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Cory's Corner: Aaron Rodgers will answer the bell

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Cory's Corner: Aaron Rodgers will answer the bell

What is the football rule when a team continually overpursues on defense?

The quick answer is to throw it underneath or use a delayed handoff, and use that overpursuit as a weakness.

Last week, Aaron Rodgers was bothered and pestered for most of the game by arguably one of the best defenses in the game. DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller are the best tandem of quarterback seekers in the league.

And it doesn’t get any easier this week as Rodgers will have to deal with Kawann Short, Mario Addison, Jared Allen, Thomas Davis, Ryan Delaire and the Clay Matthews lookalike with short hair — Luke Kuechly.

This Panthers defense will come at you from all directions. And now that they are unbeaten, they are playing with plenty of confidence.

This group swarms to the ball and is showcasing some of the best team defense you’ll see all season, with the exceptions being St. Louis and Minnesota.

So how do you beat a team like this? First of all, you wear them out. Make them chase you all over the field. Run plenty of crossing routes and slants to gas the secondary. When the defensive linemen and linebackers see a succession of six-and-seven-yard passes, fingers will start to be pointed.

Next, you beat this team with time. You’re not going to ruin a team with a shiny 7-0 record with a big play. But you will melt their spirit with a million paper cuts. Rodgers must recognize where the pressure is coming from and either step up if it’s crumbling around him or sidestep it and make a throw on the run. This makes the secondary cover for another three seconds and also makes defensive linemen and linebackers chase a quarterback they know will be throwing the ball well before they get there.

The key is to keep the chains moving and punish the defense by keeping them out there as long as possible.

Is this Rodgers’ best receiving corps? Not a chance. His tight end is slow and inconsistent and all of his wideouts are banged up. But getting outside the pocket turns Rodgers into a dual threat and takes press coverage out of the equation.

We all would like to know why Eddie Lacy is only averaging 42 yards a game. Maybe it’s because he’s put on some weight due to a bad ankle. But his vision from two years ago isn’t there as well.

And then there’s the offensive line that doesn’t look like the unit that was hailed as one of the best units in the league in August. The only consistent players thus far have been Corey Linsley and Josh Sitton.

Those things won’t likely be fixed by this week though. It’s up to Rodgers to beat Carolina in the frustratingly maddening way. The younger brother knows he’s on the verge of NFC supremacy, but what kills him is that his older brother can still beat him with one hand tied behind his back.

That’s the Packers. They live and die with Rodgers. Is it fair to put all that pressure on No. 12? Probably not. He hasn’t had a dynamic tight end since Jermichael Finley. His left tackle, arguably the No. 2 position on a team, has been exposed this year and not one receiver has proven that he can be the home run hitter this team needs.

But despite all that, Rodgers will get off the mat and send a gut punch throughout the greater Charlotte area. Since 2009, Rodgers has followed up a loss with a loss only twice.

The slumpbuster isn’t about to fail against a quarterback that belongs in the same conversation as Colin Kaepernick. 


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

porupack's picture

As I said in last few posts, there isn't any compelling reason why the result on the field will be different than last week (or 4 games prior). You Just saying we've got to move the chains, isn't a strategy. It means schemes to get receivers open, and more pre-snap decisions where the ball is going like Denver and Chargers schemed. I think your prescription of quick passes to keep the offense on the field is correct. I would say pass first, run second almost like a 2 minute drill for the first 3 series. I agree that the key is to frustrate panthers D and tire them out. By mid second quarter, then start Lacy on run 1st down.

But, McCarthy didn't strategize thusly, and predictably played into Broncos D strategy.

So, judging from past, Packers get beat because GB defense hasn't beaten good Olines, can't stop underneath pass attack, and yields too many rush yards w poor tackling and not sealing the edge last few games. They have allowed breakout games by opposing offenses. No evidence McCarthy changes-er-up. 6-2 on Monday. Hope I'm wrong.

