Rodgering A-A-Ron

As I began to write this on trade deadline day, I contemplated the Green Bay Packers to the soundtrack of their fans screeching like a squeaker in an MW2 lobby that their team has done dilly squat. (Exhibit A) (Exhibit B) (Exhibit C) It is perhaps the perfect time to preview their (non-changed) roster as we welcome Nicolas Cage from the awesome movie Con Air and his un-merry cheeseboard.


As per tradition, we'll take a look at their roster and how it matches up with ours, set out the keys to victory and make some predictions that are as inaccurate as Mason Crosby kicking at Ford Field. However, since our season is looking down and eyes slowly turn towards our version of the Super Bowl, I will introduce a new segment at the end for those of us who are already mashing the mock draft machines like a panchakarma.


Green Bay Packers:

Record: .375 (3-5)

Expected W/L: 3.2-4.8

SOS: .578


Offence:

There is only one man we can start with on the Packer offence; the back-to-back MVP and the man who showed his toe to the world. Rodgers has completed 66.4% of his passes for 225 yards, 1.63 TDs and 0.5 INTs per game. He averages 6.6 yards per attempt, 3.7 of which are after the catch. PFR credits him with a 6.9% dropped pass rate, and a 12.7% bad throw rate. This gives him a 94.5 passer rating, and a 38.2 QBR. All in all, the big scary man doesn't look as monstrous now that his best friend ran away to play the tables in Vegas.


In front of him, the GB OL gives an average pocket time of 2.2 seconds (tied for 25th in the league). They have also allowed a pressure on 21.8% of dropbacks (18th). Of the 8 pressures they allow a game, 3.12 are hurries, 2.75 are hits, and 2.13 (t-11th) are sacks. They have allowed a sack on 5.8% of Rodgers' dropbacks (t-11th), for a loss of 16.8 yards a game (19th). In the run game, they average 3 yards before contact, which ties for 10th in the league. While this looks good, it is worth bearing in mind that GB runs an outside zone scheme which relies on getting the backs into space, so this number is inflated by the scheme. Therefore, while Green Bay has a reputation for having a top-tier offensive line, in reality, this season it is performing at league average at best.


Jones and Dillon split the load in a rough 55:45 split. Jones gets 12.3 carries a game for 71.9 yards (5.9 Y/A), 4 first downs, and 0.13 TDs. Quadzilla totes the ball 10.9 times a game for 44.4 yards (4.1 Y/A), 2.5 first downs, and 0.13 yards. These numbers don't look so bad apart from the touchdown numbers. In fact, second-round draft picks receiver Christian averages more rushing TDs per game (0.2) than the backs. Packers fans seem to think that the team is set up to run the ball, yet they rank below the league average in attempts per game (24.9 is tied for 17th in the league). Given that the Packers run the Shanahan outside zone scheme, it'll come down to the ends to set the edge and for our linebackers to go sideline to sideline to stop them running the ball down our metaphorical throat.


In the slot, Lazard (who is basically a tight end) gets targeted 6.83 times a game, catching the ball 4.33 times (63.4%), 56.7 yards (13.1 Y/R), 3.5 first downs, 0.67 TDs and a 111.8 passer rating when targeted. Their biggest outside threat is former Nevada WR Romeo Doubs. He catches 61.2% of his targets (3.75/6.13 per game), 37 yards (9.9 Y/R), 1.38 first downs, 0.38 TDs and a 98.7 passer rating. Former Lion Tonyan is targeted 5.25 times a game, of which he catches 83.3% (4.38 catches), 35.8 yards (8.2 Y/R), 1.5 first downs, 0.13 TDs and a 93.1 passer rating when targeted. Out of the backfield, Jones catches 3.75 passes on 4.75 targets (78.9%) for 23.8 yards (6.3 Y/R), 1.38 first downs, 0.38 TDs and a 113.8 passer rating. This all suggests that while the receivers can catch the ball, they can't really do much with it. Maybe this could be a good game for Duker to set his basis for how the secondary is supposed to play out from herein out.


Green Bay heavily favours 11 personnel, running it on 59% of offensive plays for -0.09 EPA per play and producing a 74% pass rate. Their next favourite package is 12 personnel, which they use on 28% of plays for 0.16 EPA/p and a 42% pass rate. They also use 13 personnel on 2% of plays, passing on 50% of these plays and generating -0.3 EPA/p. They have gone without a tight end (so 20 personnel) on 2 plays so far this season, passing on 1 (50% pass rate) and creating -0.29 EPA/p on these plays. The only other package they have used so far this season is 21 personnel, which they have used on 11% of plays for -0.05 EPA/p. On these plays, they pass 52% of the time. Therefore, by keying in on how many tight ends are lined up on the field, the defence could guess what kind of play is being run and use this to react quickly.


Defence:

Former Michigan Wolverine Rashan Gary is Green Bay's leading pass rusher. He averages 1.88 pressures a game, made up of 0.75 sacks, 0.5 hits and 0.63 hurries. His bookend Preston Smith gets 1.63 pressures a game; 0.44 of which are sacks, 0.63 are hits, and 0.5 are hurries. Up front, Clark averages 1.38 pressures (0.25 sacks, 0.38 hits and 0.75 hurries), and Reed and Lowry both get 0.5 pressures (0.13 sacks, 0.25 hits and 0.13 hurries). Luckily for us, the fact that their edges and nose get the most pressures matches up well with our line as our strength is our tackles and center.


