1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!

    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Riddle to solve

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

    Nov 22, 2005
    Posted: Oct. 17, 2007

    Green Bay - With Green Bay riding a 4-0 record and enjoying a 17-7 halftime lead against the Chicago Bears in Week 5, it seemed as if the Packers' passing offense could do no wrong.

    Sure the Packers' running game was far from threatening. But with quarterback Brett Favre playing like an MVP once again and his receivers catching the ball all over the field, who cared about Green Bay running the ball?

    Apparently not its opponents. Starting with the second half against the Bears and continuing through the game against the Washington Redskins, defenses finally ignored the Packers' running game and concentrated on defending the pass by using a modified version of the Cover-2 defense, the Tampa-2.

    And the results have had the Packers running for cover.

    Yes, Green Bay managed to beat the Redskins, but its passing statistics continued a downward spiral that began in the second half against the Bears.

    Completion percentage is down more than 15 points. Yards gained per passing attempt are nearly half what they were. Favre has yet to throw a touchdown pass against the Tampa-2, while his interceptions have doubled to four in just six quarters. As a result, his passer rating has gone from MVP-range (101.6) to that of a journeyman backup (35.9) in the past six quarters. And most importantly, the Packers' average points-per-quarter mark has shrunk by a field goal.

    And if the Packers don't use this bye week to find a way to combat the Tampa-2 defense, things could get worse.

    "It's safe to say you're opening up a can of worms if you're not moving the ball real well against Tampa-2," said offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. "Then it's going to be a part of every team's plans from here on out.

    "We have to come up with some better answers because we're not executing the way we need to."

    The Tampa-2 defense was created by Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy when he was the defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's derived from the Cover-2 with a few differences.

    The two safeties play very deep and divide the field in half between them. And the middle (Mike) linebacker is a vital component of the pass defense because he drops deep into coverage to defend the scheme's biggest weakness: the deep middle of the field between the safeties.

    The best way to combat the Tampa-2 is run the ball because it doesn't normally commit enough defenders. So with the Packers ranked last in the NFL (32nd) with 65.7 yards per game, their lack of a running game has finally caught up with them.

    "I always liked it when people played me Tampa-2 because you want to run the ball," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "It really goes back to the run game question. We need to do a better job of taking advantage of the seven-man box. If you've got two backs in the backfield, and you cannot run the ball well against a seven-man box, you're playing uphill. And we have done that the last (six) quarters."

    The Packers have been so bad running the ball that the Redskins threw two new wrinkles that further caused problems for Favre and the passing offense.

    In passing down and distances, Washington dropped an eighth player - a defensive tackle, at that - into pass coverage in the short middle of the field and rushed only three. That "Zeke" formation is not something the Packers anticipated.

    "I think at times that got us a little bit out of sync in the passing game," said receivers coach Jimmy Robinson.

    The Redskins also played their corners with inside leverage - meaning they played on the ball side of the receivers - to keep the Packers from executing their slants, which were the team's most effective patterns early in the season.

    Green Bay knows that it will not be able to move the ball with consistency against the Tampa-2 until its running game is a threat. Once that happens, defenses will have to commit more manpower to stopping the run, and the threat of the play-action fakes will hold the linebackers and open up some passing lanes.

    "You would think with that many guys committed to stopping the pass, obviously you feel like running the ball has to be one answer and we have to do that better," Philbin said.

    Even if the running game continues to struggle, the Packers should have opportunities to pass the ball against the Tampa-2.

    Green Bay exposed one weakness - the deep middle of the field between the safeties - on the 60-yard reception by tight end Donald Lee in the first quarter against the Redskins. And if the safeties are held by play-action or a receiver streaking down the middle, the sidelines are open for a fly pattern in the 15- to 25-yard range. Favre had opportunities there but failed to connect when he underthrew receivers four times.

    "We had some areas of their coverage scheme that we felt we were able to attack, particularly with the deep ball, but we didn't get that done," McCarthy said.

    There are also openings for short crossing patterns and quick throws at the line of scrimmage.

    "We have the plays to take advantage of it; we've had them in our offense for two years," quarterbacks coach Tom Clements said. "It's just a matter of being able to get in some type of rhythm. If you can hit those plays and a run play here and there, you can have success.

    "You have to be patient against that defense because it's designed not to give up the big play. If you want to try to get the big play, you have to hold the ball for a fair amount of time. Most of the time you have to take the 4-, 5-yard passes, hopefully get some yards after the catch, get in some type of rhythm and get the running game going."

    The Packers should catch a break in their next game, Oct. 29 against the Denver Broncos. Former Packers defensive coordinator Jim Bates has installed the same bump-and-run scheme in Denver that he brought to Green Bay.

    But all the Packers' NFC North rivals run a version of the Cover-2 defense, as do upcoming opponents Kansas City, Carolina and St. Louis.

    That means if the Packers are to finish the season strongly, their going to have to find an answer to the defense that has left them, at least for now, stopped in their tracks.

    "They all look at the film," Clements said. "If they see teams having success, they're going to try to duplicate it. We're going to see more of it. We have seen a lot of it already. But there are holes to every defense. We just have to find them and take advantage."
  2. de_real_deal

    de_real_deal Cheesehead

    Sep 11, 2007
    Easy riddle to solve. RUN THE BALL. Spread the defense out in 4 wide sets in the shotgun and give it to the running back on a draw play.

    Remember the K-Gun (Buffalo Bills) and run & shoot (Oilers). They averaged very high yards per carry while using the shotgun and 4 receiver sets almost exclusively. The Oilers didnt even have a tight end on their roster some years i think back when they had Warren Moon.

    Some teams can line up man on man and knock the D-line off the ball and run it up there. We can not.

    So, there is no reason for us to not be in the shotgun formation every play. Shotgun is easier for QB to read the defense earlier and get the ball out quicker. They know we are going to throw anyway so theres no point in trying to deceive the defense.

    While in the shotgun, Brett can read the defense and audible to run any time he wants. This will work very well if we can do this without huddling up so the defense can not substitute.

    I really hope this is what we work on during the bye week because i see it as our best shot to make it to the superbowl or at least deep in the playoffs.
  3. de_real_deal

    de_real_deal Cheesehead

    Sep 11, 2007
    I know this hurry up style of offense can put alot of pressure on the defense but remember how you guys say we have so much depth on the defensive line? Well, now we can take advantage of that depth. You have to have an excellent defense to be able to run this kind of offense and i think we have a good defense.
  4. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

    Dec 7, 2005
    The deep ball was there Sunday and was there against the Bears. You hit a couple of those and the underneath stuff get's easier. Even though they tried to cover the middle there were openings in there and with the corners shading in I would think we could get to the sidelines well.

    As they said here we are going to be looking at cover 2 until our offense proves it can be affective against it.

    On the positive side there are only a couple of teams with safeties good enough to cover the guys we will be sending deep against that coverage.
    Washington was LUCKY Brett didn't blister their *** and the next team that leaves guys that wide open will get smoked.
  5. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

    Dec 11, 2004
    JFC that's torture. Try having ADD and trying to read all that and figure out a damn riddle. C'mon, that's cruel and unusual punishment. I lost my train of thought seven .... what was I talking about??

Share This Page