DaTomkat's picture

Right on Cory ! A million paper cuts is exactly the ticket. It not only protects Aaron, frustrates the pass rush, it helps out the O line. Every week I say "get rid of the ball faster Aaron before you get crunched". Two step drop and bang 5-6-7 yards. You see other teams do it all the time and I say if they can do it Aaron sure as hell can. He is the best there is. A home run shot every once and awhile to keep them honest and bang the run up the middle (no dancing) . BINGO=Win

4thand1's picture

He got the ball out quick against the Chiefs, look how that turned out.

Nick Perry's picture

Exactly 4th and that's what I totally expected him to do last week. Houston and Hali weren't really factors against them in week 2. Denvers CB's are better than Carolina's and we gave Tillman the blues in Chicago, but use a lot of motion. Put Cobb and Monty (Hopefully) in the backfield and let them go to work. I like our chnaces with Cobb and/or Monty coming out of the backfield with a 2 way break. Quick passing, get Lacy/Starks going early, and stop the run.

Dan Stodola's picture

The difference is they played KC in GB and Denver on the road. Nobody seems to mention what an advantage it is for pass rushers at home when the opposing OT have to look in at the snap. It keeps the OT in their stance that .5 sec longer and gives the pass rushers a HUGE advantage.

From what I heard Denver was an extremely motivated home team (and crowd) playing for its owner. It was the loudest that stadium has ever been and it gave Ware Miller and other pass rushers a chance to beat the OT, along w/ the outstanding CB's who didn't allow the receivers a good release.

It evolved into a perfect storm which the Packers were really unfortunate to walk into. The Carolina game is going to be another stiff test, but a somewhat easier assignment overall.

wimiller's picture

and he couldn't even get the ball out quick against Denver because no receivers were open on the quick routes. so get rid of it quick still requires receivers to break press coverage. and dump offs to the backs are not quick , but after three seconds of not finding an open receiver. Looks like 6-2 to me too. If Owen Daniels had the middle of the field to himself last week imagine what Olson will have, even if the Newton cannot throw as accurately as Manning. He will not have to because Olson will have five yards between him and nearest defender

MarkinMadison's picture

If Adams, Cobb and Lacy can shake their injuries and start making plays then this game will turn out differently than last week. Absent that, I just don't see it. Even then, this O-line has to get some things figured out.

Scoring points is going to be a real challenge. Keeping the defense off the field is going to be a real challenge. Until the Packers get healthier they are going to get beat by winning teams.

Since '61's picture

Cory - you have provided a prescription for defeating the Carolina defense which is a prescription for defeating most defenses. However, it is also only half of a prescription for victory. The Packers defense needs to show up as well and stop the read option. They also need to get pressure on Cam and get him to make some bad throws that can be turned into picks. The defense needs to get back to stopping the run like it did earlier in the season. Then our blitzes and pass defense will be more effective. If we can cover Gronk we can cover Olson. Get it done, win the one on ones, and go get this game. No excuses. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

As a note, back on allgbp (so this is probably a year ago) there was considerable discussion and articles on Lacyś lack of good vision. I'd summarize the conclusion as his vision is not terrible but is less than average, and that he does leave yards on the field.

I don´t disagree with Porupack in general, but I do not think Carolinaś defense is nearly as good as Denverś defense, but I do think Carolinaś D is good, so it will be an interesting test. Carolina has 1 really good CB, Norman, and he plays outside and in zone. They have not moved Norman around to match up with the other team´s best WR in the past, he plays one side only. They have a decent but not great slot CB - Bene - and their safeties are very mediocre. Carolina has 2 very good coverage LBs in Davis and Kuechly (and Shaq if he plays). I would abandon the TE in this game - the LBs can cover R Rodgers easily, so they do not have to sub in a DB, Rodgers can not block so he is no help in the running game or in the pass pro. [Now watch RR have that career game - I'd rather he had a great game than me be right.] I see a close game in the upper teens to low 20 for each team.

