Breaking Down Week 8 vs. the Saints

One look at the Saints’ record and you would think the Packers to be gliding into their bye week. 30123_PL_Saints_2Such is far from the case as the Packers take on an angry Saints team that is known for rising to the occasion at home in prime time. Undoubtedly the toughest game on their schedule, the Packers can only hope to carry over some of the success put on display versus the Panthers last Sunday.

The Packers’ last trip to New Orleans was one to forget, as the defense allowed a field day to Drew Brees, beginning a five-game spiral in Rodgers’ first season as a starter. Six years later, the defense now plays out of a 3-4 base and boasts a true pass rush. However, the 2nd-ranked Saints offense presents the biggest challenge faced by Dom Capers’ defense since facing Brees in the 2011 opener.

Perhaps the scariest part about the Saints’ offensive attack is not the electric passing game led by Brees but the fact that it can be balanced with a loaded backfield consisting of Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. Behind this trio, the New Orleans running game ranks 13th in the league – not bad for a team that prefers to get business done through the air.

Key for a Packers defense that could be missing Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett will be forcing turnovers. It’s inevitable that Brees will keep the chains moving for four straight quarters – however, an interception or forced fumble to steal a possession from the Saints might be all it takes to come away with an ugly win in the Big Easy.

IMG_0894.JPGThe Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl is sure to witness a shootout on Sunday night, compliments of two of the best passers in the game. On paper, the Packers’ defense has played better versus the pass. Playing on the road and in a loud, prime time environment should make this game about as competitive as any in Week 8.

Breaking Down Week 8 vs. the Saints
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3 thoughts on “Breaking Down Week 8 vs. the Saints

  • October 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    This game could either be a shootout or what I would rather see is a ground and pound by the Pack game! If they use Lacy/Starks to control the clock and keep Brees off the field I believe the Pack wins this hands down. But if it comes down to a shootout IMO it could go either way, We all know these are 2 of the best QB’s in the NFL and they can put up points in the air, If it comes down to this then it will be whoevers defense can step up and get those turn overs and sacks.

    • October 26, 2014 at 11:56 am

      That’s an interesting take on this game. My take is exactly the opposite for these reasons:

      When we force our run game, we get into trouble with 3rd and longs and 3 and outs. We should use the pass to open running lanes, not the other way around. That’s when our run game has been most effective, like last week vs the Panthers. We can control the clock just as effectively with a passing game as with a running game.

      We should not play down to our opponents. We should have learned that from the Seahawks game, when we took 1/3 of the field out of our offensive game plan and couldn’t move the chains because of it. Several teams have now exploited the Seahawks D, which we should have done too. The way to beat the Saints is through the air, taking care of the ball, and not forcing a non-existent run game which allows them to stay close on the score board.

      The biggest advantage the Packers have in this game is the turnover ratio. The Pack are +10 and the Saints are -8. Brees has thrown 7 INTs in 6 games. Rodgers has thrown 1 INT in 7 games. Let Rodgers do his thing, which allows our (tied for 2nd in take aways) D do theirs. Getting a lead early and keeping the pressure on the score board will force Brees to make mistakes while trying to keep up.

      We also have a decent advantage in sacks, 16 for the Pack to 9 for the Saints. Forcing Brees to pass will provide more opportunities for our D to improve on those numbers. We do that by scoring early and often, as well as shutting down their run game.

      Our biggest problems on D have been covering TEs and stopping the run. I think we’ve improved every game against the run. Covering TEs still needs lots of work. Go Pack go! :)

      • October 27, 2014 at 7:05 am

        So much for the turnover advantage. I don’t blame Rodgers for either INT. Defender went through Quarless for the ball, blatant PI which wasn’t called. And Adams quit on his route. But Flynn remains terrible and fumble was all on him.

        Regardless of the bad calls and bad no calls, Rodgers did not play well in the 2nd half and couldn’t get TDs in the first half. Jordy was a non-factor and Rodgers seemed to have tunnel vision at times for Adams. We could only run when the D was expecting passes, no surprise there. Our D is terrible. No one could get to Brees, no one could stop their run game, no one could cover a receiver.

        McCarthy gave them a short field twice, once on the onside kick (no need for that trickery and lucky it only cost a FG), and once on the 4th and 1 on Saints 40 (giving up a TD and proving again that we can’t run for 1 yard when the D knows we’re going to run). And what was that slant with Peppers about? We don’t have a better chance of success with our WRs on that play??

        I could deal with losing if we’d played well and lost a close game. Being routed in a game that we should have been competitive in is different. Very disappointed in our players and coaches after this one. I still think it would have been worse if we’d tried to pound the ball more often.


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