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All or Nothing: Dwight Freeney predicted Don Barclay's nightmarish game vs. Cardinals

In the new documentary series All or Nothing, Dwight Freeney explained to his teammates how he would wreak havoc on Don Barclay ahead of the Cardinals' Week 16 tilt against the Packers.

Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

In a season with many low points, perhaps none hit the Green Bay Packers quite as hard as their 30-point drubbing at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals. That game turned out to be a disaster for several players, though none had a more demoralizing day than left tackle Don Barclay, who accounted for an astounding four sacks, four hurries and three penalties. One of his sacks even resulted in a forced fumble that the Cardinals returned for a touchdown. While other members of Green Bay's offensive line struggled as well, Barclay shouldered most of the blame for the team's shoddy performance.

Barclay's forgettable outing may reside in the past, but edge rusher Dwight Freeney shined some new light on it during the new documentary series All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals.

Freeney, who joined the Cardinals a month into the 2015 season, broke down Barclay's background and weaknesses for his teammates ahead of the team's Week 16 matchup with the Packers.

"If you're watching the film, I'm thinking, 'Okay look, [Barclay] was a right tackle and they moved him to left. That means he doesn't have a great set, he's probably scared to death of speed,'" Freeney said of Barclay's deficiencies. "So for me as I come around here, I'm letting him know I'm coming with speed on the outside all day. So he's going to have to come out and kick to get me. Now, I may not get the sack, guys, but I am setting him up. He doesn't even know it yet. That is the game within the game. Because then later on, I start spinning on him. I have sold outside so much, now I got him floating guys, now I can beat him on the inside."

Freeney’s forecast proved prescient, as he beat Barclay multiple times racing outside as well as spinning back inward. Freeney even burned the Packers offensive lineman for a strip-sack late in the fourth quarter, resulting in a scoop and score to add insult to injury.

Furthermore, Freeney’s diagnosis of Barclay’s speed issues certainly doesn't seem hyperbolic in retrospect. Barclay couldn't handle athletic pass rushers coming off the edge at any point last season, his first after missing an entire year to a torn ACL. After the four-sack performance against the Cardinals, Mike McCarthy benched Barclay in favor of shifting Josh Sitton over from left guard, another suboptimal option. The Packers didn't curtail the onslaught until reserve lineman JC Tretter finally earned the nod against Washington during the wild-card round.

All of which highlights the problem with a glaring hole on the depth chart. While teams can cover up some weaknesses with scheme, colossal deficiencies such as Barclay's play provide an overwhelming advantage to opponents. Not only did the Cardinals expose Barclay on Sunday, but their advance knowledge of his shortcomings also allowed them to build a more effective game plan during the week.

Put another way, victory is difficult enough to attain with a full deck. It becomes a herculean task to win effectively playing 10 on 11.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.