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Green Bay Packers: Three Second Half Solutions

Jordy Nelson and Aaron Rodgers

The second half of the season gets underway this week for the Green Bay Packers. The second-half schedule is considerably easier than the first half was. Only three of the remaining eight games are on the road (Minnesota, Buffalo and Tampa Bay). Four games are against winning teams (Philadelphia, New England, Buffalo and Detroit).

Who the hell knew Buffalo had a winning football team? Probably no one outside of Buffalo. But let us all pause and admire the wizardry of Neck Beard…

Okay, as you’ve probably deducted, three of the four games against winning teams are at home. So the Packers certainly should be making a playoff push in the second half, with 11-5 or 10-6 seeming like a very realistic final record.

The NFC North may very well come down to the final game of the season, when Detroit comes to town. That is, providing the Lions don’t realize they’re the Lions and shit the bed down the stretch.

Now that we’ve painted that picture, let’s paint this one. We all know the Green Bay Packers have some problems. They’re problems the Packers aren’t going to correct during the season. Namely, stopping the run.

You can either stop the run or you can’t and the Packers can’t. Guys who can play the run effectively aren’t just going to sprout from the ground, so the Packers will have to go get some in the offseason. Or not… as is their M.O.

That being said, here’s how the Packers can win enough games to punch a ticket to the playoffs and earn the right to get bounced by the San Francisco 49ers for the 18th consecutive season.

1. Commit to the run
The Green Bay Packers have a couple guys who can run the football pretty effectively. Their names are Eddie Lacy and James Starks. Lacy is averaging 4.1 yards per carry this season. Starks is averaging 4.4.

Of course, Buffoon is unaware that these guys are on his roster. Lacy is on pace for 210 carries. That would be 74 fewer carries than he had as a rookie in 2013. Starks is on almost exactly the same pace as he was last season. So it isn’t as if Lacy is getting fewer carries because Starks is getting more.

The result is the Packers are 25th in the NFL in rushing, with 97.5 yards per game. In 2013, they were seventh, with 133.5 yards per game. What are we getting at, other than the Packers aren’t running the ball as much this season?

It all goes back to the shitty run defense. When your defense sucks, you want to keep it the hell off the field. One way to do that is to run the football and control time of possession. The Packers have the horses to do just that. They need to utilize them.

2. Put the pressure on the secondary
When it comes to the Packers defense, the secondary is clearly the strength.

For multiple reasons, including that one, the Packers play a lot of nickel. When they do so, they’re giving the opposition an invitation to run the football. The Packers nickel package is simply not good against the run. That package is filled with guys who like to miss tackles and that results in big rushing plays.

The Packers are much better against the run when they play their base defense. Of course, that puts the pressure on the secondary, as teams are more likely to pass against four defensive backs. Well, so what?

It’s clear the Packers can’t stop the run when they’re playing nickel all the time. They’re somewhat more competent when they’re in base. So play base more often and ask the strength of the defense — the secondary — to step up.

This means more one-on-one coverage. It might result in some big pass plays from time to time. It should also result in fewer missed tackles and career days for shitbirds like Mark Ingram.

More base equals better run defense and worse pass defense, but the Packers worse pass defense should still be better than 80 percent of the rest of the league. Their run defense can’t get any worse and this secondary can cover one-on-one.

3. Bring back the 4-3
Remember when the Packers were going to adjust the scheme to their personnel instead of the other way around?

They started the season playing a good deal of 4-3 in addition to their usual 3-4. The Packers have personnel better suited to the 4-3. At first, they were understandably awful in the 4-3. A few games in, the defense looked like it was finding its groove in the 4-3. Then that package pretty much disappeared.

Why?

Probably because Buffoon and his buddy Dom are a couple of hard-headed assholes. It’s not the scheme that’s the problem, it’s pad level. We’ve just got to get our pad level right and everything will fall into place!

If the Packers are forced to play more base, which they certainly should be, then we know they’re going to generate a better pass rush with their 4-3 (which adds Mike Neal as a down lineman), than they will in their 3-4.

Ultimately, that’s the Packers’ best recipe for shoring up their run defense AND being able to disrupt the opposition’s passing game at the same time.

