LaFleur and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers both alluded to something similar with Fangio’s style as a defensive play-caller, in that he’ll match up certain personnel groups in unexpected ways. Rodgers faced Fangio’s San Francisco defenses four times and his Chicago units on seven occasions, so he assumes nothing when it comes to Fangio’s response to various packages.
“They’ll do some mix-matches,” Rodgers said. “They’ll do base against nickel, or base against sub. They’ll go nickel against 12 (one back, two tight ends) personnel. They’ll run five or six defensive linemen, rush-type guys, on the field.”
LaFleur added the game plan must have “answers” to whatever unusual matchups the offense encounters. But in the same breath, LaFleur is just as focused if not more so on the Packers’ offense itself right now, regardless of the opponent.
A string of manageable third downs early last week went the wrong way later in the game. The running game lost some juice until the final three minutes. Both sacks of Rodgers occurred in the second half, and more flags flew (though a couple were declined).
LaFleur mentioned he would like to balance the touches between running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams a little more (it’s 41-19 in Jones’ favor through two games), and Rodgers noted one way to get receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison going would be to design plays specifically for them.
It wasn’t by accident the Minnesota game started with a 39-yard completion to Davante Adams after he had just 36 receiving yards in the opener. The only other true deep shot against the Vikings was to Adams as well, and he drew a 25-yard pass interference penalty.
“I don’t think we’ve showed a quarter and a half of what we can be,” center Corey Linsley said. “There’s so much more meat on the bone for us to go after.”
There are plenty of angles to work as the Packers enter Week 3, but it starts with the matchups on the edges – Miller and Chubb against Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari, respectively – and goes from there, no different than the first two games.
The Bears featured Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd, then the Vikings had Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter. Third game, third pair of elite pass rushers, current stats be darned.
“They’re right at the forefront of your plan,” LaFleur said. “Anytime you have guys that can singlehandedly wreck a game, you’d better have a plan for that.”