Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by News Bot, Nov 9, 2012.
According to PFFs numbers, the Packers defense has been beaten through the air repeatedly over the last two weeks in part because pressure has rarely accompanied Capers blitz calls. The numbers tell the story.
Capers blitzed 12 times Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals: Seven times with Brad Jones, four with A.J. Hawk and once with rookie Jerron McMillian.
Those calls resulted in zero pressures, as Cardinals quarterback John Skelton completed eight of 12 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown (130.6 passer rating) against the blitz.
The Packers actually put pressure on Skelton 13 of the 36 times when Capers didn,t bring an extra man. His passer rating when not blitzed plummeted to 48.2.
A week earlier, Capers blitzed Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert 21 times. Three pressures came from the calls, including a sack each from Jones and Morgan Burnett.
But much like Skelton, Gabbert completed 14 of 19 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown against the blitz for a passer rating of 112.4.
Again, when Capers didn't blitz, Gabbert had a passer rating of just 60.4.
As longtimefan highlighted, blitzing can backfire. That should come as no surprise to Packers fans who have watched Aaron Rodgers burn the blitz time after time. But when the Packers' D struggles to get pressure, many fans yell for the blitz in spite of what the stats above suggest. We all know there's a symbiotic relationship between pressure and coverage but it's easier to see a blitzer get home than to see how the coverage package forced an incompletion, sack or QB hit.
The author of the linked article argues that Capers has to get more creative because his blitzing hasn't worked and because he'll now be without the services of Matthews, Perry, and Woodson. (While IMO Walden has been more important to pressuring the QB than Perry, Woodson's savvy and blitzing ability has been missed.) He cites Pro Football Focus to emphasize how important Matthews is:
That is simply astounding - Clay Matthews is responsible for about 32% of the sacks, hits, and hurries through nine games of this season! Since Matthews won't be in the lineup against a very potent Lions' passing offense, the author argues Capers' blitzing packages have to be more creative.
But is that the lesson of those stats? Even with Clay rushing the vast majority of plays so far this season and attracting the attention his play deserves, those blitzes didn't work as well as playing coverage the past two games. If blitzes don't work with Clay in the lineup, why would we believe they'd work with him in street clothes? To be sure, Capers will mix up whatever schemes he plans to use so I'm talking about emphasis here, not all one way or the other. Stafford is a better QB than either the Cards or Jags put on the field but I still wonder if doing their best to take Johnson away and mostly playing coverage would be more likely to force the undisciplined Lions into making mistakes then sending blitzers who haven't been successful with the "distraction" Matthews has provided. Beyond that, how creative can a blitzing scheme be? Isn't the talent (or lack thereof) of the blitzer more important? And if your D covers better than it blitzes, doesn't it make more sense to rely upon your strength?
I was happy to hear Shields is back for Sunday's game - his presence certainly helps the coverage schemes. And the O will likely have to score a lot of points so Nelson's return is crucial and Kuhn's should help the running game, particularly short-yardage. Like many games it could come down to winning the turnover battle and my point here is sending a ton of blitzes may not be the way to accomplish that.
Capers combines blitzes with soft zones...these young QBs may not know much, but when they see those DBs coming it's an easy check down underneath. You're not going to get pressures when QBs read straight to check down in 1.5 seconds.
I would also suggest that Mr. Raji gets a little fire under his butt. It's about time to step up and earn that new contract.
The Lions are primarily a passing team especially without Best. They do not have a FB on their roster and Stafford likes to pull the trigger early. We'll have to try to get there with Walden or Zombo. We could try a safety or a corner blitz but with Megatron and the rest of the Lions who run so many crossing routes we'd probably get shredded. Capers will have to try to come from different directions with 1 or 2 LBs and hope we can catch a few holding penalties. If we can force Stafford to throw too soon we may see a deflection and a pick or two like last Thanksgiving.
Should we consider pulling a mighty ducks?
Get like - These long plastic tubes - a bunch of ants - sneak into the Lions/Giants football campus - prank 'em good - rough up their sleep hours?
Could work - we just need to cover our trails - frame the bears ?
Goodell will fine 'em - perhaps he'll suspend Tillman and Peppers for the week when we play 'em ?
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