Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte gashed the Green Bay Packers defense for 141 rushing yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Yikes.
Given that performance, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not concerned at all and 10 being extremely concerned, where would you rate your level of concern regarding the Green Bay Packers run defense today as they get set to take on the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field tomorrow night?
Given Forte’s productive day last Sunday against the Packers, Packers fans should be hovering around 5 when it comes to their concern over stopping the run. In other words, Packer Nation should be “fairly concerned” about this key aspect of the game.
And the task of “stopping” a powerful NFL running back on 3rd down and short doesn’t get any easier this week for the Green Bay Packers as they host the Seattle Seahawks and take on the Skittles Eating Monster-running back Marshawn Lynch.
It’s no easy chore to “stop” a powerful NFL running back from hitting his benchmark of 80-100 yards per game. Yet, even with the Packers high-octane offense, it would lead to all sorts of trouble if the opponent’s running back is allowed to exceed his goal.
Throw in a mobile running quarterback like Russell Wilson and the job of even trying to “contain” the Seahawks ground game will be difficult to do, if “flat footed break down” and “poor form tackling” persists.
All that said, the first key for a Green Bay win on Sunday night will be to not allow either Lynch or Wilson to exceed their rushing average. Against a “quality opponent” such as Seattle, if the trend continues the Packers’ porous run “D” will stick out like a sore thumb.
This facet of the game has to dramatically improve if the Packers are to win the game. This can be achieved by playing Clay Matthews more on the inside and keeping a “shadow” on Russell Wilson at all times, in order to contain the infamous Seahawks “read option play.”
Controlling “time of possession” doesn’t necessarily guarantee a win, but “ball control” can sure help the cause. For instance, Chicago made it a 4 quarter game due in large part to Forte’s rushing production, which set up very reasonable “3rd down and distances” for Chicago. The Bears converted 3rd down into a first down 10 out of 17 tries during the game.
The second key for a Packers victory is to “expect the unexpected” from Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. Carroll will attempt an onside kick or a fake field goal attempt at any point during a game. His strategy is the element of surprise. His “college frat rat tactics” have worked excruciatingly well in the past when playing the Pack.
Carroll tried one of his tricky tactics last Sunday with an onside kick against the St. Louis Rams to start overtime and this time it backfired on him. If the Packers are going to win the game on Sunday night they have to be prepared for Seattle’s “element of surprise” and be ready to “attack with vengeance.”
Even though the Packers have claimed that last year’s loss to Seattle in the NFC Championship game is “water over the dam” let me be one of many to say that that is a “bunch of monkey bunk.” Remember these are professional football players. In other words, they are fierce competitors. Make no mistake; they all use “revenge” as a motivating factor, in order to redeem themselves. Whether you beat them in a football game or in a game of hop scotch they want “revenge.” Thus, revenge is the third key in this game for the Green Bay Packers.
Last year the Packers finished 8 and 0 at home. Finally, the Green Bay Packers have the home field advantage against the Seattle Seahawks, which is key number four. Packers’ fans will be more pumped up than “Hans and Frans” on Sunday night. It may even be difficult to hear the jets fly overhead before the game even begins. Packers’ fans not only want a win, but like the players they too crave “revenge.”
The fifth and final key is for Aaron Rodgers to have an MVP-like game. This of course means at least three touchdown passes to go along with zero interceptions behind the superb play of the offensive line. Offensive holding penalties are drive killers, but no matter the cost they can keep Rodgers from getting blasted. The “O” Line also needs to give Eddie Lacy the “slits” he needs in order to rush for 80 plus yards.
If all of these green and gold keys work, Green Bay will lock up a gratifying win against Seattle by 5 points…guaranteed.——————