Key Battles Week 10: Can McCaffrey be Stopped

These are my three simple keys to victory on Sunday versus the Panthers. 

With the bye week approaching, the Packers are in need of a win following a dumpster fire of a loss to the L.A Chargers.  Let's face it, a loss would spell doom and gloom for a fragile fan base who for the most part, over reacts to everything when it comes to the Green and Gold.  I personally don't feel like talking about whether the Packers are contenders or pretenders for the next 2 weeks, so I'm hoping they get down to business and kick some ass.  No matter the outcome of Sunday Afternoon's contest, the Packers rebuild/reboot is off to a great start, they are well ahead of schedule, and the future is bright.  A win on Sunday would silence the naysayers and all but assure the Packers their first trip to the playoffs since 2016.  

Here are some key battles that I think will determine the outcome of Sunday afternoon's clash with the Panthers.

1. The Packers Pass Rush (The Smith's) vs. The Panthers Offensive Line and Kyle Allen:

In my opinion, this game hinges on the Packers ability to disrupt Kyle Allen's rhythm and bring him down.  I will be looking for the Packers front to plunge the A-Gap, break down Allen's pocket, rush his throws, sack his ass, and kick the shit out of him.  If I were Mike Pettine, I would disguise my packages and send 5, 6 and sometimes 7 rushers at Kyle Allen and take my chances, if he lights me up, I'll tip my cap, but I doubt he will.  

2. The Packers O-Line vs. Luuuuke Kuechly and Co. 

The Packers O-line needs to dominate the point off attack from the start.  I want to see them empty the tank and bully the Panthers front seven.  I want to see them get to that second level and force Kuechly to bounce off of them to get to the ball carriers.  This unit has to disrupt the tackling lanes of the Panthers front seven and provide subsequent holes for Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to run through.  The Packers have to be able to lay the hammer down, run 30 times and control the clock for four quarters.  If they can get back to running the ball with authority, they will keep McCaffrey off of the field and tire out Carolina's defense.

3. Mike Pettine vs. Christian McCaffrey:

If I'm Mike Pettine, I'm tailoring my gameplan to attack Kyle Allen forcing him to beat me with the passing game.  In order to do this, I'm playing heavy up front with a rotation of Kenny Clark, Montravius Adams, Dean Lowry, Kigsley Keke, and Rashan Gary.  I'm loading the box on every play and daring Allen to throw the ball because my secondary is better than Carolina's receiving core.

Keys to Victory:

1. Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. 

2. Make big plays off of playaction shots.

3. Load the box and rely on your secondary (yea I'm a crazy man).

4. Get off to a quick start and force Kyle Allen to make plays.

5. Control the point of attack and time of possession.

Prediction:

I think the Packers get off to a quick start, get their act together, and bounce back.  I see them controlling the clock and having a statement win at home; The Packers roll 28-17.

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (20)

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Difer's picture

November 09, 2019 at 11:56 am

I hope they win, but I think the Packers have hit a slump after a very successful first half of the season. McCaffrey's a beast who will get his yards and make life a lot easier for Allen. On the flip side, opponents have figured out the Packers offense, which will make for some "tough sledding" for Rodgers et al.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

November 09, 2019 at 09:57 pm

Someone notify Webster dictionary that a bad game is a slump.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 10, 2019 at 05:37 am

Please don't forget the Packers offense has been "Figured Out" too.

.

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murf7777's picture

November 10, 2019 at 08:18 am

Difer, how is one away game loss a slump? Especially going west coast. I’m inclined to call it a hangover game go pack go....

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 09, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Unless GB can stop McCaffrey the Packers offensive won't be able to run,run,run the ball.

If the Packers can't stop McCaffrey, the time of possession loss will compel Rodgers to throw, throw, throw in a catch up game,as not stopping McCaffrey will be scores for Carolina. This will allow the tables to be turned in favor of the Carolina defense to play the pass.

The Packers need to jump to the lead by double digits fast with a quick pace and the help of an early turnover. Playing even into the mid 3rd or start of the 4th quarter will have placed the advantage to Car and McCaffrey grinding our defense down.

If GB cannot show a strong win going into the bye, the return vs SF could be the worst game showing of GB by far over the recent shit stain in LA.

I'm not feeling confident in our ability to stop McCaffrey or any other better run game team in the future. We may find ourselves being RUN right out of the playoffs early again or missing them, though the latter is the less likely.

My heart says GB 27-23
My head says Car 31-20 in the McCaffrey highlight show.

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murf7777's picture

November 10, 2019 at 08:22 am

A better word is to contain vs stop.....I don’t think anyone would stop McCaffrey, he’s that great. Contain, create turnover-control the clock and kick some butt to a 31-17 win. We win the TO battle we win the game it’s that simple.

