The NFL Playoffs are upon us. This weekend features four Wild Card games, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. With the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles already eliminated, we are officially down to 10 teams. It only takes three or four wins to be crowned champion.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is only accountable for two of the Packers seven losses. In the other five losses (and the one tie), Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn did their best, but they are just not the same team without their best player. Rodgers could be the most talented quarterback in the NFL, and he gives the Packers a chance to beat anyone.
The new-found running game with former University of Alabama running back Eddie Lacy gives a new wrinkle to the green and gold that Rodgers has not had on his roster since being drafted. Sure Ryan Grant turned in a couple decent seasons (2009 was his best), but Eddie Lacy is a beast. He has all the potential in the world.
Just like we have seen in recent seasons, the Packers offense is responsible to compensate for their below-average defense. Even with Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn under center for eight games, the Packers still rank third in the NFL in total offense. Green Bay is hoping they can ride the offense all the way to another Super Bowl.
Teams that have beaten the Packers have had a consistent, solid run game. It’s no fluke that Frank Gore, Giovani Bernard, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, and Reggie Bush have all beaten Green Bay this season. Their defense is ranked 25th in the NFL against the run. Keep the chains moving, and tire out their defense. If you plan to keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers and their offense, you must commit to running the football. Don’t get baited into a pass-only offense.
Which leads me to my next key to defeating the Pack, winning the time of possession battle. The less chances you give Rodgers, the better. It’s as simple as that. Keep him cold and on the bench, not torching your defense for touchdowns. It will be especially important in the freezing cold of Lambeau Field.
A common theme with teams that beat an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers is a strong defense. If you can challenge this Packers offense, you may be able to throw them off their game; then the pressure shifts to their defense. As I referenced earlier, that is something the Packers do not want. If the Packers can’t get their offense going, they will be completely out of rhythm. But stopping this high-octane offense is no simple task.
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