In the past I’ve talked about how I want to focus on one on one match ups for this series of posts. The problem that approach here is that I don’t think it’s true to the nature of matchup being featured. Right now there aren’t too many teams that will have a team line up a corner to a particular wide receiver the entire game. If they do, then it’s because you have a very good corner (for example Darrelle Revis) playing a very good wide receiver (for example Calvin Johnson). Then it makes total sense. What doesn’t make sense is if you try this for an entire secondary. If a team can go three deep at corner than they don’t care who is guard whom, just as long as most of the battles are won and the coverages aren’t blown. Same is true if the team can go three (or in this case four) deep at wide receiver. The offense will just line up the receivers where they will and challenge the defense to compensate.
Well that’s what we have this week folks. So instead of talking about how Jordy Nelson is going to handle Courtland Finnegan, or how Janoris Jenkins stacks up against Randall Cobb; I’m going to take a broader approach to this particular on the field battle.
The Rams defense offers a rare matchup problem for the Packers. Normally teams are happy if they have a good corner tandem, and then try to limit the amount of times that they get into the nickel. Not the Rams. The Rams, like the Packers, are experiencing a youth movement in their secondary. Rookies Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson have provided solid, to pretty darn good play. This mixed with the arrival of the solid veteran Courland Finnegan and it’s not hard to see why the Rams now have a top 10 defense. We are facing the rare team that can go about as deep as we are at receiver, and do so with a touch physical style that our receivers have been struggling with this year.
The good news for Packer fans is that our top three receiving options seem to have come out of their slump. Jordy Nelson has gotten most of his dropsies problems under control and is still the number one target while Greg Jennings is recovering from a groin injury. Randall Cobb continues to grow in the offense and should give the Rams troubles all day long. Most important though is that James Jones finally seems to have his head on straight is making some fantastic catches….if he and Aaron Rodgers can get on the same page then he may be in store for a breakout season.
The other piece of good news is that the safety play for the Rams seems to be questionable. As we Packer fans know, bad safety play can open up the deep pass….no matter how good of coverage the corners can give. All that the Packers need then is to give Rodgers the time to throw…..but that’s a post for another day….