Monday, Nov. 7, 2011

Where was the Packers secondary?

By Nicole
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Ok, I'll admit off the bat that I don't know a lot about defensive schemes, but it sure seemed to me like the Packers didn't have any idea what they were doing on defense yesterday and it almost cost them the game.

My guess would be that other teams will be studying the tape and will be able to exploit the holes the Packers provided yesterday in future games.

Vincent Jackson put up ridiculous numbers against the Packers yesterday. Who'd have thunk that the Chargers #1 receiver would be a prime target for Phillip Rivers? How is it possible that the Packers have one of the best secondaries compiled, everyone knew that Jackson was the prime target, and he still managed to get 141 yards and 3 TDs?

The Chargers were without a viable running back and a third receiver due to injuries. Anyone watching the game knew the ball was going to Jackson. And the Packers were virtually unable to do anything about it.

And surprise, if they didn't throw to Jackson, they were going to throw to Antonio Gates - you know, one of the best TEs in the league? Because he also had 96 yards and a TD. All in all, the Chargers torched the Packers for 385 receiving yards.

Half of Phillip Rivers' passes went to Gates or Jackson.

Dom Capers is widely known as a defensive coordinator genius - yet yesterday he had a linebacker playing pass protection on Gates and Jackson. For the whole game. Because when Desmond Bishop, among others, was getting torched, he didn't seem to learn from the mistake.

One of the reasons the LBs were left to cover was the number of blitzes run. Blitzing is great, if its effective, but they just didn't seem to be. Rivers had hours of time in the pocket, meaning the secondary often had to cover receivers for upwards of 5 seconds. That's just not feasible or possible and often leads to the penalties.

The game plan was laid before him prior to the game - Gates and Jackson were the only options for Rivers - and yet the Packers still couldn't handle it. What does that say about the preparation?

Gates was kept quiet in the first half, but started torching Bishop in the second. So Capers moved Woodson to cover him - which merely led to Woodson committing pass interference penalties.

But it wasn't just the LBs. The secondary seemed almost non-existant at times yesterday. It felt a bit like watching Badger football with the number of wide-open receivers Rivers had to choose from.The general consensus seems to be that there was a lack of communication - but I just don't think that's an acceptable excuse in week 9 of the NFL season. It's not week 1 and these aren't rookies. While Charlie Peprah had the 2 INTs, he was absolutely non-existant over the top yesterday. If he reads the pass correctly and jumps in to make the play, he's effective, but usually he's biting entirely too easy on the play fake and leaves the receiver deep completely open.

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