August 4, 2021

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The plan won’t get the job done by itself

4 min read
The plan won’t get the job done by itself

Jack from Skull Valley, AZ

Can somebody let Carolina know? Winter is coming.

I’m hearing high of 30 on Sunday, nighttime low in the teens. The sun will be gone by halftime. It’s going to be a very chilly second half.

The Panthers lead the league in sacks (34) and they are second to only the Patriots in defensive interceptions with 12 this year. Is the recipe to get the ground game moving first and foremost to temper the pass rush? I’m fully expecting to see a GB offensive line wanting to make a statement after their struggles last week. I hope they’re still ticked.

I would suspect they will be. The Packers have to get the ball to Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams however they can, run and pass, so the ball is out of Aaron Rodgers’ hand quickly. Get the Panthers to defend the running backs sideline to sideline and then dial up a protection to take a shot downfield. Kuechly is the one who makes that plan so difficult to execute because he covers so much ground.

How hard is it to forget last week’s performance and get ready for this game?

You remember it to the point it teaches you, grounds you and motivates you, but not to the point it distracts you. It’s the fine line professional athletes must walk all the time.

Everyone keeps saying they fell behind so they were forced into a two-minute offense. They were only down 12-0 into the third quarter. What am I missing?

I think the point was they went two-minute the rest of the game in the third quarter at 19-0, but they had only 26 snaps on offense before that, so a huge chunk of the game plan was never touched. LaFleur admitted he didn’t stick to the run enough when it was still a two-score game.

Bruno from Harwood Heights, IL

If we can’t stop the run, we are going nowhere in the playoffs. This needs to be addressed. NOW. What say you?

Interesting juxtaposition of immediacy with playoff talk. Regardless, the Packers do have their issues stopping the run, but the tank was empty in the second half. At halftime, the Chargers had 250 yards of offense, but only 49 of them on the ground, 16 of those on one rush. The game was 9-0, and then the Chargers piled up 110 yards on the ground against a worn-out defense that got no help from the offense. Failure to stop the run didn’t lose the game.

Renee Marie from Green Bay, WI

Green Bay will be tested again this week against a team with a productive running back. What will it take for Green Bay to get its defense rolling again? They seem to be going downhill and I don’t see injuries to be a valid reason, sacks have gone down and the backfield has been giving up chunk plays consistently. The bright side is holding opposing teams to field goals till they seem to get gassed from being on the field so much.

Christian McCaffrey will be a handful. No question about that. Pettine will have a plan for McCaffrey, but the plan won’t get the job done by itself. The players will have to stay assignment-sound, get off blocks and make tackles. It’s about being better than the other guy. The defense is going to hear all week about how it’s falling apart, going the wrong way, etc. I saw slow reactions, miscommunications, and lack of a consistent push up front when I went through the defensive film from LA. If I saw it, I know the players and coaches saw more. I don’t have the answers, but I’m very curious to see the response Sunday.

Brian from Grand Rapids, MI

II, when you said the defense looks like it needs the bye week, it reminded me how early in the season there were concerns regarding the snap counts of the Smith Bros. and Kenny Clark. Do you think this has played into the troubles in the run defense, and do you think we’ll start to see a more even distribution of snaps to guys like Rashan Gary and Kingsley Keke as we get later in the season?

Snap counts for a lot of rotational guys up front – Kyler Fackrell, Gary, Montravius Adams, Keke – were up in LA. I expect that trend to continue. The play time for the top guys early in the year wasn’t sustainable. Everyone knew that. Now everyone has to do his part when called upon to put the entire unit in a better position for the stretch run.

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