Cory's Corner: Packers Must Mix It Up

Green Bay must answer Indy's physicality with a dose of their own.  

 

 

Now it's all about respect. 

The Packers got their doors blown off in Week 6 by Tampa Bay. The Bucs blew Green Bay off the line of scrimmage and it was never a game. Aaron Rodgers was hurried 13 times and sacked six times and the defense gave up 158 yards on the ground. 

After that game, the narrative was that the Packers are soft and shy away from hard-nosed football. 

Now the Packers get a chance to show everyone that they can play in their fast, misdirection style while also stuffing it in your face.

The Colts want to do the same things that Tampa did. What's scary is that this Indy defense is better than Tampa's defense. It's nearly impossible to gain a first down on short yardage against this Colts defense and they are also No. 2 in the league by only giving up 198.7 passing yards a game.

"You can tell everybody's on the same page and they fly around," said Packers coach Matt LaFleur, who owns a sparkling 13-3 road record in his second season. "It's one of the faster units we'll have played this year. They're physical, they know how to attack the ball. And it's hard to get big plays on them. So we're going to have to do a great job."

It's funny that LaFleur mentioned the Colts defense on the same page, because the Packers offense recently has not been on the same page. It started in a Week 8 loss to Minnesota and matriculated to last week's embarrassing win over Jacksonville that saw J.K. Scott punt five times, which was the most punts he's had since the 2019 regular season finale. 

The best way for the Packers to bounce back is to find their running legs. They are averaging 97 yards a game on the ground in the last seven games. Remember the play-action bootlegs and misdirection? And that is predicated on a solid running game, the oil of any offensive machine. 

Especially with Davante Adams being hobbled with a bad ankle. He's going to play, but his reward is to go up against Xavier Rhodes, a corner he has seen plenty of times in Rhodes' seven years with the Vikings. Rhodes is having a tremendous season by only allowing only five catches and 33 yards a game.

The Packers aren't going to have the home run ball. They may struggle running the football again. Aaron Rodgers is going to be pressured all day long. 

How is this team going to respond. Green Bay knows that the Colts will likely own the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, which means that the Packers must mix it up. Do something different that opposing teams haven't seen yet. In order to gain an edge, the Packers must try something early. That could mean bringing extra pressure early on and making Philip Rivers look over his shoulder or throw a play-action bomb on the first play of the game. 

The Packers got punched in the mouth in Tampa. They need to look themselves in the mirror and decide what needs to change, or else it's going to be a long day. 

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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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Comments (32)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Hematite's picture

November 21, 2020 at 06:40 am

As much as I hate to say it, I think we're in for a long and frustrating day.

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Renllaw's picture

November 21, 2020 at 07:25 am

This is a game is where trading for a D-lineman would have come in handy.

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stockholder's picture

November 21, 2020 at 07:45 am

Expect Turmoil.

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Guam's picture

November 21, 2020 at 08:08 am

The only good news is that the Colts leading pass rusher is out on virus watch and won't play. Maybe that will give Rodgers some breathing room.

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scoonie_penn's picture

November 21, 2020 at 08:30 am

Teams that get physical with the Packers have been very successful during the (short) MLF era. When Indy throws a haymaker, can GB step up to the challenge? This game will tell you a lot about this team. Win or lose, they need to play 48 minutes of high level competitive football. Hoping for the best but my head tells me GB is in for a long day.

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Since'61's picture

November 21, 2020 at 09:35 am

48 minutes won’t get it done. They need to play at a high level for the full 60 minutes. Thanks, Since ‘61

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dobber's picture

November 21, 2020 at 09:51 am

Since '61, bringin' the math!

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Since'61's picture

November 21, 2020 at 01:43 pm

And the cookies! Thanks, Since ‘61

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

November 21, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Just a guess, but I think everyone including scoonie_penn knew he meant 60...just a slip of the fingers.

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Since'61's picture

November 21, 2020 at 01:45 pm

The problem is that Packers often play like the game is only 48 minutes long or less. We have seen that far too often over the years. Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2020 at 03:30 pm

Attention-deficit disorder or lack of will?

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Since'61's picture

November 21, 2020 at 04:32 pm

Maybe both! Thanks, Since ‘61

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PeteK's picture

November 21, 2020 at 08:50 am

Pack comes out and plays winning football tomorrow. They're finally healthy and can throw many different formations and players at the Colts both on O and D.

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PackfanNY's picture

November 21, 2020 at 09:16 am

This is a put up or shut up type game. I read some comments where Aaron Jones said this team thrives on proving the haters wrong. Well, here it is. This is a bad matchup for the Packers. A good, physical Colts team. Look for them to blitz early and often. They are going to look to push the Packers around. The Packers may not win this game but they need to show something this week. How about establishing the run? Maybe impose their will on the Colts. If we lose 28-21 so be it. However, I don’t want to see a repeat of the Tampa debacle. This can’t turn into one of those 41-17 type disasters. Time to find out a little about what the Packers are made of. Looking forward to the game.

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PeteK's picture

November 21, 2020 at 09:40 am

I hope they do blitz early because then Rogers can hit them up with big gains.

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Since'61's picture

November 21, 2020 at 09:49 am

The Packers need to show up physically and with a sense of urgency for this game.

Rivers has demonstrated that he can be mistake prone. A pick or two and a short field possession can have a big impact on a game like this.

Hopefully the Packers can play with a lead which should enable the defense to play more aggressively, which will be critical against the Colts OL. Improved tackling will be nice to see as well.

