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Cheesehead TV Matchup: Week Two Offense

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Cheesehead TV Matchup: Week Two Offense

Brandon Jackson  Should Have A Big Game

This may come as a shock to Packer fans but Brandon Jackson can do the job that he'll be asked to do starting this Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are one game into their transition to a 3-4 defense under first year coordinator George Ewards. Against the Dolphins, Edwards played two high safeties almost exclusively and he rarely blitzed. And if that's how he treats Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, I can't imagine he'll drop a safety down and dare Aaron Rodgers and company to beat him.

If the Bills do indeed stay with seven men in the box, Brandon Jackson should be able to make a living running through the middle, especially to the weak side of the formation. (Football tradition holds that the way to attack the 3-4 is by running weakside and I think the Packers will follow suit here) Look for three or four iso-power plays from John Kuhn as well to not only bring a change of pace but to keep Jackson fresh. (Kuhn's leg drive was amazing last week)

Of course, getting through a three man line is one thing - doing something when you get to the second and third level is another. Packer fans have long bemoaned Ryan Grant's inability to either break tackles or evade the final tackler when he reaches the secondary. While I don't think Jackson will be a huge improvement in either of these areas, I do believe he has a bit more ability in both.

This will be the second week in a row the Packers will be facing a defense that has lost it's best linebacker (Paul Posluszny sprained his knee last week and will not play) This bodes very well for Jackson and the running game as a whole. Take a look below at Jackson running through an arm tackle plus how well he navigates the missed block of Josh Sitton at the line of scrimmage.

One of the other areas that has caused fans consternation about the running game over the years is the "running into the back of the offensive lineman" phenomenon. Ryan Grant has been the leading culprit, but everyone from Brandon Jackson to DeShawn Wynn to Vernand Morency has been guilty of it at one time or another.

This past Sunday, the play below from Jackson was encouraging if only because there have been many times where we've seen running plays similar to this where Grant has taken the handoff and kept heading left right into Daryn Colledge. Jackson sees the perfectly formed cutback lane, hits the hole, and picks up 10 yards.

The combination of the Buffalo defensive philosophy and Jackson's ability should make for a good day on the ground for the Packers this Sunday.

  • Rodgers Should Take What The Defense Gives Him

As well as the prospect of two deep safeties with limited blitzing plays out for Brandon Jackson and the running game, the exact opposite is true of Aaron Rodgers and the passing game. Last year Rodgers was by far the most accurate quarterback in the NFL when pressured. (In a sign that there could be peace in our time, the stat geeks at both Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus agree on this point)  Where he has occasionally struggled over the last two seasons is when defensive coordinators sit back and make him drive the length of the field. And you can bet the Bills will be doing plenty of sitting back, keeping everything in front of their safeties and forcing the Packers to put together nine, ten and eleven play drives.

One of the reasons the Bills can play this way is the talent they have in their secondary. Terrence McGee, Drayton Florence, Donte Whitner and Jarius Byrd could possibly be the most talented CB and safety tandem the Packers will face this season. Along with Reggie Corner and Ashton Youbouty, this is the rare secondary that has the depth to matchup well with the Packers' receivers.

Which makes it all the more important that Rodgers relax, take what the defense gives him, and run the offense. The Bills have seen the tape from the Eagles game.  You can be sure they will try to get Chad Clifton and especially Mark Tauscher isolated one on one with their outside linebackers on passing downs. And you can be sure they will try to rush no more than four on any given down.

Most importantly, when Rodgers is presented with a 3rd and two and has a wide open reciever, as he does below, he should just hit it and take the first down rather than continually looking downfield:

Rodgers will have ample opportunities in the short and intermediate passing game against the Bills. He needs to fight the urge to push the ball downfield, work the ball down the field with the short passing game and make the Bills pay when they finally start bringing a safety down into the box to stop Jackson and Kuhn.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

hoogus's picture

"While I don't think Jackson will be a huge improvement in either of these areas, I do believe he has a bit more ability in both."

I think he has a little less.

I get the criticisms of Grant. But that doesn't make Jackson better.

packeraaron's picture

That's just, like, your opinion man.

CJ in Guatemala's picture

rofl at the reference Aaron hahaha.

Packer_Pete's picture


I am totaly on board with you when it comes to B Jax. I believe he will make a believer out of all the doubters fairly quickly.

