The Packers Are Blitzing More And Sacking Less

Packers puttin' on the blitz - JSOnline. Bob McGinn has a lot of statistics on defensive coordinator Dom Capers's tendency to blitz. And he compares them to the stats for past defensive coordinators. Capers is dialing up the blitz more than I've noticed, and I understand better now why I haven't noticed it more.

The base four man pass rush is LB Clay Matthews, DE Jarius Wynn, NT B.J. Raji, and LB Erik Walden. That group has accounted for 9 of their 17 sacks this season. Matthews creates a lot of pressure and gets some extra hits on the quarterback too, but none of the other players have stood out this season. It's not a clear comparison without Cullen Jenkins and Frank Zombo included, but the four primary pass rushers in 2010 recorded a higher percentage of the the team's sacks. Matthews, Raji, and Jenkins alone combined for 27 of the team's 47 sacks in 2010. The lack of pressure from that group is a reason why Desmond Bishop is tied for the team lead with 3 sacks.

Bob McGinn's stats show that Raji is putting less pressure on the quarterback, but I'm sure he'd be better off if he had Jenkins lining up next to him instead of Wynn. I've been really disappointed with Walden this season, and finding someone to compete at outside linebacker should be a priority this offseason.

According to McGinn, Capers has called for a blitz on nearly 40% of their plays, which is up from 33% last season. Those are play calls when the Packers rush more than four defenders. But Capers doesn't call for six or more rushers often, and he never leaves the coverage team in man-to-man (there's always an safety covering the middle). Which is why I haven't noticed the blitz as often: he's not taking any huge chances.

What do you think of this scheme? Would you like to see the Packers do something different?

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