And that’s what a defense is supposed to do, isn’t it?

Of course, we have our doubts that any of these tactics will be employed. This is Green Bay, where we do things the same! Always, the same! We’ll just rely on Aaron Rodgers being really, really good and that’s all we need!

So get ready for more 3-4, nickel and less running game. That should allow the Packers to scrape into the playoffs just fine and then get bounced in the first round like usual.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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17 Comments

  1. MJ November 3, 2014

    From seeing the Patriots defense upset Peyton Manning and ours to barely disturb Brees I can spot the following.
    They form closer to the line of scrimmage. Less off-man. The thing that Shawn and/or Monty pointed out Drew Brees kept exploiting. They made Denver earn every yard.

  2. scrotal laceration November 3, 2014

    On the bright side, we will probably get to see Brandon Marshall be a little bitch and start crying after the game.

    What I dont understand though, in regards to fucking with the run game… Is that it seams that whenever Eddie starts to get hot, they take him out. It makes no sense to me

  3. Cheese November 3, 2014

    Fuckin pad level…. always holding us back. If only they could get some Australian pad level expert to teach us his ways maybe we could get back to the pad level championship.

  4. Please November 3, 2014

    Commit to the run? We have the horses? Are you serious? At this time here’s all you need to know….The Packers ARE Aaron Rodgers. The only reason they won a Super Bowl was due to Aaron Rodgers. They have no defense, a shoddy offensive line, a weak GM and mediocre coaching at best. Rodgers needs the ball in hands as much as possible….every time he hands off the opposing team is ecstatic.

    Peyton Manning and Tom Brady teams never consume themselves with how they need to become a running team. They are consumed with scoring points. They have Hall of Fame QBs and they always run off their passing game. Yesterday Manning attempted 57 passes while Brady attempted 53. The more Rodgers throws the better the Packers are and it will always be that way.

    1. Tundraboy November 4, 2014

      I agree but they can not protect well enough which is why they have to run screens and play action and get Lacy in the passing game. Worked pretty well last week. Manning has all day to throw and like Brady is not above the short passing game.

  5. Skinny November 3, 2014

    Exactly, that’s why im all for Rodgers throwing 60 times a game. Rodgers would throw 50 tds and 5000 yards every season if McNutty would take is tits out of the playbook and realize he has a hall of fame qb too.

  6. MMTTDCSUCK November 3, 2014

    McGlurpy is a buffoon! He is the most over-rated coach in the NFL, not the worst, but the most over-rated. Capers is out of touch. Just that, nothing more. If he cannot see how bad his hairpiece is, how is he supposed to breakdown and see how offenses work? The Packers should have jettisoned both of these fucktards a few years ago! The O and D is knee deep in mediocrity, and headed for yet another “one and done” in the upcoming playoff’s. Oh, and fuck TT as well for not getting rid these two bozo’s

  7. [email protected] November 3, 2014

    Committing to the run or protecting Aaron Rodgers….both things the O line cannot do consistently. Can anyone get a stat on whether A-Rog is the most sacked QB in the NFL again this year?

    Amazing how many talking sports heads have forgotten that we couldn’t stop the run last year, either, but think this year its all because of BJ Raji’s absence. The defense is horrible, whether it be scheme issues or talent.

    O-Line still porous, Defense still stinks. I’ve been bitching about the same effing things since 2011, but no one listens to the broad!

    I guess at this point in the season I’d rather be lucky than good, so here’s hoping & praying that Detroit falls apart, Seattle gets stomped by AZ twice & don’t even make the playoffs, that San Fran flames out & that if we have to face NOLA in the playoffs let it be at Lambeau….

    Oh, and lets hope we don’t shit the bed at home Sunday night. I will be forced to watch the game with Bears fan relatives…..and I have had the smarts to take Monday off in preparation for a tremendous hangover and/or an arraignment hearing.

    Can I count on anyone at TP for a little bail money???

    GO PACK GO!!!

    1. Skinny November 3, 2014

      If they don’t beat NE in a couple weeks they aren’t going anywhere. Rodgers has to win that fuckin game for me to say this team is for real in January. I know that statement doesn’t make sense now, but it will down the road.

