Take a deep breath; the Green Bay Packers’ defense is going to be OK. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Lombardi Ave is introducing a new feature to the weekly recap of all Packers’ games — film review. The film review piece will include a breakdown of the “good,” “bad” and “ugly” plays selected from the game.
Each play breakdown will be complete with multiple still pictures illustrated to take you into the mind of an NFL player and coach. We hope you enjoy the newest feature to the ever growing, Lombardi Ave.
The Green Bay Packers got a much needed victory Sunday as they pounded the Washington Redskins 38-20 in front of nearly 80,000 fans at Lambeau Filed.
Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers stole the show with his nearly perfect game. Rodgers finished the game 34-of-42 for 480 yards, four touchdowns and most importantly, no interceptions.
The Packers also had their first 100-yard rusher since October of 2010. Packers’ running back James Starks took over for the concussed Eddie Lacy early in the first quarter and shined to the tune of 132 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.
The defense did its part in the game also allowing the Packers to get out to a 31-0 lead, before giving up some garbage yards and points in the second half.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at what we learned from the film.
In this play we have the Redskins coming out in a traditional I-formation with a tight end on the left side of the screen. The Redskins get late motion from Josh Morgan and his responsibility will be to seal the backside defender, which would be A.J. Hawk or Jerron McMilian in this instance. The offensive line blocks straight up, with the exception of the center and left guard, they are to double team B.J. Raji to eliminate penetration. The fullback’s responsibility is to kick out the linebacker (Brad Jones). The left tackle engages with Clay Matthews on the far right of the screen (not pictured).
The Redskins block this play to perfection. The double team of Raji completely eliminates him from the play. Matthews is taken up the field in order for the play to be run right behind him. The fullback kicks out Jones and Alfred Morris has a ton of space to run. Hawk makes the fatal mistake of being sucked into to the middle and eliminates himself from the play without even being blocked.
Initially, defensive tackle Mike Daniels has a chance to tackle Morris for a decent gain, but because the blocking was so good for the Redskins on this play, he is a hair late, and Morris is off to the races. Safety M.D. Jennings takes an initial poor angle at Morris and allows this play to go for a total of 32 yards. This play was a combination of great run blocking from the Redskins, and very poor defense from the Packers. It was by far the best play for the Redskins on the day.
The Packers had a promising first drive of the game going before they hit the red zone. On the play prior to this Redskins’ All-Pro defensive end Ryan Kerrigan sacked Rodgers for a nine yard loss. On this play, the Redskins best two defenders, Brian Orakpo and Kerrigan, run a stunt to get to the quarterback. Right before Rodgers snaps the ball Orakpo shifts slightly to his right so he is head up on Packers’ guard Josh Sitton. At the snap of the ball, Kerrigan loops under Orkapo as illustrated and has a free run at the quarterback. The correct technique for Sitton and center Evan Dietrich-Smith would be to switch the stunt, which Sitton does successfully, EDS, does not, however.
EDS is no match for Kerrigan, as you can see, he misses the reach block as he was late to disengage from Orkapo on the stunt. T.J. Lang and Don Barclay do a great job of eliminating the edge rusher with a nice double team. Rookie David Bakhtiari also does a good job eliminating pressure from the other edge. Sitton recovers to block Orakpo for just long enough, however, the Kerrigan pressure collapses the pocket.
Eventually, Kerrigan gets to Rodgers and all EDS can do is watch. The Packers gave up two sacks on the first drive of the game, however, after that drive, they would only allow one more sack the rest of the game. Overall, the Packers’ offensive line played very well after they worked out the initial kinks, however, on this play their were badly overmatched.
Personally, I always like to end on a good note. There were many different plays to choose from as the Packers were able to make plays all day on the overmatched Redskins’ defense. At the end of the day one play stood out the most, and for that reason it is this weeks’ play of the game.
This play occurs late in the first quarter on the Packers’ third drive of the game. Packers come out in a normal shotgun set with Starks to Rodgers’ left. At the top of the screen tight end Jermichael Finley is split out and will be running an “in” route. Starks will vacate the backfield and be a check down option in the flats. At the bottom of the screen, Jordy Nelson is running a post route and Randall Cobb is running an “in” route underneath Nelson’s post. James Jones comes in late motion across the field and heads for the flats.
To defend this formation, the Redskins come out in a man-to-man defense with their assignments indicated in the picture. As Jones goes in motion, the cornerback lined up on Cobb, now is assigned to Jones, who is heading to the flats. That means that the speedy Cobb will be lined up with a Redskins’ linebacker, a mismatch of epic proportions. The goal of this play was to get Cobb matched up on a linebacker, and with the Jones motion, the slot cornerback is forced to take him, leaving Cobb one-on-one with a linebacker.
As you can see, Barclay does a great job of running his man up field creating a nice throwing lane for Rodgers to step up in. Cobb gives a little “jerk” to the linebacker and forces him to commit on the out route. Cobb then breaks his route to the inside instead and becomes a wide-open target for his quarterback. Rodgers hits Cobb, and Cobb does the rest taking it 35 yards to the house for the Packers’ touchdown.
There you have it, the “good,” “bad” and “ugly” from a convincing Packers’ victory over the Redskins on Sunday. Keep it here at Lombardi Ave for more Packers’ coverage as they get set to head to Cincinnati for showdown with the Bengals. Also, check out the Lombardi Ave podcast as the writers for Lombardi Ave break down everything that is the Green Bay Packers.