Comparing the Packers Defense to the Juggernauts in Seattle and San Francisco All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Seahaws CB Richard Sherman gave a postgame interview after his team won the NFC Championship game that would’ve fit well into one of the Godfather movies.

An email exchange among Jersey Al and the crew during the NFC championship game between the Seahawks and 49ers got me thinking about the Packers defense compared to the two defensive units we saw on the field in Seattle on Sunday.

The Seahawks defense is like The Godfather: Tough, gritty, innovative, in-your-face, shocking at times and wildly entertaining.

The 49ers defense is like the The Godfather Part II: Unique, equally as tough, maybe a little sleeker, and just as shocking.

The Packers defense is like The Godfather Part III: A few decent moments, but mostly hated by fans of the Godfather franchise, boring, dated, slow and frustrating.

If there are any mafia Dons among the millions of Packers fans throughout the world, perhaps one of them could make the 49ers or Seahawks an “offer they couldn’t refuse” to swap defenses with the Green and Gold.

When you were watching the Seahawks and 49ers defenses on Sunday, what came to mind when you compared them to the Packers D?




Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


110 thoughts on “Comparing the Packers Defense to the Juggernauts in Seattle and San Francisco

    1. One other thought I overlooked.

      Richard Sherman is my new hero.

      You know, the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” idea. I can only imagine the prolonged hissy-fit that is still consuming Harblah even as I write this.

      And for that, I thank you, Richard.

    2. Seattle (speed) defense had front seven players that could catch Kaep from behind, a Packer defensive dream.

  1. GB’s defense is an utter joke. GM is clueless. Pieces that don’t belong on the field. Other pieces miscast. And still other pieces always injured (both OLB). TT is clueless at picking defensive players, always has been. A #280 3-4 DE? Converting a DT to OLB in his 4th year in the league? A short stubby pass rusher – Daniels. A fat slob with arms that don’t reach around his gut – Raji. And ILB that is slow & soft – AJ Hawk. I could go on and on but why bother. Nothing about this collection of defenders is good. We need a new GM and all new coaches. We need a fresh start before it is too late for AROD.

        1. Datone Jones is a pussy. No heart, no talent, no desire. The only sack he will have is the one with two balls in it.

        2. You’re right. The NFL is predictable. Whoever heard of a rookie disappointment making a turnaround? Unfathomable really.

      1. They say love is blind but I think packer fans qualify too. If Datone Jones has 8 or 10 sacks the opposing qb’s must be holding on to the ball for 5 minutes. It’s hard to get sacks when the receivers are running wide open. If the Pack doesn’t change up their D they will be the ass clowns again….

        1. Then you must know its hard to compete when Jolly, Neal, Matthews, Hayward, And Shields are all down and Perry is at about 75%. That’s 6 of 11 starters or players that play damn near as much as starters. Is my homer hat on to tight? Perhaps, but the Packers lost by 3 points on a kick with 3 seconds left. The 49ers? I believe they were missing Carlos Rodgers and that’s about it.

          I live in Los Angeles and watched several games this kid played in at UCLA. The kid can play and contrary to what you, Cow 42, and Big T think, the kid can play ball. Besides, when have you saw a rookie play THAT much under Capers. Hayward and Matthews and Matthews didn’t start until like week 5 or so of his rookie season if I remember correctly. Maybe 8 to 10 is a tad high but I think he’ll come through in a huge way next year.

          1. It would be a pleasant surprise if anyone shows up in this secondary. The combination of no pass rush and being out of position by the safety’s has been deadly to the long play for the packers. unfortunately injuries are a part of the game that every team has to work around. It’s the chicken or the egg theory, good teams work around injures and loosing teams get a lot of them. The culture of loosing started in preseason when MM didn’t play to win and I think that carries into the regular season. I just don’t see the packers as a dominant team with the average to below average players they are putting on the field.

  2. Both teams play extremely fast. It’s almost impossible to get around the edge on either defense because the LB are so fast, and both teams can put pressure on the QB with just 4 players. Just about every pass was contested and when they hit you they wrap you up and tackle you, none of this hitting you with the shoulder and bouncing off (Burnett). They both play fundamentally sound defense, something that has eluded the Packers since 2010.

