- Start Fast
McCarthy took the training wheels off Aaron Rodgers and the offense in the second half during the loss to the Carolina Panthers. It was symbolic of the entire season, with McCarthty playing things incredibly safe on offense until the game started to slip away. All of the sudden, he starts running verticals, he sends out an array of multiple receiver sets, and lo and behold, the offense moves the ball up and down the field. Too often McCarthy has come out with an ultra conservative opening sequence of plays that has produced three games that have started with two three and outs. While this is going on, of course, the defense is busy giving up both big, quick strike scores and long, grind-it-out drives for scores. Either way, the pattern is set for McCarthy to start opening things up later in the game. That needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. I'm not saying he needs to come out in Big Five, but it does mean that on 2nd and 3, rather than calling a 4 yard slant with an 8 yard curl backside, he needs to start opening with a 15 yard In with a Fly pattern on the backside - get those defensive backs working and thinking and get those safeties back from the line of scrimmage, because right now, teams are squatting on the Packers big-time at the opening of games and it is killing them. The Packers need to get their defense a lead for a change. Notice how dominate this defense looked against the Colts and Bears when they had even a two score advantage. McCarthy stressed this week the importance of each unit needing to lift the other units up when they are struggling - this would be a prefect way to put those words into action.
- Get Brandon Jackson Involved On Early Downs
McCarthy has unequivocally stated that Ryan Grant is the starter, despite Brandon Jackson's excellent performance in relief of an injured Grant last week. But it seems pretty clear that Jackson is the best back on the team right now. He is more explosive, has better hands and is better in pass protection (who thought THAT would ever be said of Jackson) - the only area where Grant MAY have an advantage is in his raw power but that doesn't do him much good when he is getting tripped up at the ankles the few times he is making into the defensive secondary. Jackson needs to see the ball early and often, (provided, of course, that he plays. He was listed on the injury report early in the week but was a full participant in yesterday's practice...) not just on obvious 3rd down situations where the entire stadium knows he's either going to catch a screen pass or stay in to pass protect. The Texans have one of the best defensive ends in the league in Mario Williams and a very good middle linebacker in Demco Ryans but most of the rest of the Texan defense is pedestrian (save for perhaps Dunta Robinson, who is a talent, but is still rounding into shape after his knee injury) - McCarthy should use a combination of Grant and Jackson to keep this defense off balance and take advantage of a pretty weak safety position. Once Wilson and/or Ferguson are up trying to stop the run - Jennings and Driver will make the Texans look foolish.
- Don't Forget About Owen Daniels
All the previews for this game will no doubt feature the Packers need to focus on and stop Andre Johnson and Steve Slaton and this, of course, is true. But defensive coordinator Bob Sanders would be wise to remind his squad that when Texan quarterback Matt Schaub, who returns this week, is starting for the Texans, he has made tight end Owen Daniels, all but forgoten when backup Sage Rosenfelds was in for the Texans, one of the teams most dangerous weapons. Even with Schaub missing several games, Daniels is currently ranked 4th in the league in recieving yards for tight ends. That does not bode well for the Packers defense. Now throw this little nugget into the conversation - Brandon Chillar, not just the best cover man in the linebacking corps and the player most likely to cover Daniels, but also the ONLY linebacker with any coverage ability whatsoever - will be a gametime decision. Great.
Hey, a boy can dream, can't he?
- Like Like
- 0 points