Why They Won: Green Bay vs. New England

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Aug 9, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Green Bay Packers tackle

Bryan Bulaga

(75) on the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit:

Jim Brown


Line Play

Last week I noted how well the offensive line for Green Bay played in grinding-out a tough win versus the Vikings. They were again at the head of the winning effort here, though in a bit of a different manner.

Against Minnesota, the line did an especially strong job in helping spring Eddie Lacy for his second 100-yard rushing effort on the year. This week Lacy had a strong opening drive and nearly his third 100-yard rushing effort overall, but it was in pass protection where Green Bay excelled on the day.

The Patriots managed three sacks, but that vastly overrates the amount of pressure they put on him during the afternoon.

On a large number of occasions, Aaron Rodgers ended up having way too much time to look for passes. One specific play Rodgers had more than 10 seconds where he never even left the pocket before throwing what ended up as an incompletion.

10 seconds … To put that in perspective, analysts harp continuous on a quarterback holding the ball much longer than three seconds, but that takes into account that usually a pass rush should reach him by then.

There were plenty of other dropbacks where he was allowed much more time to scour the field throughout the game as well, so it was a huge theme of the game. If it wasn’t for great coverage by the back-seven of New England in the red-zone, this easily could have been a blowout.

It didn’t happen that way, but that isn’t the fault of the offensive line. They more than held up their end.