    BUT, I also had some hope for the Packers, especially for their DB’s. Getting back Hayward and Hyde with a year under his belt, the Packers defense will improve. So much is put into a DB 40 time at the combine. I looked at the combine times for Sherman and Chancellor and compared them to Hyde and Hayward. I guess it depends on which source you use but what I found out is Hayward ran the fastest and Hyde and Sherman ran the same 40 time.

    The Packers have to stay healthy, bottom line. If you listened to MM talk about the defense and what it needed to improve, it almost sounded like Free Agency was a possibility. Perhaps if TT actually signs a player or two in FA, drafts like he did last year, and signs Sam Shields the Packers are right there again.

  3. There really isn’t much of a comparison. With Our defense we just hope we can hold the opponents to FG’s because we know they are going to typically gain near or above 400 yards on us. One thing that stood out to me was that it seemed like we saw more “big hits” in this one game than we saw in an entire season from the Packers?

    1. You do know that SF gained 381 on us and 308 on Seattle right? That’s less than 1 extended drive difference. Is GB’s D as good as either of those units? No. But it’s not designed to be either.

      GB has a franchise QB (who, unlike SEA and SF, is actually paid like one). Once SF and SEA have to pay their QBs north of 15 mil a year (and that’s coming in less than 12 months at the very latest), their cap numbers are going to get VERY tight when they try to resign or obtain other playmakers. Just like NO, GB, and NE right now. Just like Denver will be next year.

      The NFL cap and draft systems force parity. (at least at the top end). The best chance to win it all is to stay in the top 10 teams or so for an extended time and hope things come together for a run or two. (just like GB has) GB needs to stay healthy #1. And past that, they need a better ILB and a better FS.

      Finally, did you notice how similarly that game yesterday compared to the SF/GB game? Right down to the Hyde missed/Chandler made picks? You throw in how GB’s offense is MUCH better than either of those teams, and with how quickly things can change in the NFL – I’d say “no.” There is not that much difference between SEA, SF and GB.

      1. GB only scored 20 vs SF.
        How is their offense MUCH better than Seattle’s.

        GB has a “regular season” offense.

        1. I’m sorry Cow – but that is just BS. GB has a better running game than either of those teams and the passing difference is just laughable.

          GB scored 20. SEA scored 23. 13 of those 23 were off of 49er turnovers. 1 of them inside the red zone. GB’s offense had to do all the scoring work completely themselves. No help from the D with turnovers in the other teams half. GB’s offense > BY FAR then either of those teams.

          1. I don’t know, Bearmeat, I agree with you that GB’s offense on the whole is better, but the running game isn’t the place I’d start. Lacy is a phenomenal addition and has the potential if he stays healthy to make our running game *a* top attack for years to come.

            But, comparing GB against Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore (to say nothing of Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick) is pretty stiff competition. Equally good, I’d say, but better? That’s a tough sell for me.

            That said, when you compare the passing attack, with the entire QB-3WR-TE combo (at least, prior to Finley’s injury, and probably still after for that matter) it isn’t even close with SF/SEA. The only team in the NFL that gives us a run for our money as a complete package is DEN.

            1. Yeah – I probably overstated my case a little bit. I just hate SF so much that it clouds my judgement somewhat. (And SEA isn’t far behind).

              I’ll say equal – perhaps with both teams being a bit better running the ball because of the scrambling QBs. However, ARod CAN scramble, he’s just told NOT to do so because (unlike SF/SEA) his arm and brain is his main asset.

            2. SF’s O-line is a lot better than GB’s. (It’s better than Seattle’s, too.) I’d rather have Lacy than Gore, but if i had to choose a unit to pick up a 4th & 1, i’d probably take Gore & his line over Lacy & his.

        2. “GB has a regular season offense” is very true. We get good results from playing the general populace or those teams with significant weakness. We get many of our stats by playing Chicago, Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas and the like. Our average O-line looks good against these teams, our WR get seperation against these secondaries, our lack of TE is not a big handicap against these teams. Playing against the big boys who don’t have the big holes brings all the averages down.

          Hey, I like our offense but in the bigger games we struggle and when the defense stiffens we can’t convert. As much as our defense holds this team back or offense has room for improvement. I used to think that we could outgun (outscore) teams so our defense didn’t need to be as solid. I see now that our offense can 3 and out with the best of them, particularly when playing against the likes of SF or Seattle.

