Three Point Stance: Three Key Issues The Packers Need To Address

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 16:  Safety Nick Collins #36 of the Green Bay Packers makes an interception that was nullified by a penalty against the Chicago Bears during NFL action at Lambeau Field on November 16, 2008 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 37-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Two days away before the Green Bay Packers are set to go head to head with the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix, there are still a few things that head coach Mike McCarthy must address.

The Packers have been on a hot streak as of late.  They are also on a high full of confidence and it seems that it would take even the strongest of teams to bring them down at this point.

Although Packer fans and the Packers themselves are high and mighty heading into Sunday, they aren't exactly perfect. 

Three of the main things that the Packers need to address, in not only important for their game against Arizona, but in any future game they may play in this postseason.

1. Penalties

In case you haven't been listening to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman say it on Fox's Sunday Football broadcast, then I'll say it again. The Packers are the most penalised team in the NFL.

The main culprit is holds. Right tackle Mark Tauscher in particular seems to get caught on nearly every drive for trying just a little too hard to protect precious number 12.  While we like your attitude Mark, we could do without those extra 10 yards we need to keep gaining in order to get into the red zone.

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Another small and minor penalty that I have seen pop up from time to time is illegal contact. I don't think anyone in the NFL is really sure what this is, as half the time there is nothing really in it. However, it's a rule and we get called for it.

Charles Woodson, Nick Collins, Donald Driver and Greg Jennings need to watch where they put their hands on the Arizona defenders this Sunday. Due to their being two explosive offenses in the same stadium, you can bet your bottom dollar that the officials are going to call every small shove that they see.

Even though penalties are the Packers main course for concern, don't expect a huge turnaround. If the Packers haven't stopped holding and blocking in all the wrong ways prior to this game, there's slim chance that they are going to stop now.

2. Protect Aaron Rodgers

For god sake, just protect the quarterback. I feel I speak for all Packer fans when saying that if the offensive line collapsed and the Packers went back to the ways of old, it would be a crushing defeat.

We saw a few risky plays in Week 13 when the Packers met up with the Bears at Soldier Field.  Although the Packers won that game, an image that constantly plays through my head is one of Aaron Rodgers taking a hit, fumbling, regaining possession and then trying to throw again.

The Packers can't afford to let this scenario play out again in Arizona. In the past two months the Green Bay offensive line has been successful at protecting Aaron Rodgers.

Arizona's defense is far from the elite in the league. There have been countless times where they have failed to cover receivers in zone coverage and have been burnt on deep wide receiver routes. Give Aaron Rodgers time, and like always, we're sure to see an 82 yard completion down field to Greg Jennings at some point in the game.

3. Kicking Game

Mason Crosby has been let off the hook. He's missed nine field goals so far this season, even though he seemed to be back to his old ways against the Cardinals last week. 

A Texas boy that may be upset over his Longhorns losing, Crosby needs to make sure his balance and aim is 100 percent ready to go on Sunday.

If the Packers can't make the early touchdowns, they will settle for field goals. It's as simple as Mason Crosby needs to make them. Missing isn't an option. With Arizona's offense already estimated to be handful for Green Bay's defense, the Packers need to take as many points as they can get.