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Packer_Fan's picture

November 09, 2019 at 12:28 pm

I like your thoughts. This game is the end of the first season and then the team gets a bye. They should go all out stopping the run and rushing Allen. On offense, quickly get into a rhythm of using the RB's in the short passing game, quick passes to move the chains. We know that defenses are going to try to disrupt and pressure the passing game. It is important to get the offense going right from the start. Winning this game gives the team a good attitude going into the bye and for the rest of the season.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

November 09, 2019 at 12:57 pm

The concept is sound. Strategic.
The chances are slim. Tactical.

The more snaps Lowry and Blake see the less our chances. Lowry has had one good game this entire year. Blake is exposed every game.

Nothing makes a fan cringe more than seeing how the panthers will get their RB isolated on Blake

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Leatherhead's picture

November 09, 2019 at 02:58 pm

Blake has twice as many tackles as anybody else and three times as many as most others. He plays 99% of the snaps. Lowry plays I’ver 70%. We are an above average defense. Gute already paid Lowry, and Martinez is going to sign a huge contract in a few months because people who know about football know what these guys are worth.

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

November 10, 2019 at 11:30 am

If Blake signs a huge contract with the Packers it will be a mistake IMO. it would represent over-valueing ones own players. Think supply and demand on the NFL level: Does anyone argue he's great vs the run? Does anyone argue he's even good enough vs the pass? Again just my opinion - what he is is steady. He knows the D & gets teammates aligned correctly. And he makes tackles but he's not a "playmaker". Paying him a huge contract doesn't make sense, particularly with better players in need of contract extensions.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 10, 2019 at 05:47 am

"The more snaps Lowry and Blake see the less our chances"

Okay I get it...Balke Martinez is a somewhat limited ILB. They KNEW that when they drafted him and it hasn't changed in 4 years. BUT, he's probably the BEST ILB the Packers have had here since the 2010 season of Desmond Bishop. He's also reliable and in the line-up every week. I'll also have a question...Just who in the hell are they supposed to put on the field if Martinez was to actually get fewer snaps? The Packers have NO ONE else.

Want to see a shit show? Take Martinez out of the middle of this defense and see what happens...

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Bearmeat's picture

November 09, 2019 at 01:25 pm

We have yet to see how this team responds to adversity. It's pretty tough to gauge that with an entirely new scheme and coaching staff. I will say that the defense has me extremely concerned. Far more than the offense.

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murf7777's picture

November 10, 2019 at 08:29 am

Bearmeat.... I would argue the game after Philadelphia where we went down to Dallas we faced adversity. If we lose to Dallas that could take us into a downward spiral.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 09, 2019 at 01:46 pm

I personally don't feel like talking about whether McCaffrey can be stopped or really can the Packers stop McCaffrey.

Let's just win Sunday. Go Pack Go

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 10, 2019 at 05:38 am

Thank you TB...Excellent comment.

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Cartwright's picture

November 10, 2019 at 03:53 am

What amazed me last week was all the field goals, they weren't scoring touchdowns. After the third field goal I began to relax and started thinking hey this seems like a strategy. If we can remain strong in the redzone like last week being at home the offense should respond this time and win it no matter how many yards McCaffrey racks up.

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mnbadger's picture

November 10, 2019 at 05:39 am

Sorry DM, but this will be a shootout. Our best chance is to "hold" McCaffrey to 200 total yards and 2 scores then hope for a big play at the end on either side of the ball. Refresh over the break then have some fun till playoffs.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 10, 2019 at 06:09 am

I'm 100% with David on this one...

The Packers MUST run the ball using both Jones and Williams. Use MORE of those formations with Jones and Williams both in the backfield. KEEP either Vitale or the Big Dog Marcedes Lewis in to block AND throw them the occasional pass because both can actually catch the ball. IMO the Packers need to get Jones and Williams at least 35 to 40 touches combined. If that happens I have no doubt the Packers will control the game, clock, and scoreboard.

Get Adams AND others involved early. DON'T wait until the 4th quarter to throw the ball to Lazard because like it or not, he's the 2nd best WR on this roster right now. Now I like MVS BUT Lazard has proven the last few weeks to be able to step up some. Rodgers looked for him last week to FINALLY get the offense going and he delivered.

I love Adams but STOP forcing the ball to him. I was afraid Rodgers would lock onto Adams when he returned and he did. When Rodgers uses EVERYBODY like he did when Adams was out this offense is very difficult to contain.

CMC will get his yards. The guy is friggen GREAT and it's tough to just stop greatness. BUT if they can limit the big gains and get the Panthers in 3rd and long I think the defense can hold them for the most part to 17 to 20 points. The Panthers, on the other hand, won't limit the Packers. The Packers will gain over 400 yards on offense, close to 150 on the ground.

Packers roll 38-17...

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edp1959's picture

November 10, 2019 at 10:02 am

Rodgers had 35 attempts, 11 targets were to Adams. What part of this shows he was locked in on Adams?

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Lphill's picture

November 10, 2019 at 12:23 pm

David let’s start a new post every week called calling out , today I’m calling out Mike Pettine and the defense to come to play and send a message.

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