          1. Yeah – that same thing can be said about every team in the NFL. How’d the Panthers do against SF? How’d the 9ers do against AZ? How’d NO do against SEA? How’d SEA do against CAR?

            Very good teams are hard to beat. On offense. And on defense. GB has 1/2 that equation figured out. Can they figure out the other half enough to get another Lombardi? Now THAT is the real question.

        3. I’m not sure what that even means.

          Playoff football is fundamentally different because parity has weeded out 20 of 32 teams. Now you’ve got a couple teams that sneak in, and then the most complete teams in the league. You’re going to be playing against at least solid defenses on a weekly basis.

          If you’re saying the Packers have an offense that’s only effective against the bottom half of the league, then, in reality you’re saying they need an overhaul on both sides of the ball AND in management.

          Somehow I don’t think the cupboard isn’t that bare…

      2. Bearmeat is right. They were talking yesterday on Kapernicks upcoming contract. He’s either a FA or Restricted FA after next year and the 49ers would likely try and do what TT did with Rodgers, get him under contract before the start of next season. He’s said to be looking at somewhere near $18 million a year. There’s goes the cap in San Francisco, you can’t keep them all. Seattle has about $5 million heading into next year and take a look at all the FA they have coming up. Today’s NFL, you have a small window and then your kinda forced into a mini rebuild. At the end of the day the Packers still have the best QB on the planet. I take Rodgers and his ability to win on any Sunday.

        1. Good point. Kaepernick is now in the final year of his contract, as is Crabtree. Justin Smith, Donte Whitner are also FAs now. The crazy thing is the 49ers have THIRTEEN DRAFT PICKS in this year’s draft. They seem to be pretty good at drafting as well, so I’m sure they’ll have plenty of talent to re-stock.

          1. I think the jury’s still out on whether they are really that great at drafting. most of their great players were top-11 picks, where it is alot easier to find studs. last 2 years, they’ve had 18 picks. 6 are already gone and only one (Reid) has made any meaningful contribution. they haven’t really had any great late-round finds since getting Bowman in the 4th in 2010.

          2. I know, and they had a killer draft last year. But slowly all those number one picks on the offensive line and defensive line need to be paid if they haven’t already. I know they have a ton of money tied up in the LB unit. Crabtree is going to want to be paid after next year too.

        2. “I take Rodgers and his ability to win on any Sunday.”

          You should extend that sentence by adding… “during the regular season”.

          1. You are hopeless. How’s Manning doing this year in the playoffs? How did Brady do? How bout Brees? How bout Big Game Ben and Cool Joe Flacco? OH WAIT! THEY DIDN’T MAKE IT!

            FACT: Only 3 QBs since the salary cap have more a playoff record of more than 3 games over .500. (Big Ben, Brady, Joe). If you take age out of the equation, a solid argument can be made for taking Brady over ARod. Not the other 2 – they benefitted form having shut down defenses and got lucky (yes I said it) more often than not on offense.

          2. Hmmm just think, he has as many rings as Manning today as we speak, Bree’s, Farve, and one more than Marino. He’s 30 years old and should play another 6 to 8 years barring injury at a high level. I’ll take my chances on SB Sunday again before his career is over.

          3. Rodgers had arguably the greatest (overall) stretch of any quarterback in NFL history in 2010. Win or lose, it’s the most you can possibly ask out of your quarterback.

            Not to mention he has the third highest passer rating in the post season in NFL history.

            Seriously, where do you come up with this crap??? Bearmeat is right, YOU ARE HOPELESS!

        3. Right. Since Manning eats up all of Denver’s cap, there’s no way the Broncos can make the Super Bowl.

          1. The Horsies got Pey-Pey on the cheap (relatively speaking) because they didn’t know if his chicken neck could survive even a trip down the stairs.

            I don’t remember off hand but I think the deal was 2 years for a max of 45 mil with only 9 guaranteed. By franchise QB standards today, that’s cheap. It was a gamble (on both ends) that paid off.

      3. Wonderful assessment Bearmeat — especially regarding cap situations and draft options. At the same time, they have managed to get their defenses to execute much better than the Packers — better tackling, more pressure, tighter coverage downfield. At some positions the Packers just don’t have the horses, at other positions the horses just aren’t well trained. And, in a few other positions, the horses are just lazy and need to be put out to pasture. I expect big changes on defense for next season — not just through the draft, but through improved coaching as well.

