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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Packers-Colts: Early analysis

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Everything the Packers did right in the first half completely disappeared in the second half.  The toughest part of this loss was that it wasn't one thing that broke down, it was several things that broke down.


Offensively it was clear the Packers missed Cedric Benson on two fronts.  One, Mike McCarthy abandoned the running game.  Perhaps he didn't want to put too much on Alex Green's plate.  Whatever the reason, the Packers rushed the ball only 10 times in the second half, four of which were scrambles by Aaron Rodgers.  Second, Benson has become a reliable pass target and without him Rodgers appeared to force the ball downfield one too many times.


Without any semblance of a running game the Colts were able to unleash the pass rush, leading to five second half sacks.  So again, look at that first half against Seattle and the second half here.  Then look at how the offense performed in between.  It is very difficult to get into a flow when Rodgers is pressured the way he was against Indy.


Meanwhile, the Packers pass rush went MIA in that second half.  Andrew Luck absorbed a number of hits and was sacked four times in the first half.  But in the second half the pressure just wasn't there.  That allowed Luck the chance to re-gain his composure and play with the poise of a seasoned veteran in the fourth quarter.


Given time to throw Luck picked apart the Packers thanks to a huge game by Reggie Wayne.  Throughout the day Wayne was targeted 20 times.  Considering he is the only remaining weapon on this team that is not an outlandish number.  But Wayne turned 13 of those targets into receptions which led to 212 receiving yards and ultimately the go ahead score.  That is simply too much.  Wayne still has the capability to make plays and he did it over and over against the Packers, even when the coverage was solid.


The second half was about the little things.  From the turnover battle to penalties to dropped passes and dropped interceptions.  The Packers couldn't do the little things.  This gave Indianapolis just enough of a window to score a victory.

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