If you don’t listen to “Tuesday’s with Aaron” (hosted by Green and Gold’s Jason Wilde), I highly recommend that you do so (it’s free on itunes to boot). One thing that always surprises me is how much Aaron Rodgers remembers about each specific play; not only does he remember the blocking assignments and routes, but he also remembers the context, the past tendencies of the defense and historically how’s it’s worked for the Packers in the past. This week, he detailed the first touchdown play in the game versus the Saints and how James Jones stole a touchdown from Jermicheal Finley. As it’s often hard to follow Rodgers when he’s describing a play on the radio, I have decided to diagram this play with what Rodgers stated (so presumably this is about as accurate of a play analysis as I can possibly do)
The Situation: The score is tied 0-0 in the 1st quarter with 9 minutes left to go. The Packers are in the red zone with 2nd and 10 after LB Scott Shanle ripping the ball out of TE Jermicheal Finley’s hands on first down wiped out a potential touchdown. So far, both Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have had their way with the opposing defenses and it’s pretty obvious that the Packers offense is going to take another shot at the endzone.
Pre-snap: The Packers are in a 3-1-1 formation (3WR-1TE-1RB) with WR James Jones (89) aligned out wide to the left and TE Jermicheal Finley (88) inline to LT Marshall Newhouse (I’ve left the numbers off the picture for offensive linemen simply because there isn’t enough space with them all packed together; the line consists of the regular starters of LT Marshall Newhouse, LG TJ Lang, C Jeff Saturday, RG Josh Sitton and RT Byran Bulaga). WR Greg Jennings (85) is in the slot to the right while WR Jordy Nelson (87) aligns out wide to the right. QB Aaron Rodgers (12) is set out of the shotgun with RB Cedric Benson (32) to the right of him.
The Saints defense responds with their base 4-3 personnel: 4 defensive linemen (2 DT-2DL), 3 linebackers, 2 cornerback and 2 safeties. Pre-snap it appears to be a pretty vanilla defense, both corners are about 3 yards in front of the receivers out wide and one safety has aligned on top of WR Jennings (who strangely as the slot receiver is given about 5 yards of open space) No defender motions or moves once set (honestly, I have nothing to write about after the insanity of a Dom Capers defensive formation). Overall, a very standard personnel and formation.