        1. Yeah – GB’s D was not good this year. And that’s what has to change. It has to be average to above average for a SB to be legitimately in the cards. (just like NE/DEN/NO). It’s just a FACT that the economics of the NFL don’t allow more than 4 stud players on 1 team for any stretch of time. That number decreases to 3 when one of the studs is a QB. Within 2 years, the media coverage on SF/SEA WILL BE “What happened?”. Simple – the NFL Rules did. Just like they did to GB in 2012/2013.

          GB needs to figure out how to stay healthy. Replace the FS, one of the ILBs and Finley at TE. Resign Shields, find a run stuffing NT. These are all possible to do in 1 offseason if the right moves are made (and TT has done it before).

        2. ” I expect big changes on defense for next season — not just through the draft, but through improved coaching as well”. Nope/nada/now way!!!

          Don’t hold your breath. It’s not going to happen. It may have if we didn’t back into the play offs. It may have happened if it wasn’t Green Bay where all the seats are sold for the next 2,000 years. The only way this will happen is if the Packers miss the preseason several years in a row.

          1. Palmda – when has MM promised to change something and it hasn’t happened. Go read/listen to his season ending presser again. How does that not make you feel good about the future of the defense?

            2008 – “We will get better on defense”
            2009 – “We will get our coverage problems figured out”
            2010 – Won the SB
            2011 – “We will tackle better”
            2012 – “We will figure out the injuries”

            The ONLY one that he didn’t fix the next year was the injuries. To be sure that’s a big question mark. But as far as the football is concerned? I’m not worried.

            1. 2013 – “We will get better on defense. We will get our coverage problems figured out. We will tackle better. We will figure out the injuries”

  4. First, both teams defenses are VERY physical. They usually don’t miss tackles, like the Packers do.

    Second, they also CREATE TURNOVERS! The Packers must do more of that in 2014.

    Third, SF AND SEA DRAFT WELL ON DEFENSE. Seattle gambled on Bruce Irvin with the 15th pick in 2012 and won big (played in all 16 games and led all NFL rookies with 8.0 sacks and 19 quarterback hits in 2012). Yes, you read right, a rookie that PLAYED IN ALL 16 GAMES! They also picked CB Byron Maxwell in the 6th round in 2011 and he has provided incredible value.

  5. Neither QB had much time or room to get fancy. Our D-line and LB’s are not in the same ballpark as these defenses, at least not on a consistent basis. We definitely need more speed and pass rush from our defense – that changes everything.

    Too bad both teams are so hard to like. Richard Sherman is the face of both these teams. Go Broncos

    1. “Seahaws CB Richard Sherman gave a postgame interview after his team won the NFC Championship game”

      It was just the ‘roids talking…

  6. 4th thing to add to my post. Both SF and Seattle sign free agents.

    They are now in a position to play for a SB while the Packers wait for their draft picks to either heal from injury and then develop when they actually play.

    1. Agreed, but both teams lined up the same defense as they did in week one for most part. Really makes you wonder why EVERY year the Packers can’t escape without 15 or 20 guys on IR.

      1. True. I’m normally an optimist, but I’m tempering my expectations to be more realistic for the Packers’ injury situation in 2014. The players have just dropped like flies 3 out of the last 4 seasons.

  7. Can a team have 2 GM’s?
    TT can be the offensive GM.
    Find someone else to be the defensive GM.

    1. Excellent point. He has done an incredible job on accumulating offensive talent. On defense, he gets an “F”.

  8. Broncos – 28 players traded for or acquired through free agency.

    Patriots – 26 players traded for or acquired through free agency.

    Seahawks – 25 players traded for or acquired through free agency.

    49’ers – 27 players traded for or acquired through free agency.

    That is all.

    1. Green Bay (regular season) — 27 players traded for or acquired through free agency.

      Make sure a statistic actually means what you think it does.

