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Finley\'s Breakout Game?

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Finley\'s Breakout Game?

That seems to be the sentiment.

First, Sigmund Bloom of DraftGuys asked me about the possibility of Monday night being Finely's breakout game due to both to the success Vernon Davis had with EJ Henderson in coverage and the fact that the Vikings safeties will be much more attentive to Driver and Jennings than they were the 49ers wideouts.

Then this morning I read the following from Andy over at PackerGeeks:

...part of the reason I think EJ Henderson’s play will be so pivotal is that I see Jermichael Finley having a huge night, a monstrous night, if the Vike’s LBs aren’t ready for it. Finley is really talented and each week, I think Mike McCarthy seethes on the sidelines when he realizes that the weak O-Line not only hurts the running/passing games in general, but specifically interferes with McCarthy working Finley into the passing game plan more.

I could not agree more with Andy about McCarthy most likely 'seething', as it were. The struggles on the perimeter of the offensive line have negated Finely's impact so far this season, as he's been called upon with way too much frequency to stay in for protection help or at least to chip the defensive end on passing plays.

I don't see that trend stopping Monday night. In fact, as tempting as it will be to run Finley down the middle of the Vikings Cover 2, and I don't doubt we'll see it at least once, too much of that will end up getting Rodgers killed against Jared Allen and company. Lest fans forget, last year in the dome the offensive line at full strength had just about the worst game a Packer offensive line has had since Ron Wolf was hired back in 1991. And on Monday night, the Packers will either have a gimpy Chad Clifton or Daryn Colledge trying to fend off Allen. Even at full health last season, Clifton was abused by Allen in the dome - it's just the nature of the beast when it comes to playing the Vikings on the road. The ends get amazing jumps at the snap of the ball because the offensive tackles are left on an island due to the noise.

And if people thought it was loud last year...

So no, I don't see Finley having a 'breakout'-type game. He'll get a shot or two, but the state of the offensive line, the venue and the opponent will all ensure that Finley is used more as a blocker than receiver.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (8) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

John's picture

I think they go five wide with Jmike this week. He'll show up. NBD.

MC Iced Borscht's picture

I don't want to call Finley a "disappointment," because, as Greg Bedard has said, he is still only 12 years old (or some ridiculously young age).

But I just don't see Finley having a breakout game any time soon, especially with the O-Line in tatters.

I'll be glad to eat those words if/when I am proven wrong.

wgbeethree's picture

What I would like to see at least a couple times early in this game is a tight end screen to Allen's side of the field. As good of a pass rusher as Allen is I think that one of his weaknesses is that he often pins is ears back and attacks the qb without any thought to anything else. I've seen draws be very effetive in exploiting this in the past and think a screen where Finley chips at him before going out to the flats could be very successful. I don't think we will have great success at blocking him all game if we don't do something to make him ''read and react''. A few plays like that and a few draws towards that side early and that split second of hesitation wondering if we are ''setting him up'' could negate the home field advantage he will have from the noise levels at home against our tackle.

RockinRodgers's picture

wgbeethree I argee. Lets use Allen's aggression against him. Go right at him from the get go. I'd run a screen at him play one.

nerdmann's picture

1: I think the Packers have been looking past their first three opponents at this game the whole time. Especially past the last two games.

2: The Oline will play better than you think they will.

3: Last year we got killed on the Oline, but it's because Clifton hadn't practiced or played for like a month. He had been out a few games, then there was a bye. So Cliffy played, but it was his first real action in like a month.

4: Finley is gonna be the secret weapon. I'm actually somewhat concerned about Jennings' wrist injury.

5: I agree about Jared Allen. They'll trap him and run draws at him. They'll try to slow him down. They'll also run right at him. He's undersized. Plus, running outside will cause the Williams sisters to have to pursue sideline to sideline. This will tend to wear them down. Hope there will be some emphasis on time of possession this week. The Queens have actually been faltering against the run this year.

PackerHaiku's picture

Jermichael Finley
Will end up in the Pro Bowl
If not this year... next.

Ruppert's picture

This Packers Haiku
It is creeping me out
if only a little.
Back to football. This has been mentioned, but Finley's lack of production is just one of several related disappointments in the passing game attributable to the poor pass protection. WHEN (and I don't mean IF) Rodgers finally gets time to actually survey the field, JMike's production, Jennings' production, and in all likelihood, the running game's production will all improve.
I get the strange feeling McC might break out something new in the way of a quick pass that gets the ball in the hands of a WR, like a bubble screen.

dennis eckersley's picture

Rodgers might get paralyzed. How do you extrapolate 5 sacks from Antawan Odom into x amout of sacks from jared allen. we should play flynn. i'm only half-joking.

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