with John Kuhn, line him up at halfback and give him a running start before he crashes into the line.
- Calling James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver: According to Football Outsiders, the Giants are one of the worst defenses in the league against No. 3 receivers. I’m not sure which one of you is the No. 3 receiver, but whoever it is, you need to step up.
- Can the Packers beat the Giants if they are not able to force a turnover? I don’t think so. Anyone disagree?
- Anyone have advice about watching Packers games with small children? I watch most games with my wife. We both yell, scream, swear and punch things when things don’t go the Packers’ way. I have to watch Sunday’s game with my little nieces and nephews running around. How can I control my normally uncotrollable rages? What’s the best strategy for getting the kids to shut up so I can concentrate on the game?
- Something else to consider in the great should we or shouldn’t we be “proud” of the Packers after losing to the Patriots debate. According to Football Outsiders, the Patriots offensive, defensive and overall DVOA ratings increased after beating the Packers. The Packers were an annoying little bump in the road for the Patriots, but not nearly enough to throw them off course. Is that anything to be proud of? Not in my opinion, but I tend to be a cranky S.O.B., even around the Holidays. Be encouraged by certain areas where the Packers played well. But save your pride for when they actually accomplish something.