GLENDALE, Az (WFRV) – The Packers were already beat up on defense going up against the undefeated Cardinals on a short week. Now offensively, they’re not looking too strong either.
Davante Adams and Allen Lazard hit the reserve/COVID list earlier this week. Adam Schefter reports earlier today that Marquez Valdes-Scantling will not be activated off of injured reserve. The Green and Gold are now down their top three receivers. So what are the Packers to do in order to get the win?
- Protect Aaron Rodgers– If you give Aaron Rodgers enough time in the pocket to make the throws to who he has out there, it will bode well for the Packers. You saw how the protection held up against the Washington Football Team’s front last weekend in the first half. It wasn’t great. Rodgers still has the ability to scramble, but his best stuff comes when he’s able to sit in the pocket and make those crazy ridiculous throws that he’s known for. The less sacks the man takes, the better.
2. Feed Aaron Jones – The run game was basically non existent last weekend. The Packers only had 57 yards rushing last week, which is not great for Matt LaFleur’s offense. When you’re down your top three receivers, feed one of your top players. Aaron Jones needs to be involved in the game today in order for the Packers to have a chance. AJ Dillon may have fumbled twice last week, but the Packers need his big, bruising strength to keep the sticks moving and keep time of possession with the Packers
3. Involve Robert Tonyan – The tight end was second in the league for tight ends last season with 11. So far through 7 games, he has only two. Matt LaFleur says they’ve faced a lot of good fronts this early in the season and have had to use him in a chipping capacity much more this season, but getting Bobby Tonyan involved today is a must. Rodgers will need every pass catcher he can find against Kyler Murray and the high octane Cardinals offense.
4. Control the clock – In a game where you are down your top three wideouts and your offensive line didn’t look super great last week, long drives that eat up the clock are going to be a must. The less that Kyler Murray is on the field, the better it is for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and company are going to have to always stay ahead of the sticks and make sure they don’t get caught in third and long situations. While JJ Watt is out for the game and what might be the season, the Cardinals still have game wreckers like Markus Golden and Chandler Jones. Wearing out that Arizona defense would bode well for the Packers.
5. Hang onto the ball – As mentioned before, AJ Dillon fumbled twice last week. One was recovered by Lucas Patrick, the other by Washington. The Arizona defense has forced 11 fumbles so far this season and recovered 8. Ball protection is going to be key against a defense that prides itself on takeaways. It’s pretty simple but it’s going to be paramount if the Packers want to come away with a win. Take care of the football.