The Colts are the most complete team remaining on the Packers schedule this season. A win this week would make a solid statement about our team. On the other hand another Tampa like collapse will be very disturbing.

Turnovers and Special teams could be a factor for this game. The Packers cannot afford to hurt themselves with penalties either.

Hopefully MLF and Pettine have devised a few new wrinkles for this game. Would be great if we can pull out this game.
Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

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dobber's picture

November 21, 2020 at 09:53 am

"Rivers has demonstrated that he can be mistake prone. A pick or two and a short field possession can have a big impact on a game like this."

Packers need to threaten through the A gaps and get in his face. That'll help to disrupt their play action, and with King and Alexander back, they can hopefully take away the hot routes. They'll have to be creative to do it because the Indy OL is strong up the middle.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

November 21, 2020 at 11:43 am

He also hasn't produced many TDs for that many picks and it stands among the worst ratios of TD:INT among starters in the entire league (and a good ratio would be 20:7 and not his terrible 11:7).

I don't think he's elite anymore, and their offense has been largely anemic. He's a game manager, which is why they are getting the ball out fast.

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Lphill's picture

November 21, 2020 at 10:06 am

I expect the Packers to win any game Rodgers is playing in, the Colts beat 1 team with a winning record , Rivers has 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions ,this is a winnable game for the Packers.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 21, 2020 at 10:46 am

That's funny.
GB 1-1 against Min a losing record.
1-0 against Det a losing record
1-0 against Hous a losing record
1-0 against Atl a losing record
1-0 against Jac a losing record
1-0 against SF a losing record
1-0 against NO a winning record
0-1 against TB a winning record.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

November 21, 2020 at 11:55 am

The 49ers, Lions and Vikings are all close to .500 and all are very likely to end up with such a winning record by the end of the season (the Vikings had a lot of bad luck early and we caught them at the right time; they are an exceptionally good football team with some unfortunate losses).
And the final 2 teams we face in the AFC are well above .500 and will finish so. I do believe we beat both the Colts and Titans, because both teams are way less complete than the Pack (I've always hated Rivers and he's washed up and a game manager now; Titans offense doesn't scare me at all).

If the Packers' strength of schedule goes down by the end of the season, it will be because the Panthers and Eagles (who might win a division with 7 wins) are bad, and our two victories over the Bears will assure that they end up with a losing record (and they currently have a winning record).

A lot of parity this year, and there truly isn't a difference between a 4-5 team in the NFL and a team that is 6-3 (especially this late in the season, when young players have developed a bit and schemes have adapted to injuries, personnel and what other teams are doing successfully).

This may be a rip roating game, but I can honestly see the Pack blowing them out and exposing them as pretenders.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 21, 2020 at 12:01 pm

A statement was made and was clearly made in an effort to bolster GB over Ind. It was a total failure as shown by the facts in my retort.

You are now trying to alter the bs statement by what may become to bolster the same bs. Except what is now and the facts as I shown.

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Lphill's picture

November 21, 2020 at 02:42 pm

That’s my point similar record and opponents with the Packers, yet the Packers offensive stats top the Colts, a very winnable game.

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Fabio's picture

November 21, 2020 at 03:57 pm

I think it is clear that Green Bay has a good offense and a modest defense. The point is that the ways of defending (3-4 or 4-3) are used according to the players you have. If you had a stallion besides Clark then you could use the current method. But Clark is alone. Pettine must change

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ricky's picture

November 21, 2020 at 10:20 am

So, who on the defense is going to step up and be that "intimidator" that other teams fear? Clark? He seems content to coast since he got paid. The Smiths? They like rushing, but don't seem to like setting an edge. Maybe Barnes or Martin? On offense, who is going to be the "enforcer" for that side? Bakhtiari showed some fire by tossing a guy off a Packer receiver after the play was done, but otherwise, these guys seem more like observers than participants when things get physical. And Pettine needs to stop being vanilla and adjust his schemes to the opponent, rather than constantly playing "one size fits all" defense.

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CoachDino's picture

November 22, 2020 at 10:58 am

Ive heard ClaRKS film is embarrassing, Do you really feel he's content (Dline is the home of the big boys who are often the first ease up a bit. I doubt it but really have no idea. Is it Injury? He is/needs to be the Oline tone setter - no doubt about it..

Sounds like a good topic...

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2020 at 10:21 am

Execute the offense and win. Or don’t, and we’ll know the offense isn’t for real.

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CoachDino's picture

November 22, 2020 at 11:22 am

player talent,schemes, game plans are all important but, Execution most often make the difference. It's why practice is so important

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cheesehead1's picture

November 21, 2020 at 10:23 am

Pettine needs to give Rivers some new wrinkles. I’ve never been a Rivers fan but we must force him off his spot. He is so hit and miss after all these years and will throw a pick or two if harassed. Go Pack and play with some intensity from the start!

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2020 at 03:33 pm

Agreed, force Pettine off his spot.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

November 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

The Colts had been terrible defensively just a few years ago. Now they are 1 of the best in the league. For 10 years the Packers have failed to build a respectable defense that could get us to the Superbowl. Tomorrow we will watch as the Colts fly around the field making tackles and hard hits as they stymie our high flying offense. We will be stuck asking ourselves " how did Indy build its' defense so quickly ? "

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Fabio's picture

November 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

I think it will be a low-scoring game (for us). If we can keep it in balance we can have a chance. Much depends on Pettine. Greetings to all GB fans from Italy

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