Tarynfor12's picture

Unless the WR's stop giving free piggy-back rides to the DBs and LBs ,those 6-7 successive 10+ yd plays won't happen.
The OL needs to stop looking like a store owner who forgot to pull down the security gate and lock it to prevent 'break-ins' as opposed to....
Our defense not being prison guards as it appears they would be guarding empty cells without knowing otherwise...prisoners running and leaping over walls at will.

Hopefully last week was an 'honest' self scout with each player/coach checking the 'I would fire me' box at it's conclusion.

This game will say much about that self scouting and how much they didn't like what they seen.I can accept a loss in Carolina but another 'no show' will not help the 4 games in 19 days schedule that comes next no matter how bad the Division teams are in the minds of some Packer fans.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

LOL. Our WRs do need to stop giving free piggy back rides to opposing CBs. Great line. Pithy, sarcastic, and funny!

D Ernesto's picture

To not take anything away from Rogers, I don't think he has that good a receiving core. Yes, we lost Gordy and that hurts bit time but look at whats left over hurts more.
Davante Adams and Richard R are weak links. Neither has the speed to get in the open and make plays. Thus teams are doubling on Cobb. Ty M is always hurt it seems so perhaps his body can't take the NFL beat downs, who knows.

All I'm saying is with this group, you can't expect a lot. I left out James J because he lost a lot of speed and is great in the end zone but his down field presence isn't what it used to be. Thus, I'm cutting Rogers a lot of slack, it ain't all on him.

Samson's picture

AR has to rebound or GB will be playing the Vikes in a couple weeks destined to be in 2nd place in the North. -- Carolina is a quality opponent with the Pack hurting & having very little depth in key positions. (esp. the DBs & WRs)). --- If Carolina scores 1st, GB is in trouble.

Nick Perry's picture

WOW!!! You mean if Carolina goes up 3-0 the Packers should just call it a day, lick their wounds like a Dog, and roll over? Gimmie a Break. Dan was absolutely right in his description of the Denver Game last week, it WAS the "Perfect Storm".
I'm not suggesting the Packers don't have problems, but I think they can be fixed. Cobb has already said he needs to play better for his Football Team. He said the same thing last year before the week 4 game last year against the Bears and that began his best season ever.
You should worry about your own team today. Floyd and Kendricks are out and Barr has a bad back. I bet you wished you drafted Derick Carr too don't you Samson? If not you might after today because he's not shown much at all.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Samson is a vikings fan, not a packers fan. He comes here to say some negative things, often without any rationale or facts. That is the definition of trolling.

As it happens in this particular instance, I have posted on Acme that getting the lead is very important for GB's success, but I still object to trolling by folks like Samson.

Rossonero's picture

1. Ball needs to come out of Rodgers hand quickly.
2. WRs need to run shorter routes.
3. Do a screen pass!
4. Get creative -- jet sweeps, misdirection plays, even a fake punt or FG.
5. Get the running game going. Lacy has nowhere to go.

1. Keep Hayward in the slot. It's where he belongs.
2. Watch out for Greg Olsen.
3. Don't let Cam run the read option.
4. Be aggressive with Carolina WRs. These are not Denver WRs by a long shot.

Lphill's picture

Packers defense would be better this year if they had Hawk and Woodson, good moves by Ted Thompson. Hawk did his job if you don't agree you don't know football that well, most of the time he was supposed to take on blockers to free others up. He would being doing good this year keeping blockers off Clay.


Nick Perry's picture

Woodson I agree with you on, Hawk not so much. Wood was such a great leader and locker room guy. With Burnett back I like our Safeties just fine though.

croatpackfan's picture

It is not fair to David Bakhtiari... Dewnver did not made any sack over him, but they made one of each over Josh Sitton, over Cory Linsley and over Brian Bulaga. And Eddie Lacy has no vision, because there is no free light in front of him, nowhere. Why? Because OL is playing terrible, particularly middle of the OL - Sitton, Linsley and Lang! Stop calling the names with out reason to be called. David was playing good game in Denver.

mdPACKERSfan's picture

#RodgersRolls... (Both of them)

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