We all know Green Bay Packers tight [intlink id=”209″ type=”category”]Jermichael Finley[/intlink] is an impact player. We also know adding him to an already-potent offense could make the Packers almost unstoppable in 2011, but the National Football Post’s Matt Bowen says Finley is the key to beating the [intlink id=”13″ type=”category”]Chicago Bears[/intlink].
The Packers had significant trouble with the Bears last season.
They lost the first meeting 20-17 before winning the season finale 10-3 and the NFC Championship game 21-14. In all, only 11 points separated the two teams and the Packers offense had its struggles.
It could be a different story in 2011, if Finley, who spent most of 2010 on injured reserve, returns to his previous form. He played in only one game versus Chicago, last season.
The Bears run the Tampa 2 defense, which relies on pressure from their four-man front, drops three defenders deep and has four players underneath in coverage. This means middle linebacker Brian Urlacher is responsible for coverage in the middle of the field.
How do you defeat the Tampa 2 defense in Chicago? Get down the middle of the field and challenge middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and the two deep safeties.
QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have issues vs. Lovie Smith and the Chicago defense, and adding Finley back to the mix allows them to test the top of the scheme—which produces explosive plays. Much easier to target the defensive scheme when you have the player to get it done.
Finley’s combination of size and speed makes him a matchup problem for everyone, but the thought of him running down the middle of the field with Urlacher chasing him makes me absolutely giddy.
The Packers will probably still play some close games with the Bears, but the point differential should be greater than 11 if Finley stays healthy.
Of course, Finley is always capable of being a big factor, and even more so against a defense that likes to keep its safeties deep and cover the underneath routes by dropping LBs. On the other hand, Finley played the entire game at Chicago, had a big game, and yet that is the one game the Packers lost. Of course, the refs had something to do with that.