SnoTap Packers Preview: Green Bay vs. Tennessee
Fading in the First Half
This is an interesting trend to watch for the remainder of the year. Michael Cohen of the Journal Sentinel did a great job rifling through the numbers to find Green Bay’s defense majorly struggles at the end of the first half. These numbers show they cannot get off the field on third down and only Chicago hasn’t scored a touchdown. Not a good thing. Let’s hope Packers do something to change this.
What impact will Starks and maybe Cook have?
From the sound of it, James Starks is a full go on Sunday and Jared Cook might see some action. Starks will add more balance to this offense which is needed in the worst way possible. If not, Ty Montgomery will assume the role and hopefully get more than 45 percent of the snaps this week. Cook would be a huge boost considering Tennessee cannot stop tight ends to save their souls.
Dom Capers versus Marcus Mariota
If Titans had a more capable system set up for Marcus Mariota to use his arm and feet, I would be more concerned with this being a shootout with Mariota doing some of the things we saw from Colin Kaepernick years ago. That being said, Mariota is unlike any quarterback Green Bay has seen this year. They will have to keep their contain better than what they’ve done in the past couple weeks. The young QB is known for one or two real bad mistakes in the second half so don’t be surprised if that’s when the game flips for Packers.
Aaron Rodgers poised for big day
At the beginning of the year, Tennessee’s pass defense seemed like a strong point along with their pass rush. This has faded as the season went on, and it’s open season again for quarterbacks. Phil Rivers had a big day last week and now Rodgers should be able to do the same. Jordy Nelson should have a field day against Perrish Cox who ranks 112 out of 117 in cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus. Davante Adams and Richard Rodgers will both get their opportunities. If old man Antonio Gates can get over 100 yards so can RichRod.
Slowing down Demarco Murray
An old friend with new colors with Demarco Murray having a Pro Bowl season with a run-first offense and a powerful offensive line. In some sense, this is somewhat like Cowboys game with a strong offensive line with a big-time back. Murray really hasn’t been stopped all season. Green Bay had some issues with him in the past, and they’ll need to wrap up at the point of contact. One thing to watch is Green Bay will be hunting for the strip of the ball. Murray’s weak spot is fumbling, and it’s been exposed in game against Packers before. You may have remembered it.
Special Teams Improvements
You would like to think after the outing last Sunday that Special Teams were a focus this week in practice. Green Bay cannot afford to give up large returns and set their defense up for failure. Good news for Packers is Tennessee struggles at Special Teams as well. They rank 27th in DVOA Special Teams so this might be a good week to get things right.
This could be much like Oakland last year where it’s back and forth for awhile, and it’s clear Green Bay is playing a squad that’s a year away. I like Pack to add a fourth quarter touchdown and hold steady for the remainder of the game. GB 30-20