The Packers' Keys To Beating The Colts

John SzurlejAnalyst IOctober 16, 2008

As we approach game-time I'm sure that the Packers have seen videotape of the Colts operating at their best.  Expecting anything less from the resurgent Colts would be the biggest mistake since...(if you read my articles, I don't even have to type it).

As we all know, the Colts' offense is scary; how appropriate as Halloween approaches.  Make no mistake, Peyton Manning will be salivating when he passes against a banged-up secondary.

The Colts have many options on offense considering the passing attack they possess and the state of the defensive line and secondary for the Packers. When you look at the two teams, you can see where things may go horribly wrong for the Packers.

I am, however, going to focus my energy elsewhere this week on my take: the Packers need to step up and play big to beat Indianapolis!

The biggest thing for the Packers to do is to disrupt the rhythm of Peyton Manning. If the Packers defensive line can penetrate into the backfield without over-extending themselves, there will be less chance for the Colts' running game to establish early.

This may seem easier said then done, but the second key element comes from the linebackers. If the Packers' linebackers can execute blitzes and phantom blitzes, which allows the secondary to have the safety favor the hot route side, this may confuse Manning's timing enough to force him into safe routes and swing passes to the running back.

A mix of different blitz schemes against the Colts is imperative! The Packers need to exhaust themselves on sending pressure consistently all day. The linebackers are key here, and must play perfect.

On offense, the running game has to be solid, especially to relieve the quarterback's arm. I mentioned before that a running back by committee should be considered. In this game it needs to be implemented into the offense. If you can get 15 carries to each back it should open things up somewhat.

The Packers need to utilize a two-tightend set in some situations as the Colts will most likely attempt to play Donald Driver and Greg Jennings tight and press before letting them into their routes.

If the offense can mix run and pass favorably, then the only thing left is something that made Bill Parcells effective with many teams he has coached: ball control. The Packers must have long, time consuming, penalty free drives.  If the Packers can have the ball for 35 minutes in this game and avoid an aerial assault they should win this game.

The Packers cannot commit to an open free-for-all approach where they trade touchdown for touchdown. Avoiding this helps keep Peyton from being able to tear up a banged-up secondary and disrupts his flow.

It simply cannot happen, not because I don't believe they can't, but because the Colts are just that much better at airing it out and playing wide open; that's when they play at their best.

Overall, I feel the Packers are the masters of their own destiny in this game,and whatever path they choose to take must be approached with no stone unturned.

This game is a major test for Green Bay and if they win, they can go far. Playing through the injuries and winning against Indianapolis is what they need; the question is do they want it?

I say yes. Go Pack go!