It's pretty obvious that Green Bay's offense isn't a juggernaut against teams that play their safeties deep, push the receivers toward the sideline, and rush four. I just described a Cover 2 scheme. Teams like the 49ers and the Giants ran effective Cover 2s against the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers and the Giants each manhandled the Packers this season because of the Packers inability to attack the middle of the field.The addition of a healthy Greg Jennings and a non-stubborn Mike McCarthy could make all the difference.
As mentioned in Tom Silverstein's JSOnline article, if an offense wants to defeat the Cover 2 they must stay patient, run the ball effectively, and make plays down the middle of the field. The Green Bay Packers epically failed at doing all three of those things Sunday Night against the Giants, which resulted in a pathetic 38-10 pounding at the hands of the defending world champions.
If the Packers want any chance of making a run in the post season, they have to figure out how to defeat the cover 2. For a scheme so simple, it's mind-boggling that an offensive genius like Mike McCarthy hasn't been able to defeat it this season.
The Packers need to stop attempting deep throws down the field when they should be opting for the ten yard slant. The slant route used to be a staple of the Packer offense because it allowed young and athletic receivers to make plays with their feet on high percentage throws. However, I do not think any of the current healthy receivers are crisp enough route runners to perfect the slant.
That is why the return of Greg Jennings to the Packer lineup will help defeat the dreaded Cover 2. Quick throws will help the struggling offensive line with pass protection and the draw and short yardage running game. If Rodgers can hit Jennings or even Randall Cobb on a slant for a big play, then the entire field will begin to open up. Jordy Nelson and James Jones will be able to run their best routes outside the numbers effectively. The entire offense will begin to show the effectiveness of late 2010 and 2011 because of one receiver and his best route.
It would also be nice to see if Jermichael Finley could get something going over the middle part of the field. The ideal target is the tight end when facing an effective Cover 2 defense. Some of Finley's best games have come against Cover 2 defenses.
The Packers need to simplify the game and trust their play makers to make plays. The Packers have been too reliant upon Aaron Rodgers and defeating the Cover 2 should be priority number 1 for the 7-4 Green Bay Packers.