With two days left until gameday , I decided to scout the Packers. I wanted to shed a little light on what a tall task this game will be for the Saints. It will be a tightly contested game because these two teams are so evenly matched. So check out this little write up about the Packers and remember GAMEDAY is only two days away.
The unit will be filled with tight ends, linebackers and secondary personal as the Packers have kept more in these three positions than the league average. As per most games this year the kickoff and kickoff return teams will be nonexistant due to the rule change moving kickoffs to the 35. The punting game will become more important as teams are looking to get an edge with field position. Green Bay will have Randall Cobb, rookie out of Kentucky , returning punts this year along with Jordy Nelson . I look at Cobb returning punts in two ways:
1.He is a rookie on big stage and he is bound to make a mistake.
2. He is willing to take chances and he could made some good returns giving the offense good field position.
The kicking game consist of Tim Masthay (punter) and Mason Crosby (kicker). These two are average and I don’t really see a clear advantage where we can exploit them in the kicking game.
How to take advantage ?
The Packers special teams don’t really have any gaping holes, so trying to find a advantage will have to come in other areas of the game.
I would say the Packers won the Super Bowl last year because of their defense. Their offense was always their calling card but it seemed that the defense got some key stops along the season. The Packers employ a 3-4 defense which has caused the Saints some problems in previous seasons. Defensive line is manned in the middle by a budding star in B.J Raji , and it also helps that they rotate a group of guys early and often to keep them fresh throughout the whole game. The playmaker on the Green Bay defense is Clay Matthews who had 13.5 sacks last year. He is someone that the Saints will have to know where he is at all times. The Packers have three other linebackers that do a good job of disguising where the blitz is coming from. It seems the Packers have found a cornerback they can put opposite Charles Woodson in Tramon Williams. Tramon came out of nowhere to make a name for himself in the postseason with three interceptions and if you count the six interceptions during the season he lead the league. The secondary plays a lot of zone allowing the cornerbacks to watch the quarterback instead of running with the wide receivers in man coverage.
How to take advantage?
The rule when attacking a 3-4 defense is to run the ball and set up the passing game with the play action. Under Coach Payton it seems like they like to get the passing game going before the running game but I think it needs to be the other way around in Thursday’s game. I also think the Saints need to run at Clay Matthews because if you have a pulling guard, fullback and tight end blocking you all night, you’re bound to wear down as the night goes on. So in closing look for the three running backs and Jimmy Graham to have big nights if the Saints want to leave Lambeau with a win.
The Saints and Packers have something in common when it comes to offense, both are top 5 in the league.The thing I take away from the Packers offense is how much depth they have at key positions. Aaron Rodgers and the abundance of skill players have, who have been in the same offense the last couple of years, have looked good this preseason. The one guy the Saints will have their hands full with is Jermichael Finley, a matchup nightmare. He is a tight end but the Packers also split him wide so they can matchup with a cornerback. I guess if there was a weak spot on the offense it would be their running game and the offensive line is a little suspect.
How to take advantage?
With Will Smith out this game, it will be a little difficult to get to the quarterback but I think Coach Williams will have some exotic blitzes up his sleeves. The middle of the offensive line is young and hopefully the offseason acquisitions of Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin can get pressure up the middle. In all, it will be a tall task to stop the Packers offense but it can be done.