Their leading tackler is Campbell, who averages 4.75 solo tackles and 3.25 assisted per game, along with 0.75 TFLs and 0.63 missed tackles (7.2% miss rate). Alongside him, rookie Quay Walker (whom Packers fans seemingly hate) makes 4.5 solo tackles and 2.63 assisted tackles, 0.13 TFLs and 0.13 missed tackles (1.7% miss rate) per game. Gary averages 3.63 combined tackles a game (2.38 solo), 0.88 TFLs and 0.13 missed tackles (3.3%). Smith makes 3.5 tackles a game (2.25 solo), 0.63 TFLs and 0.38 missed tackles (9.7%) a game. In a game, Reed gets 3.63 tackles (2.38 solo), 0.5 TFLs and 0.25 missed tackles (6.5%). Both Clark and Lowry average 3.38 combined tackles a game, with Lowry leading in solo (1.88 to 1.5) but has no TFLs or missed tackles, while Clark makes 0.38 TFLs and misses 0.25 tackles (6.9%) a game. The fact their linebackers are their leading tacklers suggests that runs are consistently getting to the second level, which is also backed up by their poor ranking against the run.


The most targeted member of their secondary is their nickel, Douglas. He is targeted 5 times a game for 3.25 completions (65% completion rate), 23.9 yards (7.3 Y/C), 0.75 PDs, 0.13 interceptions and a passer rating of 82.4 when targeted. Their best corner is Jaire Alexander, who is tested on average 3.75 times a game for 2 catches (53.3%), 23.3 yards (11.6 Y/C), 1.14 PDs, 0.29 interceptions and a 55.7 passer rating. On the other side, Stokes is out of favour with the fans. He is targeted 3.13 times a game for 2.5 completions (80%), 32.6 yards (13.1 Y/C), and a passer rating of 123.5. Their safeties haven't been good in coverage either. Savage has been targeted 2.38 times a game for 1.5 catches (63.2%), 28 yards, 0.13 PDs and a 121.4 passer rating. Amos has been targeted 1.88 times, allowing 1.5 catches (80%), 16.3 yards, 0.25 PDs and a 125.0 passer rating. This projects that St. Brown could have a good game if Reynolds is fit to take up Jaire's attention.


The Packers run their 245 nickel package the most, using it on 52% of defensive plays. They face passes on 67% of these plays for -0.01 EPA/p. They also use 335 nickel packages on 14% of plays for 0.26 EPA/p and a 48% pass rate. They run 344 and 434 base personnel on 25% and 5% of plays. On these plays, they are passed on 31% and 17% of the time for 0.13 and -0.42 EPA/p in each instance of the package respectively. Green Bay also runs a pseudo 434 package that uses two down linemen and the edges in a two-point stance so it is technically 254. They run this package on 1% of plays, facing a pass on 67% of these instances for -0.18 EPA/p. Given their propensity for running nickel, and their weakness against the run, I'd run it out of 11 personnel to lighten the box for Jamaal and Craig.


Special Teams:

Amari Rodgers averages 6.8 yards per punt return and 20.3 yards per kick return.

Pat O'Donnell averages 45.9 yards per punt.

Mason Crosby averages 63.5 yards per kickoff.


Keys to Victory:

  1. Get Rodgers uncomfortable- He doesn't have a reliable receiver anymore. If we can get pressure on Aaron, we can force him to have to take risks, risks we can try and get our hands on.

  2. Use misdirection- Their defence has been performing as well as it should on paper, but that's the risk you run when you have the DC of our own 0-16 season as your DC now 15 years later. Take advantage of this, confuse them and get them out of position.

  3. Don't go at Jaire- Avoid throwing at Alexander at all costs, their defence might be bad but he is a top corner and giving him a chance to win them the game by intercepting the ball is unwise.

  4. Run the mother-f*****g ball- Their defence is weak against the run. Use that to our advantage, control the clock and make Rodgers have to win the game with his selection box of cheap cheese.


Predictions:

  • Goff- 20/35, 260 yards, 1 TDs, 99.7 passer rating

  • Williams- 16 carries, 75 yards, 1 TD, 2 targets, 1 catch, 10 yards

  • St. Brown- 10 targets, 7 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD

  • Hutchinson- 2 pressures (1 sack), 3 tackles (1 solo), 0.5 TFLs

  • Rodriguez- 8 tackles (6 solo), 0.5 TFLs

  • Okudah- 6 tackles (5 solo), 1 PD


  • Rodgers- 20/36, 235 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 77.3 passer rating

  • Jones- 12 carries, 65 yards, 1 TD, 5 targets, 3 catches, 25 yards

  • Lazard- 8 targets, 6 catches, 55 yards, 1 TD

  • Gary- 3 pressures (1 sack), 5 tackles (3 solo), 1 TFL

  • Campbell- 10 tackles (7 solo), 1 TFL

  • Alexander- 3 tackles (1 solo), 1 PD

Hot take- This will come down to who has the ball last


Score- Lions 20, Packers 24


Where Are They?

First-Round QBs

First-Round DL/CB


How do you think the game will go? Can our Lions rodger Rodgers, or will we drown in cheese fondue? Who do you think will be the stat leaders, and what will the final score be?

 

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