We sat down with with the Packers experts from Dairyland Express to discuss the upcoming match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. Here’s what they’re saying…
Question 1: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Green Bay defense?
The strength of this Packers’ defense is their ability to put pressure on the quarterback which leads to turnovers. Their offseason additions have been huge. Edge rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith have combined for 43 total pressures and 7 sacks this season and on the back-end, Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage – along with second year corner Jaire Alexander – at safety has helped takeaway the big play.
When Green Bay can force the opposing team to pass, that is when the Smiths have been able to get pressure which has led to turnovers. The Packers have forced eight turnovers and have 12 sacks this season, both of which are top ten in the league. However, against Philadelphia, they were unable to do either of those things effectively.
Their weakness on the other hand is slowing down the opponents run game, particularly between the tackles. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine likes to utilize three safeties on the field quite a bit with the third safety in that hybrid inside linebacker role. But with Raven Greene out injured, they’ve either had to use linebacker B.J. Goodson who can be taken advantage of in coverage or safety Will Redmond who struggles in the run game. This is something that they must figure out or teams will continue to pound the rock as Denver and Philadelphia did.
Question 2: How can we expect Green Bay to bounce back from last week’s loss to Philly?
This is the first real adversity that new head coach Matt LaFleur has faced in Green Bay and everyone is a little curious to see how the team responds. The offense certainly wasn’t clicking the first few weeks but they won, and winning solves everything.
With that said, I do think that they will bounce back just fine. This team has a good core of leaders that will help keep them focused and in each game we’ve seen LaFleur make adjustments and I expect the same thing against Dallas. Also, they’ve had an extra couple of days to prepare for this game which should play in their favor. Now, this doesn’t mean they’ll win and if they do lose, I don’t think it will be because of how they lost to Philly.
Question 3: How do you expect Green bay to attack the Dallas D without Devante Adams?
Obviously not having Davante Adams is a huge loss as there still are some questions marks on who will step up and be the true number two receiver on this team. But I think that they will still try to establish the running game early. That is a big part of this offense as it helps disguise plays to keep the defense off balance and sets up the play action which is when this team likes to take their shots downfield.
Unfortunately, the run game just hasn’t been clicking the last few weeks and without Adams to rely on in the passing game, Green Bay needs Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison to step up, along with tight end Jimmy Graham who has been very hit or miss this season.
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Question 4: the Green bay offense has been improving each week, what’s working and what’s not?
Honestly, I think the two biggest factors are that they are getting used to the new offense and Aaron Rodgers is finding his rhythm. Without Rodgers playing in the preseason, the first time that the offense took the field in a real game together was against Chicago. From the new run blocking scheme for the offensive line, to adjustments at the line of scrimmage, and even the new lingo in play calling, it’s just going to take some time to jell.
Now four weeks into the season, Rodgers and everyone is finding their rhythm and against Philadelphia, Rodgers easily had his best game of the season by completing 64 percent of his passes for 422 yards with two touchdowns.
Question 5: How has the Packer offense changed under Matt Lafleur and are there any concerns?
A couple of changes that many anticipated under LaFleur was more tight end usage, more reliance on the running game, and giving the defense the same look on multiple occasions but running different plays each time. So far the tight ends have been more involved, however, the running game has struggled to get going for the most part. I said before the season that I don’t think we can measure the LaFleur offense until at least halfway through the season. As I mentioned, these things take time, but they are moving in the right direction.
As of now, my biggest concern is the running game. Like I said, establishing it is very important to making this offense go and having it operate at maximum efficiency. But that hasn’t been the case and my worry is that they become too one dimensional and Rodgers has to be Super Man every week in order for them to win. Which is pretty much what we saw from this team last year and that clearly doesn’t work.
- Published on 10/05/2019 at 12:30 PM
- Last updated at 10/05/2019 at 08:22 AM