Packers XLV

Vick, Schmick. Stopping McCoy Keys Packers' Hopes

Posted January 6th, 2011 @ 03:01pm

Yes, I know. The rebirth of Michael Vick is complete. He will be the MVP runner-up and cash in this offseason or next and will be able to pay off all his debts. Under Andy Reid's tutelage he has become the QB everyone thought he could be and he's the  most dangerous two-way signal caller in league history. I get it.

But if the Packers are going to get past the Eagles on Sunday, it will be because they kept LeSean McCoy in check. Run defense has not been the Pack's forte this season. In fact, if Forte had been used a bit more by Mike Martz last weekend the Packers' season might be over. While Reid is running the ball less than usual, he has a dangerous weapon in the second year man out of Pitt. He's like a young Brian Westbrook, just waiting to burst on the national scene.

McCoy is an elusive, shifty back than can bust any play into a big one. And where he's really dangerous is in the screen game--he caught 78 passes this season and when he's out in space he's tough to bring down.

Dom Capers will present Vick and the Eagles offense a multitude of looks, moving guys around and bringing heat early and often. But if McCoy is able to provide a credible running attack, the dependence on Vick will lessen, making him more dangerous. Clay Matthews has already announced the Pack will keep a spy on Vick all the time. That's not surprising, but it means somebody will be uncovered and if the pass rush does its thing, Vick will make a habit of dumping the ball to McCoy. How the Packers handle those plays may be the key to the game.

On the other side of the ball, Green Bay has a significant edge. Rodgers is hot and the Eagles D has surrendered 30 touchdown passes and ranks 32nd and last in the red zone. They have one good corner in Asante Samuel; after him it gets ugly with Dimitri Patterson, who may be replaced by Josello Hanson. Barring mistakes, the Packers offense should be able to put 27 points on the board.

As good as Vick has been this season, he's not trending well. In his last two starts,  the Giants had him completely baffled for 3 1/2 quarters and the mediocre Vikings made him look scared and lost. He says he will be 100% healed from a quad injury suffered in the Minnesota game. Expect the Pack to test him early to see if he's moving the way he did most of the year.

He's a remarkable athlete and has had a terrific season but he's definitely slowing down. He didn't throw his first pick in his first 211 passes, but has thrown six in his last 161. Reid knows this. That's why McCoy will figure heavily into Sunday's game plan.

And why stopping him will be paramount if the Packers want a rematch with the Falcons.

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Comments (13):

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on August 1st, 2012 at 11:17am

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on August 3rd, 2012 at 08:00am

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on February 24th, 2012 at 05:29pm

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on February 27th, 2012 at 10:02pm

This one sounds a little, "smartest guy in the roomish", but I'll give you that. (maybe) The question is what combination of linemen to use. If Jenkins is back, that's great. No linemen are quick enough to catch Vick, but Pickett and Green might be the biggest liabilities in containing Vick. Or... The question is, can the same guys who stop the running back stop Vick from running?

on January 6th, 2011 at 02:47pm

Interesting to see who the "spy" is that will be on Vick ?? I doubt it will be Woodson as it would take away most of his versatility in the defense. But....it 's got to be someone who can run. I agree with you Davy....that the Eagles will try and establish their running game. We do need Jenkins back. Again....as I have said all year....win the third downs on offense and defense and the turnover ratio. Its obvious ARod will be throwing a lot at their Dbacks but this is when we can get sneaky with a running back other than Rodgers to step up. MM needs to be on top of his playcalling and clock and challenge management. Also.... Jackson is like Hester we cant let him beat us !!

on January 6th, 2011 at 06:11pm

new season new win... Packers 27 Eagles 20

on January 6th, 2011 at 09:53pm

Why can't we put CMIII as the right OLB and Walden or Zombo on the left? We need to get to Vick early and often with coverage on McCoy. There my job is done now that I've solved our game plan.

on January 6th, 2011 at 10:14am

While McCoy is dangerous, I still think it is the 3rd and long breakdowns where Vick finds a way to escape and keep a drive going that remain most dangerous.----With that said, this game, I believe is going to be won by our offense. -- My prediction for the game is this: This first round game is going to be James Starks coming out party of sorts. I'm not predicting 150 yards or anything but I think he will make a number of runs beyond 10 yards and thus open up the rest of the offense. He has been close to breaking a few in his little playing time thus far. I think the Eagles will be overplaying the pass and he will get to run in more open space. --Keeping Vick off the field will still be at a premium and thus, running the ball will be necessary. Even with the obvious advantage the Packers have throwing the ball. Can't wait for kickoff. Go Pack!

on January 7th, 2011 at 08:19pm

Bergermeister, I think it is safe to say that CMIII will be lining up all over the place. The key on defense is going to be mixing up the looks and letting others blitz. Its encouraging to see the defense make some plays when CMIII drops back into coverage. If Walden can play half as well as he did last week, the defense could look very good. Go Pack!

on January 7th, 2011 at 08:24pm

We are gathering Sunday 9Jan11 3:15pm cst to worship the Titletown Team. Let it be so humble to give the Vicks-burg Eagles their accomplishments. we're happy for you! Lo the evil deed of the 4th down and 26yds. has been exorcised by faith in our Green and Gold congregatjion. may the voice of our lord John Facenda inspire the protectors of the "frozen tundra"

on January 8th, 2011 at 08:40am

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on July 31st, 2012 at 11:37pm

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