On his last appearance this season on Joe and Evan on WFAN Banks discussed the performance of the SB XLV winning Packers.
In summary the Packers defense “did just enough” to limit Pittsburgh and put the game in the hands of Rodgers and his receivers. Overall Roethlisberger was “below average” for his standards of play with 2 picks and 1 returned for six. Capers certainly did his homework with Roethlisberger on attacking him in the pocket as he was uncomfortable and a wounded quarterback all game. Big Ben has been most effective career-wise outside the pocket and his ability to evade the sack.
Banks lauded Rodger’s performance and demonstrated why he deserves to be mentioned in the elite group of quarterbacks. His accuracy was uncanny as highlighted by “squeezing that dart” in to Jennings by a diving Ryan Clark. Banks goes on to state that opposing defenses and coordinators need to take notice of the Packers and their passing game efficiency. Their “receivers run precise routes” and you have a quarterback who “hits them in stride every time.” What’s even scarier is Rodgers still completed 62% of his passes even given his receivers dropped 5 passes. Teams are going to have to pay attention and require a premium on cover guys to counter the Packers efficient passing attack. You “are going to need guys to cover one on one” to disrupt their timing. The Packers perfected their trade since Grant went down in week 1. They had to rely on their efficiency in the pass game to overcome their weakness in the running game. All season long they over-achieved by overcoming adversity with players in many different units going down.
In addition, Banks was in awe how disciplined the Packers played given their efficiency of execution and how they committed only 1 penalty in the 1st half. They were better prepared and focused versus Pittsburgh, who had been plagued with issues with penalties all season.
Hope Fewell and Coughlin are taking notes on this past Super Bowl. The Packers core is a young and deep team with a quarterback who his only going to get better. When they boost their running game by adding depth this offseason it will only improve their efficiency in the passing game with the addition of play action, flares and screens. The Giants coaches have to recognize that this team’s talents are in your way if you want to make it to February 2012. A highly efficient passing team that thrives on timing routes and precision needs to be countered by 1 on 1 coverage, press and only will be eaten alive by soft zone coverage. These teams were spreading the field and even substituting Starks’ and Mendenhall’s game with ‘the WR missile screen (or bubble screen which) took the place of the running game.” The BASIC/COMMON play calls were “quick inside breaking routes, such as the slant and the Hi-Lo concepts (underneath crossers). Gameplan: Spread the field and force the defense to use their sub packages (nickel, dime) for the majority of the game. Take advantage of the depth in the secondary.” Teams in general will be required to place a premium on having 3-4 cover guys in addition to “strong safeties that can fill the hole in the run front, but more importantly play the deep half or walk down over the slot (and the speed of the current tight end position).” The NFL is an ever evolving game of chess between innovative coordinators. It’s now readily apparent that the talent that has been utilized by the spread offenses in College is being implemented at the pro level in the present tense.
TC preaches and talks about how he is a coach that demands discipline but the evidence is surely lacking. Yet someone truly believes that all of a sudden things will change due to the added motivation of back to back premature season endings. The super bowl winners showed character and discipline. It is about their flawless execution of the coaches’ game plan.
Finally, on ESPN Rodgers was discussing a critical time during their season when they began to believe in each other. That game was is a losing cause versus the Patriots when Rodgers was out and the defense kept them in the game but in the end falling 31-27. After that game they felt given that Rodgers was out and how the defense performed they could compete with anyone. Sound familiar Giant fans?