As I posted last week time of possession is huge tonight. Keep Brees off the field and our defense as fresh as it can be. Even if we fall behind, don’t give up the run. Yes, definitely, mix in a bunch of quality pass plays (including the fail-proof play I suggested last night), but keep in mind the importance of owning time of possession. Get the run going to open up the pass – just like last week’s game. Again, I want Grant to have 30 carries tonight.
Hurry Brees. I haven’t put much in previous “Game Keys” posts this year asking for our D-Line to do much (mostly because I haven’t felt confident they could). But tonight, I want Brees to be hurried and pressured and sacked. I want him to fumble and I want us to pick up the ball for a TD. I want Brees to get out of rhythm. I want Kampman to lead the charge and to play like the dominating DE I think he can still be (he’s been only OK this year, despite decent sack numbers). The secondary does its job week after week and Brees is already fully aware of our DBs – but if the D-Line steps it up a notch, the New Orleans pass offense, #1 in the NFL, could be in for a long night.
Watch the short-medium passes to Jeremy Shockey, Billy Miller, Deuce McAllister and Pierre Thomas. Against our aggressive style of cornerback coverage, many offenses prefer to throw short check-down passes to players who aren’t WRs. QBs already know that the timing of many WR patterns will be disrupted by the aggressive Packer DBs right at the line of scrimmage. So, I think that may explain in good part, why tight ends, FBs, RBs in the flat etc, seem to be very popular targets for teams opposing us. Chillar, Hawk, Bigby, Collins – that’s you.
On offense, I want to see Lee and Humphrey (maybe Finley) get some passes. Humphrey has this big-guy-falling-forward-hard-to-get-down type running style that could some day, health permitting, make him one of those throw-to-him-you-get-an-automatic-first-down type guys.
If New Orleans is overcompensating for Jennings, throw it to him a few times anyway because he’ll probably still make a few good plays – but tonight, I would recommend leaning heavily on Driver. Driver will be emotionally pumped up considering his personal situation and the fact that he’s always that way. But he’s still a very good receiver and his veteran instincts against a suspect secondary could lead to a huge night. Depending on weather Jones plays or not, going to a few 4-5 WR sets might work particularly well tonight considering the opposing defense.
The key tonight will be the offensive line. Will they be the line that played in that Dome in MN or will they be the line that knocked the snot out of the Bears? I think this will be true the rest of the year. Rodgers is good enough. The WR’s and Grant are good enough. The defense is good enough. Will the offensive line be good enough? I think they roll tonight…..
Game keys? Either MM forgot them in his other jacket or the Saints changed the locks. Even if we would have lucked out and won, like the Badgers did this weekend against Cal-Poly, I would still have felt sour about this game.