The Packers have faced all sorts of unfamiliarity since kicking off the 2012 regular season, from starting 1-2 to struggling offensively. Green Bay will get more of that in Indianapolis as they line up against Andrew Luck and the new look Colts. What shouldn’t be different is the Packers’ path to victory, which starts with consistency on the O-line and pressure from the pass rush.
The Indianapolis offense may not have quite the firepower of the Manning years but the Colts have managed to move the ball effectively under Luck thus far. That productivity can be attributed to the offensive line’s solid protection of Luck, who has only been sacked five times in three games. If Green Bay can’t stir up some pass rush, they could be a victim of Luck’s NFL-ready passing.
Luck’s favorite targets are no secret: Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery account for roughly two thirds of the team’s receptions this year. However, Luck has spread the ball well in the red zone, throwing touchdowns to five different receivers. One shouldn’t forget that Luck has the ability to pick up yards on his own outside the pocket, similar to Aaron Rodgers.
Having just moved to a 3-4 base, the Indianapolis defense is a work in progress. The unit has given up 20 or more points to each of their first three opponents, none of which boast an extraordinary amount of talent. Aaron Rodgers and the offense should be able to use this game as an opportunity to establish some confidence.
While the Colts’ roster as a whole has undergone a makeover, its renowned pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are still with the club. Mathis has already tallied four sacks on the season and could present a real problem for the Packers’ inconsistent offensive line. Mike McCarthy must keep the Colts honest by balancing the pass and run.