      1. MJ November 5, 2014

        Agreed. NE and DEN are the teams that are now setting the standard.

  8. kato November 3, 2014

    Because please, that is not winning football. Yeah, the pats and broncos win games with their qbs throwing the ball all over the field. But what good has that done either team? Neither has won a super bowl in the past 8 years.

    1. MJ November 3, 2014

      Both have been quite closer than us. Denver even sniffed it last season.

      We keep going one and done. Oh, and both have reinforced what were their weaknesses.
      DEN lost Decker, added Sanders, who is actually playing bigger than Decker. They added Demarcus Ware.

      As for NE: their OC/DC are extremely creative using their often average personnel. They reinforced the secondary with two top shelf CBs: Revis and Browner.

      To those signings we can oppose the so far so good 2014 Draft. But that is loading a rookie’s shoulders with a big responsibility, and that
      is not the safest bet. Maybe seasons 2015 or 2016 will reap the benefits from the past two Drafts (2013, 2014). But again, to the cost of having wasted some of Rodgers’ prime years.

    2. Please November 3, 2014

      Actually defense still wins championships no matter what anyone says. You need a good defense and a great QB or a fantastic defense and an average QB. What did/do the Giants, Niners, Seahawks and Ravens have in common? That’s right…defense. What did the Broncos try to add to their losing Super Bowl team….again, defense. The Packers had just enough defense in 2010 to win a Super Bowl (Cullen Jenkins, Nick Collins, Desmond Bishop, Charles Woodson) and they had a great QB.

      It’s a fallacy to believe that the Packers have the personnel or the fortitude to run the ball consistently. For many years the Packers couldn’t and can’t make a 3rd and 1. They couldn’t in their Super Bowl year either. Did you have confidence in running the ball in the 4th and 1 against the Saints a week ago? How about the Lion’s game when we were inside are own 1? In that game I thought if we ran it would be a 50/50 flip whether we make it out of the end zone. It would be nice to get a yard when you need it but that hasn’t been possible for most all of McCarthy’s tenure. We need quality lineman and they need to be coached up (but they also need to keep that pad level down:)

      1. DJ November 3, 2014

        Exactly. Very well said. People bitched about the failed throw to Peppers last week when our brutal reality is that throwing it to a DE/LB has an equal if not better chance of success in short yardage/goal line than handing it off to one of our RBs. THAT is the state of our run game. Take away ARod, factor in the injuries to the OL, and those yds per carry Monty is gushing about get chopped in half…if not more. And the ONLY reason they got so many carries last yr was because ARod went down…and we went 2-4-1 I think .

        Monty is right about protecting the defense though. The question is how do we do it? You can argue run game/time of possession but that is a double edged sword….the more we shorten the game, the longer teams will stay in the game with us, have their entire playbook available to them (which is kryptonite to our D), and frankly, it is EXACTLY what teams have & will try to do to us every game out. Why? To keep ARod off the field & exploit our inability to stop the run.

        I would argue: Score. Score as much as possible. That means get Rodgers on his front foot & in rhythm and go….and keep building the run game off that. Make the opp one dimensional as fast as possible which plays to our def strengths of defending & rushing the passer. Is that ideal? Hell no. Is that a recipe for post season success? Probably not. But it plays to the strengths of our personnel on both sides of the ball. Hell, even Clay said before the Saints game “The best defense is a good offense.” We are who are (!!) & we shouldnt risk wins by trying to be what we think we ought to be. We just got race tracked by a 2-4 team. We’ll worry about the playoffs IF & WHEN we get there. Meanwhile, lets just get there!

      2. Tundraboy November 4, 2014

        Yes and they cant score touchdowns from the $%*^*&* 3 yard line

  9. Organicbuzz November 3, 2014

    Run defense has sucked quite afew years since SB. Time for a change at defense coordinator before Mr Rodgers retires. Uncle Ted has major flops in the draft concerning defense too.

  10. MJ November 5, 2014

    Short passes can also chew up the clock. Supposed you complete those passes, which it would be safe to assume we can, it is enough for the WRs to avoid running towards the sideline.