  9. Both defenses are physical and they both stop the run. Seattle did a better job than SF. Both teams protect the edge and the Seattle secondary is better than SFs, at least for yesterday’s game. I would say they are about equal on the pass rush. Probably the biggest difference is that they both make tackles and both defenses were relatively healthy when the game began. I would give an edge to the SF front 7 due to their linebackers, but an edge to Seattle’s secondary which covers well and plays “in your face”. The Packers front 7 doesn’t ‘t compare well with either SF or SEA and the Packers don’t hit. The Pack plays like it is illegal to make a tackle or a legal hit. The Packers do not play with a sense of urgency or with any abandon on defense. They rarely make a stop on a short yardage run on 3rd or 4th down plays. Besides getting healthy the Packers defense needs an attitude adjustment, get physical, hit people, force some turnovers. This starts with Capers and he has not got it done for 3 seasons now. I was hoping he was gone but it looks like he’ll be back for 2014. As for TT drafting, his defense picks are not as strong as his offensive picks and he is drafting low every year. We will see what happens this year. Strategically, in a league dominated by the offense and by QBs he has succeeded in building one of the best offenses in the league. On defense he has missed on safeties and ILBs. He has brought in FAs; Shields, Pickett, Woodson, Jenkins, brought back Jolly to name a few. TT is not willing to blow up the cap for one SB run. When SF and Sea need to pay their QBs they won’t be able to keep all of their defense as well and that may be time for TT to go FA hunting. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. “I would give an edge to the SF front 7 due to their linebackers, but an edge to Seattle’s secondary which covers well and plays “in your face”.”

      This is where Seattle hit the jackpot. They found big, athletic bodies at S and CB that allow them to play a style where they pound on receivers and allow their DL to attack (and LB to blitz). Sound familiar? Think Brother Harris and CWood with Nick Collins behind them–physical players, but just not turned loose on the same level these guys are.

      The NFL is a copycat league, and teams are going to see what the Seahawks have in their DB and draft to try to match it. The general success or failure of that tactic could make a big difference in how this game is played.

      1. Wasn’t Davon House (4th rd. 2011) supposed to be a biggish, physical corner, kind of like Sherman (5th rd. 2011) only not as big & not as fast?

        1. Coming out of college House was/is faster than Sherman (4.4ish vs 4.5ish). Sherman is lankier and 2 inches taller than House, but both are over 6 foot.

          House has some good ball skills, he ought to get better; he was set back by that injury last season and I believe it stunted him.

  10. I still can’t blame the players alone. I think our scheme & coaching need serious scrutiny and many of our players don’t fit the scheme.

  11. How many SuperBowls have those ferocious defenses won? I think you will find the answer is 0, and will still be 0 in 2 weeks.

    Hell of a lot easier to find top notch players when you are drafting in the top 5 for more than not(which up until last year that was both teams).
    Hell of a lot easier to sign FA’s when most of your taslent are still working on thier rookie salaries.
    Let’s see which direction both these teams go when Free Agency starts kicking them in the ass.

    There is plenty of improvement needed in Green Bay, but I’ll take The Packers D (when healthy) any year.

    These so called “juggernots” are only an injury here and a holdout there from being average.

    1. ” I think you will find the answer is 0, and will still be 0 in 2 weeks.”

      I tend to lean toward Seattle in this one (not that I want to) due to their ability to grind on offense and the pressure their defense will put on the Bronco receivers. I think the cold will be a factor (more in terms of Manning’s performance than anything else).

    2. Neither of the “juggernauts” have an SB because they are missing an elite QB like Aaron Rodgers. Put Rodgers on either team or give Rodgers either defense and it’s over. That’s the point! If the Packers had even a sound defense they would contend if not win the SB every year. I would trade for either SFs or Seattle’s defense straight up right now. I’m not sure how the cap would work out but they are both more solid and fundamentally sound compared with GBs defense. Especially in this offense driven league. In the least, I would want to trade defensive coaching staffs with either team. BTW, Seattle may win the SB. Manning has had his problems with strong defenses, like the old NE and Steelers defenses, pre-2010, especially outside in weather. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. I think you are missing the point. If the Niners or Seahawks had that elite qb and were paying him like Rodgers, they wouldn’t be able to afford having such a good defense. you can’t treat everything like it’s in a vacuum. it’s all connected. and previous seasons have an effect on the current one. those other teams started their runs later than GB and are taking advantage of many rookie contracts. those great defenses will start to erode once it comes time to pay their qb’s.

