Well well well…look who showed up! It’s the Packers offense, back at last. But let’s be honest, the defense has been holding down the fort when the Packers have been winning.
I’m glad the Pack’s offense is doing better, and any aspirations this team has to making the Super Bowl are tied into Aaron Rodgers and his buddies staying on track, but the defense absolutely needs to maintain their recent level of play. Arizona has an offense that has been much more consistent throughout the season, and they have a quarterback that can lead a team to a win against a defense that does more than simply show up and move around a little bit without falling over.
Casey Hayward vs Arizona WRs
These cornerbacks are likely going to be on different receivers all day. We don’t know the status of Sam Shields or Quinten Rollins yet either, so knowing who is going to cover whom is just about impossible.
We can be fairly certain that Hayward will be playing though, and he was pretty sharp against Washington. If he performs at that level against Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, or John Brown, we’ll all be very happy to not notice how well he’s doing during the game and subsequently applaud his effort the next day.
Randall Cobb vs Patrick Peterson
Peterson is hardly allowing receivers a darn thing. He’s not allowing yards, he’s not allowing points, he’s hardly letting his opponents onto the field of play.
Cobb will likely be moved all over the field, because that’s how McCarthy rolls, so Peterson will probably not be matched up on Cobb every single play. When he is, you can forget about Cobb doing anything other than being a distraction. Look for #21 on Arizona’s defense. Whoever he lines up with will not be productive on that play.
J.C. Tretter vs Calais Campbell/Red Bryant
Again, not knowing David Bakhtiari’s status yet, I’m presuming Tretter will be at left tackle until I hear otherwise. That means he’ll get a healthy dose of rotating players at defensive end and outside linebacker in Arizona’s various schemes. One name that the Pack will not have to deal with is Cory Redding, who is done for the season due to injury. You may remember him as the guy who took an Aaron Rodgers fumble back to the end zone.
I won’t miss him either. Maybe I should send him a card anyway.
Micah Hyde vs Jermaine Gresham
…please don’t make me think about this.
Packers LBs vs Carson Palmer
If Palmer is upright, he’s a threat. He’s having a great season, and he hasn’t gotten seriously hurt, which is unusual for him. This season has shown that Palmer still has something, and between the weapons he has to throw to and the system they’re running, it’s not at all surprising that this team is one of the best in points scored and yards gained.
Hammering Palmer has to be an all-day thing. He’s had a week off, so he’s had one less week of bumps and bruises. If the Pack can share the wealth when it comes to sacking the quarterback, I firmly believe that Green Bay will have a very good chance to win this game.