4

February

Packers Super Bowl Scenario – Big Games Needed by Brandon Jackson and Interior Offensive Line

Scott Wells needs to help contain the Steelers interior blitzes.

While everyone talks about how Aaron Rodgers and the Packers wide receivers match up against the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary, don’t forget about Brandon Jackson, Scott Wells, Daryn Colledge and Josh Sitton. If the Packers put up big passing numbers, chances are these four guys had good games.

I think rushing attempts by both teams will be few and far between, especially after the first quarter. Once both teams go to the air, Rodgers and the Packers wideouts have an advantage over the Steelers secondary, but that advantage can be negated by the Steelers pass rush.

That’s where Jackson and the interior offensive lineman can come to the rescue.

As the crew at Football Outsiders points out in its Super Bowl preview, the Steelers like to send crash blitzes up the middle, which allows outside linebackers to either come through the wreckage on a delayed blitz or jump back into pass coverage and mess up the quarterback’s hot reads. The theory is that by crashing the middle, you’re attacking a team’s worst pass blockers (center and guards) and forcing the running back into the middle of the chaos (which means he’s not a dumpoff option in the flat and he’s in the quarterback’s throwing lane). It also forces your tackles to win one-on-one battles on the outside.

If Wells, Colledge and Sitton hold up against these inside blitzes, I don’t see how the Packers offense is contained on Sunday. If they struggle, it’s up to Jackson to step up, make the correct read in blitz pickup, and buy Rodgers the extra time he needs to move around and make a play.

It sounds relatively simple, but if the Packers’ interior protection breaks down early, it’s going to be an uphill battle. I don’t want the Steelers collapsing the pocket early and forcing Rodgers to worry about pressure in his face while at the same time crossing his fingers that his rookie right tackle holds up against either Lamar Woodley or James Harrison.

Scott Wells has quietly put together another solid season, and I’m confident that he’ll be able to set the protection at the line of scrimmage before each play. Unfortunately, identifying who to block and then actually making the block are two different things.

Obviously, it’s going to take a total team effort for the Packers to win Sunday. But if the Packers interior lineman (and Jackson if needed) have solid games, expect the rest of the offense to shine and the Packers to win Super Bowl 45.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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7 Responses to “Packers Super Bowl Scenario – Big Games Needed by Brandon Jackson and Interior Offensive Line”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Czech and John , Chad Toporski. Chad Toporski said: AllGreenBayPackers: Packers Super Bowl Scenario – Big Games Needed by Brandon Jackson and Interior Offe… http://bit.ly/hm5iDr #Packers [...]

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  2. ELong says:

    Great points Adam. This will be a key to the game. The other risk to avoid here is pre-snap penalties when the line gets on their heels, which Colledge is susceptible to at times.

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  3. Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

    Right on the money, Adam. We saw this in the plays I put up in my post the other day. Ryan Grant doing a poor job in protection and getting Rodgers killed.

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  4. Bearmeat says:

    I’m confident we’re gonna get ‘em! I think our pass rush is equal to theirs and our pass pro is better, along with better skill positions. If we can stop the run and keep AR upright (which I think we’ll do) then we win. That simple.

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  5. Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

    IMO,the key for the Packers to win will be the quick success of the 5 wide set and the elimination of the early dropsies during the first two possessions.
    Success will allow MM to open the book.Failure early,may be the beginning of a long painful ending.
    With that said,I think Nelson has a game changing catch that allows the Packers to not look back.
    I’m still in awe that they pulled this season out and are in the SUPER BOWL.GO PACK GO!

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  6. [...] in the playoffs and some of that credit goes to Wells. I wrote about how the Packers have to contain the Steelers interior pass rush in the Super Bowl and for the most part they did. Wells gets a pat on the back for that. Wells was [...]

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