        There’s a good chance the Niners extend Kap & Aldon Smith this summer. That’s probably another $9-11 mil of cap space lost, which brings them right to the limit when you consider that they’re still going to have to sign this year’s daft picks. CB Brown, S Whitner, WR Boldin, and C Goodwin are all good players becoming free agents and SF will have no space to pay them. Then the year after that, they’ll likely need all their space to extend Crabtree and Iupati, so unless Gore takes a monster pay cut he is gone. Hunter and James aren’t terrible, but they aren’t Frank Gore. these last 2 years were their best shot and they missed. SF will still be good and will still be in the conversation like the Packers, but it will be more of a struggle with each passing year. And Seattle will be in the when they have to extend Sherman and Wilson this summer or next.

          1. True, they are losing him either to age or free agency. one way or another, they’ll need hunter, james, or lattimore to step up quite a bit to fill his shoes

    3. “Hell of a lot easier to sign FA’s when most of your taslent are still working on thier rookie salaries.
      Let’s see which direction both these teams go when Free Agency starts kicking them in the ass.”

      Russell Wilson might be worth every dollar he gets. He might not be as physically gifted as some QBs, but he’s a leader and he makes good things happen on the field. When his legs start to go, he might still be an effective QB.

      As for Kaepernick, he’s shown that he has a long way to go as an NFL passer. His ability to threaten a defense with his legs is his greatest asset right now, whether he actually runs or not, and that’s more a function of improvised scrambles than designed runs. Frankly, I think he’s dumb as a post and SF will give him big money, but will be sorry long-term.

  12. Lets remember that the Packers held the 49ers to 20 points and the Seahawks held them to 17. Both games saw tipped passes near the end. If the Packers had someone to catch Hyde’s tip the way the Hawks had a player to catch the tip then the 49ers aren’t even in this game.

    1. Part of that is swarming to the ball, which these two teams–but especially Seattle–do very well. The flip side of that is the question of how many receivers the opposition actually has running routes against these defenses and whether they’re regularly holding TE and RB in to support the OL. It’s easier to swarm to receivers in a pattern that only has 2 active route-runners.

    2. I agree, they underperformed this season; that’s exactly why they’re sitting on the couch for the super bowl.

      That said, they aren’t that far off from competing. They need players to get better, or to acquire better talent (however possible).

  13. we are SLOW, to a man except for Shields and perhaps CM3. do we have one guy except CM3 and i am not even sure he could start in SF, he would be a situational pass rusher. SF’s fifth backer is Skuta and he too is a difference maker. and boy is it fun to watch good D, rather than the flag football fantasy league the NFL has become.

  14. I believe the Packers Defense would be easier in comparison to High School teams. It is an insult to the National Football League. The Packers Defense is a complete joke unless you go down to High School or Grade School level. But yeah lets just say it is because of injuries. Makes it feel ok that way. Main thing is that they don’t change a thing, change is SCARY…

  15. You see Crabtree alligator arm that pass in the 4th Q? He heard footsteps all day. GB has zero intimidation factor at all. Part coaching, part players. The D needs a good rebuild.. It won’t be fixed just by this offseason. Makes it tougher when your paying 20 million to a QB. Seattle only paying Rookie salary to Wilson, they can spend on D right now.

    1. They have a ton of FA and $5 million in cap space. Seattle spent in FA to win this year while they could. Look at the FA they have and how do they keep em?

  16. I think that our 2009 draft showed our thinking on defense. Drafting Raji and building a big but slow D-line was classic 3-4 style thinking. The Packers want to play Jolly (Wilson), Raji and Pickett but can’t. They don’t last, they can’t pursue and they don’t get enough push. Against the old pound-it offenses, this 3-4 worked but it doesn’t work in the modern, mobile game. Heck, our nickle defense was more our base than our based. Furthermore, we don’t have the linebackers to make this defense work.

    Our D-line needs more mobility and push and our linebackers need more, well, talent. Our scheme and the personnel are not suited to today’s game. I dare say that the Packers would have struggle against all four of those teams yesterday.

    1. …and, yet, he had 10 games this season where he was 30 yd rushing or less (including 22 against the Packers week 1). 5.4 yards per carry…would be awful good for a RB, yes. But my suspicion is that those numbers are bloated by a few scrambles of over 20 yards.

      He’s not going to beat teams that play disciplined football at the line and who can cover. He’s the beneficiary of a very good defense and a strong OL.

      In my mind, he’s a bigger version of a young Michael Vick. Has a lot of developing to do throwing the football.

