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Tuesday, January 04, 2005
To go to the SB, GB must:
Now that we all have Super Bowl hopes, these are my thoughts on what the Pack must do to beat Minnesota, Atlanta and Philly:
1. Contain the quarterback. Over the last two years, the defense has struggled to contain mobile QBs. Time and time again, mobile QBs have been able to scramble for big gains on third and long. In the playoffs, GB will face three very good scrambling QBs. Applying pressure will not be enough. The defensive line needs to collapse the pocket and not allow the QB to break free.
2. Take what the defense gives you. This applies to Favre, Sherman and Rossley. If the defense is in cover-2, Favre needs to take the mid-range passes available and not throw into double coverage. Sherman and Rossley need to stick with what is working. If the passing game is clicking and running is difficult, pass like mad. The running game has not been consistent this season, and during the first 5 games, the offense bogged down when Rossley continued trying to establish the ground game. Sherman has been better at adjusting to the game situation.
3. Make blitzing unpredictable. In the first half of the season, it was easy to figure out when and how GB would blitz. Even during the second half of the season, Sherman and Slowik called blitzes like clockwork on third and long situations when the game was on the line. Predictable blitzes are ineffective at generating a pass rush and allow the offense to generate big plays. Unless the defense becomes more difficult to predict, GB could blow a close game.
4. Avoid turnovers. We all know this. If Favre and Green combine for another 5-turnover day, we will be toast.
5. Avoid penalties. This also is obvious, but the team has been penalized a lot the last 5 or 6 games.
The other key will be health:
1. Davenport. He provides a big boost in the running game. If he can return kickoffs effectively, it will be a huge boost.
2. Diggs. When he is at full speed, he makes a difference.
3. Grady. We all know how important he is to this team.
4. Franks. His injury against the Bears was scary. We don't have anyone to plug in that position.
5. Fergy. His playing would be a big morale plus.
6. Sharper. He has looked a lot better the last few games. If his knee slows him again, he will be a weak spot in an already-weak pass defense.
Let the games begin.