GREEN BAY—The Miami heat – the weather, not the basketball team – awaits the Packers.
Will it be a problem for the Packers’ up-tempo, no-huddle offense?
“No,” Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements said, pausing and then adding, “our guys are in good shape.”
Monday was coordinators’ review day, and on the somewhat distant heels of a 42-10 win over the Vikings last Thursday, the reviews were very favorable.
On offense, Eddie Lacy’s breakout performance – 105 yards on 13 rushing attempts – led the way. How did it happen?
“We blocked well up front. Eddie ran hard. He was able to stretch the hole, find a crease and get north and south,” Clements said.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers posted a 138.7 passer rating and became the second-fastest in NFL history to reach 200 touchdown passes.
“Green Bay has been very fortunate with the quarterback position. Aaron is a great player. I’m not surprised by anything he accomplishes,” Clements said.
What was surprising on Thursday was the degree to which the Packers defense dominated the Vikings. The statistics are jaw-dropping, starting with 16 quarterback hits, four alone by defensive lineman Mike Daniels. The Packers also recorded six sacks, four tackles for loss, eight passes defensed and two interceptions, one of which was returned by Julius Peppers for a touchdown.
Dom Capers was a proud defensive coordinator as he stood in front of reporters on Monday.
“Our No. 1 goal is to give up the fewest points possible. I like the last three games. It’s a step in the right direction,” Capers said, referring to a total of 46 points allowed by the Packers in the last three games, all against NFC North opponents.
“This is the first game this year we didn’t have an explosive play against us. Our opponent quarterback rating (70.5) is second in the league,” Capers added.
Here’s the big one: “We’re getting pressure out of a four-man rush. The really good defenses get pressure with a four-man rush, and you have the extra defender to cover with,” Capers said.
Capers added that “he likes what I see out of our safety position right now,” and complimented Morgan Burnett on what Capers said is Burnett’s “best game of the year.”
What it all means for the Packers defense is it’s getting back to executing the philosophy that helped the Packers win the Super Bowl in the 2010 season. It’s a philosophy of pressuring the quarterback into turnovers that exacerbate the difference in passer ratings between Rodgers and the opposing quarterback.
“That’s our game,” Capers said. “When we’ve had a low quarterback rating and had takeaways, that’s a good combination with our quarterback. If we can continue to get pressure on the quarterback, that leads to more takeaways.”
And likely to more wins. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE - OCT. 6