By Category

Cheesehead TV Matchup: Week Four

Offense:

  • Pound the Football With Draws/Delays

For some reason, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has gotten away from his classic Tampa 2 this season. Whether this is by design or due to his feelings on his personnel, the Bucs are playing more man to man than I can ever remember in Kiffin's illustrious career running the Buc's defense. This is a golden invitation for Mike McCarthy to call upon his offensive line to take it to the generally undersized defensive front of the Buccaneers. Defensive tackles Jovan Haye and Chris Hovan can be dominated by Colledge, Spitz and Wells and outside rushers Gaines Adams and Kevin Carter are ripe for the picking with a healthy dose of McCarthy's patented pump-fake to the slant and then delay up the middle (which, by the way, we have not seen Rodgers do once this year - come on Mike, take off the training wheels...) The Bucs will be ready for the three and four wide receiver formations McCarthy prefers and will be gunning for Rodgers. Time for the Packers to get back to exposing teams trying to take away the passing game.

  • Get Creative With Formations/Personnel/Gameplan

McCarthy, partly by design and partly reacting to injuries on his squad, has become painfully predictable in his playcalling the last six quarters of football the Packers have played. He needs to get back to coming out in his Rhino/Falcon packages (using one of his tight-ends in Korey Hall's spot) and switching the next play to four wide receivers and one tight end,  to the next play coming with two tight ends, two wide receivers, etc. At the moment, McCarthy is keeping things painfully simple. When the Packers spread it out, they throw the slant. When they come out in I-formation, they run off tackle. It's been mind-crushingly obvious and the Cowboys had most of their work done for them on Sunday night, simply needing to read the formations to know what was coming. Which brings us to play-action. Not only do the Packers need to run the ball for the reasons mentioned above, but the play-action game is simply crucial for Aaron Rodgers and the offense to operate successfully, especially against an excellent pass rushing front like the Buccaneers.

DEFENSE

  • Williams vs. Hilliard, Stoval & Clayton

Look for John Gruden to throw the kitchen sink at Tramon Williams, both in formations and personnel. With Charles Woodson most likely matched up with the resurgent Antonio Bryant due to Joey Galloway being out with a foot injury, Gruden will try to solo each of his other three receivers and his three tight ends on the smaller Williams, looking for the player who seems to have the greatest advantage over Williams. Gruden loves bunch formations and will use them specifically to work flat and corner routes against Williams until he can prove he's up to stopping them. It's important for Williams to win a few macthups at the beginning, otherwise there's not much Bob Sanders can do in the way of help short of pulling him for Will Blackmon, which would be an unmitigated disaster. Gruden's latest wrinkle is to throw out of a bunched three tight end set. It gave the Bears fits and the Packers would be smart to counter it by taking a safety off the field and going with an extra linebacker, essentially running a 4-4-3 with Chillar in as the extra 'backer. It makes much more sense than asking whatever third string safety might be playing for Packers on Sunday to figure out what the heck is going on at the snap of the ball. Of course, this being Bob Sanders, he will stick to his patented 4-3 that is completely predictable and allow the much more creative Gruden to march up and down the field.

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dustybricks6's picture

Welcome back, Scott Wells.

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