Pregame Warmup / Packers vs. Saints
The Packers offense is overdue, the whole 0-3 Saints team is overdue, and here's a few points worth considering as the kickoff of Sunday's game approaches.
-If a team is only as strong as its weakest link, the Packers should run the ball and run it a lot. The weakest link in the New Orleans Saints is their rushing defense. It ranks last in the NFL and has allowed an average of 215 yards per game. Per attempt., it's giving up 5 a carry, which ranks 30th. It looks like the Saints would prefer to line up in a nice fundamentally sound 4-3 front, but they're not good enough to do it. Their front 7 is extremely blockable all across the board. It appears the Packers would like to be more two-dimensional offensively, and Sunday's game offers an excellent opportunity to rep the running dimension.
-Speaking of the Packer offense, over time, talent eventually shows. The Packers have too much of it to rank 25th in the NFL in yards and 26th in points. Obviously there's no set time line for snapping out a start to the season slump, but it is game 4 and you know where the Saints rank overall defensively? 32nd, dead last.
-The Packers defense, on the other hand, is moving in the right direction and will head into the Saints game as the top pass defenders in the league. In Drew Brees and company, however, Green Bay is facing its biggest challenge to date. One of the keys to slowing the Saints attack will be keeping everyone on the same page. New Orleans runs some nifty route combinations. They try to create some gray area in coverage where defenders have to make nano-second decisions on who has who. The Packers have to be sure. They don't want to go back to the wayward ways of last season, when there were receivers running free with no one in a 10 yard radius.
-Brees, Colston, Henderson, Graham, Thomas, there's no shortage of potential weapons on the Saints roster but all 5'6" of Darren Sproles may be the most dangerous. He can beat you running, receiving or returning. Small in stature, very large in production, he needs to be contained.
-As for any hangover from the whole Monday night thing, all indications say the Packers have gotten over it. As for their fans, that may be a different story.