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Cheesehead TV Matchup: Week 8 Offense

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Cheesehead TV Matchup: Week 8 Offense

  • Get Grant Going

The temptation for Mike McCarthy going into Sunday's game against the Vikings will be to throw the ball around the yard. His offense had major success working downfield last game against Minnesota's suspect safeties and the temptation will be even greater this week if Antonie Winfield does not suit up.

However, McCarthy would be doing himself and his team an immense disservice if he doesn't give the Vikings a heavy dose of his outside zone run. With Lang and Barbre in at tackle the line finally has the kinds of players it needs to make these plays work. Ryan Grant, for all his limitations, always runs well against the Vikings. His paltry 11 carries last time were partly due to the Packers being down early but that should all be a distant memory - McCarthy needs to run early and often, especially at Jared Allen, wherever he lines up. Seriously, early in the game, I would have Rodgers running 'check-with-me' on every play and have him call it to Allen's side every time just to let Lang and Barbre pound him. He's a different player on grass, as we saw last year in Lambeau and the year before at Kansas City. I like the matchup with Lang in particular just because he's so much more physical than Clifton in the run game. When Lang had to come in in Minnesota, the running game had long been abandoned. This time around, I hope we see more than a few after-the-whistle skirmishes between Lang and Allen.

Now, don't get me wrong - Rodgers and his receivers can make major hey against this secondary. And they no doubt will. But McCarthy can't get discouraged with the running game, no matter what the early results are. As much as Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson can be taken advantage off in straight dropbacks and shotgun, they can be absolutely turned inside out with a good playaction game - this was basically how the 49ers stayed in their game against the Vikings. If McCarthy can stick with Grant early, no matter how little yardage it's producing, it will pay dividends as the game goes on. This will also enable him to work more tight formations and spread things out less, which is preferable in a game where guys like Finley and Nelson won't be playing.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

bomdad's picture

Grant does have success vs the Vikes. I wonder if the threat of the passing games has kept Winfield "honest" in his approach to run support. He plays the run like an LB or safety. Check out DD's numbers against the Vikes 2005-2007, I would call that "burning"

Ron La Canne's picture

Key to the offense Sunday is block, Block,and BLOCK. If they can do that the playmakers will do their job. MM has to have the O line playing like it is the last game they will ever play.
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If the Queenies win Sunday, any chance for the division title is just about gone. At 7-1 and the Bears and Packers 5-3 (assume Packer win next week and Bear wins Sunday and next week). That will give the Queens an effective 3 game lead with 8 to play against the Packers ans still 2 games over the Bear. This is due to inter-divisional play. So MM this is the most important game you will play this year. Hit them early and hit them often. Never let up!
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Yes, there is still a good chance for the playoffs and that isn't all bad. However, I'm not ready to accept that just yet. This should be an emotional game for both the team and the fans.
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Metaphorically speaking, KILL BENT!

Just Pete's picture

They ran 11 of first 12 plays against Cleveland and failed on 4th down. They can't do that against the Vikings. They need to pass to set up the run. Quick slants and posts mixed with outside runs should do it. An occasional screen to Ahman Green also, he's the best at screens.

packeraaron's picture

Agree completely Pete - but McCarthy simply can't get away from the run like he has a tendency to do. I highly doubt we'll see the same type of openers we saw against the Browns - but I do think working off tackle will be heavily in the mix.

PackerFan4LIfe's picture

Aaron I just saw on KFFL.com that winfield is not going to play,

Vikings | Winfield ruled out for Week 8
Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:25:38 -0700

Tom Pelissero, of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, reports Minnesota Vikings CB Antoine Winfield (foot) did not practice Friday, Oct. 30, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

this is a huge break for the packers IMO. this gives aaron the chance to shred that horrible secondary they have and to make some HUGE plays

packeraaron's picture

PF4L - You need to get on Twitter man.

PackerFan4LIfe's picture

lol set me an account up...i can be the twitter rep for cheesehead tv

packeraaron's picture

I just meant that I re-Tweeted Pelissero a couple hours ago ;)

Glorious80s's picture

Vikings coaches were quoted earlier as wanting to stop the Packer's long game. See below.
A ball hogging offense will help keep BF and his Vikings on the bench picking up splinters, which is where I'd like to see him planted. May be the best way to hold off that offense.
Whatever they do, they must bring it, each GB player, to a level they haven't accomplished before. This is the kind of game they probably dreamed of as kids, no rings, but pride and more at stake.
As for the GB fans, they should avoid booing at mistakes, rather encourage the team, be the extra man on the field.
Go Pack - play one for the ages.

PACKERS's picture

I really like that idea of running Grant early and often. Grant had a great game last week, and that should give him the confidence to have another great day, especially with so much at stake in this game. It's also possible that signing Green woke Grant up a little :)

McCarthy can't be to dedicated to the run, as he was a little last year. Don't forget that the Pack have some of the greatest recievers in the league, and many new up-and-coming younger players like Fineley and Nelson, not to mention A-Rod. Without Winfield, it will he even easier to make those big plays, like Packer fan 4 life said.

PACKERS's picture

I can't believe I forgot the offensive line! That's bit something I usually do. I just have one question: Why is Babre still starting on Sunday. He's never played well all season.

NickGBP's picture

Anyone notice Grant is 3rd best in rushing yards in the NFC? Of course he gained most of them against one of the worst run defenses, and therefore that's overrating his stock a bit, but as I've said he's more than serviceable. Hopefully McCarthy sticks with the run and Ahman keeps that fire burning under Grant.

ggilmore's picture

If only McCarthy had ever stuck with the run game (when he wasn't vs. an inferior opponent like the Browns).

bucky's picture

<i>Rodgers and his receivers can make major hey against this secondary. </i>

"Major hey"? You can take Aaron out of Wisconsin. . . .

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