Patrick Kerney is getting all sorts of press after an outstanding regular season, and more importantly, just a dominate performance against the Washington Redskins. But the way people are carrying on, you’d think he was the second coming of Deacon Jones. Let’s all just slow down a little bit, shall we?
First of all, the Seahawks as a whole are a different team in the confines of Qwest Field. The offense plays better, usually provides a lead and the defense is then aided by an opposing offense that needs to deal with the thundering home crowd that makes it easy for Kerney and his line mates to get off the ball. Now, are they talented? Of course. But the Seahawks, and the defense in particular, is quite a different animal away from the upper Northwest. And Kerney is no different.
Looking at Kerney’s 14.5 sacks from the regular season, it’s interesting to note that just 4 of them came on the road, and 3 of those were at St. Louis against a horrible, banged up Rams offensive line. And the other came against the 49ers, who sport possibly one of the three worst offensive lines in football. Kereny’s whole game is taken away from him when the tackle opposite can get off on the actual snap count, rather than two beats after Kerney is already charging across the line. None of this is to say that the Packers should not pay attention if Mark Tauscher should struggle in the early going. But Tauscher handled Kerney the last time they faced each other when he was with Atlanta. (Not to mention Tauscher is worlds better than most of the scrubs Kereny has made his living against this season)
Finally, the best weapon the Packers will have against Kereny is Mike McCarthy. His playcalling and ability to keep the defense guessing will slow down the entire front seven. I won’t be surpised to see a liberal use of the play where Favre pump-fakes the slant pass and then hands the ball to Ryan Grant up the middle, since the blocking on that particular play allows Tauscher to let Kereny rush up the field and take himself out of the play.
All in all, yes Kereny needs to be accounted for. But the Packers have the tools necessary to neutralize him.