Opponent: Green Bay Packers
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
Offensive Coordinator: Edgar Bennett
Defensive Coordinator: Dom Capers
Aaron Rodgers - #12
Primary Running Threats:
Eddie Lacy - #27
James Starks - #44
Primary Receiving Threats:
Jordy Nelson - #87
Randle Cobb - #18
Davante Adams - #17
Richard Rodgers - #82
For many years under the leadership of Mike McCarthy, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Green Bay Packers boasted one of the most efficient and explosive offenses in football. McCarthy's west coast based playbook, along with Rodger's uncanny ability to extend plays and make the big throw made them a force to be reckoned with.
However, early in training camp in 2015, wide receiver Jordy Nelson injured his knee, and the offense slowed substantially as the receivers struggled to beat man coverage. Many believed that Nelson's return would mean a return to form, but they've yet to be the group that beat the Cowboys in the 2014 playoffs. In terms of scheme there's been quite a bit of criticism thrown towards the Packers' coaches for leaning too heavily on isolation routes forcing the wide receivers to win one-on-one. In addition to this, Rodgers has been criticized for depending too much on his ability to execute outside of the design of the play.
On tape these are exactly the things that I noticed, however in the last two games the Packers have done a better job offensively, even if not at their former efficient and explosive selves.
On this play, Green Bay is in 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR)., which is their base package and where they spend a great majority of their snaps. They've lined up in a standard 2x2 formation with the closed side to the right, with Lacy behind Rodgers.
This is a play-action pass designed to get Rodgers a chunk play. At the snap Rodgers fakes a wide zone hand off to Lacy and sets deep. Based on the distribution of routes, it seems like they were trying to set up a shot throw to Cobb out of the slot against the flow of the defense.
The three routes set up a horizontal stretch on the defense, and the post-dig route by Davante Adams with the crossing stem with Cobb is designed to pull the near side corner and the free safety inside to allow Cobb to get free. As the play developed this time Cobb wasn't open, but Adam's sat down in the hole in the Giants' zone coverage just outside the far hash, and Rodgers found him for a 20 yard catch and run.
The key to stopping this Packers' offense is to lock up these receivers in tight coverage, and keep Aaron Rodgers in the pocket. The Cowboys cornerbacks match up well with the personnel the Packers' will line up outside, but will need a continued uptick in pass rush, along with a lot of discipline from the defensive front to keep this Green Bay offense under wraps.