WoodyG's picture

Most of the doubters only doubt his ability to be effective & injury-free for the next 15 games ....... He will be effective if he can just keep the opponent's defense thinking run on occasion ........

I can sense people relaxing with a trio of BJ, Kuhn & Nance ....... Only because the schedule has the Pack playing the Bills, Bears, Lions & Redskins in the next four weeks ....

How relaxed would everyone be if our next four opponents were the Vikings, Pats, Jets & Falcons (or Cowboys) .... They are all coming up ...... Sooner than you realize.

CSS's picture

I live in the Vikings market, won't see the game this weekend. NFL redzone is free this weekend for anybody interested:

Hope to see the Packers frequently...Go Pack!

FITZCORE1252's picture

Dude. NFL Sunday Ticket. C'mon.

WoodyG's picture


You really are a 'BJ Homer' ...... Hope you're right about BJ & that he comes off the field everytime w/o any help ..... Will Nance be activated & even able to contribute if pressed into service? ...... Can Kuhn be the primary RB for say 15+ carries? ....... It's a high-risk maneuver just to salvage a future draft pick ...... But it's early.

PackerFan4Life's picture

I think B Jack will surprise a lot of people this weekend he finally got this starting job back and I would place money on it that he runs his butt off to hold on to it. I think that was 1st game jitters for Rodgers and he will have his head on straight this go around. Not taking anything away from the bills secondary but they are out their best Linebacker and their safety Cary Harris.

Tarynfor12's picture

I'm not close to jumping on the BJ wagon as yet,but if he doesn't run close to AMOK status on the Bills,I may need to get the little red wagon from the little bastard dowm the street and run BJ over with it.
This is the game to show his game or not!!!

FITZCORE1252's picture

"I may need to get the little red wagon from the little bastard dowm the street and run BJ over with it."

Time to up your dosage.

I do agree with this though - "This is the game to show his game or not!!!"


Tommyboy's picture

Here's just a little side-note to serve as another reason to pull for BJ. My brother-in-law is a street magician and was performing at a benefit in Lambeau. BJ was the player-guest for the event and had a staff member glued to his ear, reminding him that he was only obligated to be there one hour. The second that hour was up, the staff member informed Jackson and encouraged him to leave. Jackson, however, stayed the remaining two hours watching the show, and signing autographs relentlessly...even I got one on a 3 of diamonds :). My brother-in-law said he was just extremely impressed as Jackson appeared genuinely appreciative of the fan support and wanted to interact with the stuff...

Tarynfor12's picture

The real horror in that is....that!!!
A true Magic Act...people actually waiting for a BJ....autograph

FITZCORE1252's picture

From all the locker room interviews I've seen through the years, he seems like a really good guy who wants to do well. I'm rooting for him. Cool story.

MarkinMadison's picture

Very nice story. And I'd stand in line and take an autograph from any Packer. Well, not Chewy or Favra, but any Packer currently on the roster, and most of the others.

Oppy's picture

The only knock I can find in Brandon Jackson's game over the years has been his hesitancy and indecisiveness in making cuts on occasion- much like Ryan Grant- but I've seen less and less of that the last two years.

Brandon Jackson is quick (though maybe not fast), he's slippery (numerous examples of him wiggling out of first contact), and he always keeps his legs churning hard which allows him to break some tackles and fall forward for a few extra yards. Every time he's been given significant attempts, he has performed adequately to well.

He's literally bursting at the seams with joy and excitement to get the opportunity to take all the snaps in all of his recent locker room interviews. He can't contain a smile, and his energy is infectious at this point.

Brandon Jackson's presence on the field for the last three years has automatically tipped our hand to the defense- Jackson lined up as a single back = pass play. Having Brandon as the full-time RB takes that indicator away from defenses. That will be a bigger blessing than many realize, and will further aid this offense.

What's not to like? Brandon has absolutely EARNED the OPPORTUNITY to showcase his talents, and there's no doubt he realizes this is what may be his "once in a lifetime" chance. For him, it's either prove he's a starting caliber back, or be relegated to career 3rd down back. He's ready to capitalize. I think he will.

MarkinMadison's picture

The passing game under McCarthy/Rodgers is a little puzzling to me. If you're running a West Coast offense the focus should not be so much on the down-field throw. But that seems to be Rodgers' problem. And it goes back to the late Favra/Sherman era. If Rodgers goes old school 49ers this weekend he'll have a QB rating in the 130s.

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