Packers/Falcons Preview

  • I’m back. Was at the Giants game a few weeks ago and was traveling last week during  part of the Bears game.
  • Some thoughts on the last few games:
    • The Packers have started to show some signs of working the short pass back into the game. This was the bread and butter play during the productive west coast offense years. But for this team – reincorporating the short pass is critical. Why? Because, as we’ve been saying now for the last 18 months, our WRs aren’t getting open in good part because they ALWAYS run routes 8-15 yards deep. We haven’t had the quick pass as an option because WRs are running too much. That’s why we often see Rodgers holding the ball and then either throwing it away or running it or just not completing passes. By getting the short pass back into the offense, we now have that quick option defenses will have to respect – and this should start to open up the longer passes and play action. This is the one major positive that has come about as a result of the Lacy/Starks injuries.
    • The first half of the Bears game was weak. The offense moved the ball OK but once again we just failed to put points on the board. The second half was much better.
    • Why is Montgomery doing so well? Because he’s a different guy and defenses are simply not used to seeing different players for the Packers. For the last 3 years running they’ve seen Cobb, Nelson, Adams, Lacy and Starks and that’s about it. Most defenses know the tendencies of those guys and due to a lack of new creative/plays for them, they pretty much know what kinds of plays each will get (or routes that will be run). So throw in a guy defenses haven’t had a chance to scout much and he’s doing some damage. But the other factor frankly, is that McCarthy is starting to call some different kinds of plays for Montgomery. He has designed some pretty cool plays for him and he deserves some credit for that.
  • Today’s game should be very interesting. The Falcons are a really good team. Julio Jones is unreal and the tandem of Coleman and Freeman are scary. It could be difficult to stop this offense. One way to do it – and I anticipate this being our game plan – is to just keep Ryan off the field. The Packers totally dominated possession against the Bears and I am guessing they will try to do the same against Atlanta. The Falcons D is only OK and I’m guessing we’ll use both short passes – and Knile Davis. Yes, I think this is the game where Davis makes a statement and gives fans someone to be excited about. He loves it in Green Bay and is apparently picking up the playbook quickly. I can see a surprise 100 yard game from him today.
  • This is an important game for the Packers. I think, in part because of some weak coaching and very poor QB play (and the deserved boos from Packer fans), McCarthy, Rodgers and the gang might actually feel OK playing an away game this week.
  • I see a classic clock-control game today spear-headed by Knile Davis and short passes. I see our D getting burned for a couple long TDs. I see Rodgers into the game – he has good memories of playing in Atlanta. And I see our defense and special teams making key plays. I’ll run counter to a lot of the predictions I’ve seen and go with the Packers.
  • Packers 30, Atlanta 24.

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