From Full Strength D To Perfect Against The AFC: 5 Keys To A Packers Victory

Don ZakCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2008

Heading into the most difficult game of the season, and the beginning of a difficult stretch, the Green Bay Packers need to set the tone with another definitive, send a message to the rest of the teams in the NFL kind of game that the Packers are legitimate contenders. 

#1. Capitalize On The Bye Week. Tennessee’s short week, combined with almost two weeks off for GB, should lead to running wide, sideline to sidelines plays and quarter back roll-outs to tire out the Titan’s D line.  If McCarthy can run five or six of these plays before the second quarter, they should be sufficiently winded to create opportunities for Grant and the wide outs to break tackles later on.

#2.  A Healthy Packers Secondary.  With 6 potential NFL starters now physically able to play (Bigby, Harris, Woodson, Collins, Rouse, and William), the secondary that leads the league with INTs will force Fisher to depend more heavily on the running game over passing.

#3. Force Collins To Pass More Than 25 Times. The last three games before the Colts game, Collins passer rating was below 60 with 3 picks in three games.  While he is clearly playing beyond expectations now in his 14th year, he also hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in the last two games and four out of seven games he threw zero touchdowns.

#4. Playing A Quality Team. Tennessee has beaten only one team with a winning record (Baltimore 4-3) and season to date opponents combined record is 17-33.  The Packers have played opponents with a combined record of 22-29 and three teams (Cowbells, Falcons & Tampa Bay) with winning records.

#5.  Solid Road Game Preparations.   McCarthy is 13-6 lifetime on the road (11-8 at home) and more importantly 5-0 versus AFC teams, which leads me to believe that he can properly motivate his players.  The two teams are also relatively unfamiliar with each other because they played only once in the last ten years during the regular season. LP Field is going to be an emotionally charges stadium come Sunday.