      1. They save his running until late in the season/playoffs to minimize regular season hits.

        That’s how good they are – they actually hold stuff back until the games matter… and they still put up 11+ wins.

        1. Actually, no. Over the course of the first 8 games of the season season, he ran 49 times (out of 92 rushes) or a little over 6 times per game for 294 yards (6 yd per). Second half, around 5.5 times per game for 5.3 yd per.

          The Niners played 6 games against 2013-14 playoff teams (3 in the first half of the season, and 3 in the second), and he averaged 6.5 rushes in those games…8.3 in the first three games of the season (GB, Sea, Ind)…so 2 losses.

          Usually the Niners have limited Gore’s touches in the second half of the season…

    2. He’s had some big runs in the playoffs, thus far, but that may be a function of teams that can actually cover and force him to make decisions. When you watch him play, you know when he’s going to take off very early in the play.

  17. Here is the difference between the 4 NFL teams left and the Pack:

    Seattle added FA DE Avril, DE Bennet, traded for DT Sealver Siliga, WR Percy Harvin. Bennet 5th ranked 4/3 DE, Avril 13th ranked 4/3 DE, Siliga 29th ranked DT. All have modest short term contracts exect for Harvin.

    Denver added FA G Vasquez, CB Cromartie, DE Phillips, WR Welker, DT Knighton. Vasquez 3rd ranked G, Cromartie 5th ranked CB, Phillips 18th ranked DE, Welker 30th ranked WR and Knighton 9th ranked DT. All modest short term contracts except for Vasquez 4y 23.5 M.

    San Fran added FA CB Asomugha, DE Dorsey, Traded for WR Baldwin, WR Boldin. Asomugha was cut with a min contract, Dorsey ranked 22nd DT, Baldwin 161st WR and Boldin 9th WR. All very modest contracts, Boldin 1 yr left at 6M.

    New England added FA WR Amendola, S Wilson, Traded for DT Sopoaga, RB Blount. Amendola ranked 34th WR, Wilson went on IR, Sopoaga 129th DT, Blount 14th RB. All modest short term contracts except for Amendola 5y 28.5m.

    A good argument could be made that none of these teams would have made it to the Final 4 without these transactions. Avril and Bennet were crucial to Seattle’s success. All 5 of Denver’s FA were crucial to there success. San Frans Dorsey had a big role on the D-Line and Boldin was crucial all year long and single handedly beat the Packers in the first game. NE Amendola played a key role and Blount played huge for NE down the stretch.

    If TT had put as much effort into creating the best possible Packer team for 2013 as these GMs did, a very good argument could be made that the Pack would have been one of the last 4 standing. Give Rogers a chance. Don’t waste any year of his finite career.

    1. …and Denver’s defense, on paper, mirror’s GB’s pretty closely, and that’s playing WITH the Peyton Manning shield all season. NE’s defense was right there with GB’s except in ppg (a 5 ppg difference).

  18. Of course, everyone wants a historically good defense, no s$hit. But, Rodgers is getting paid $25M per year, and the vaunted offense settled for 3 against 49ers in crunch time. Def held them to 23 points. TT surely has to do much better, but this team is based on offense and Rodgers has not played great in playoffs last couple of years.

    1. OK. So what is TT’s excuse before Rogers and Matthews contracts. Manning’s and Brady’s salaries have not stopped those Gms from plugging holes using FA’s. Roger’s salary should not be used as an excuse for TT’s ineffectiveness in building a defense.

      1. New England hasn’t won an SB in over 10 seasons now and their defense is pretty awful. Meanwhile Denver has sold out to win before Manning falls apart or his head pops off if he takes a hit in the wrong place. In today’s NFL if you don’t manage the cap you pay for it for a long time. See Jacksonville, Minnesota and Oakland and soon to be Dallas. Thanks,Since ’61

      2. I am not even saying the contracts are an excuse. TT needs to do better and use FA. It’s just hard to build a historically good offense and historically good defense at same time. Since Rodgers is paid as best QB in league, he should carry them in the playoffs and he hasn’t.

        1. Respectfully Doug- I think that you have it backwards. In today’s NFL your QB gets you into the playoffs but your defense determines how far you go in the playoffs. For example, 2007 and 2011 NYG, 2012 Ravens and our 2010 Packers. Our defense has been effective since the 2010 SB run. Or look at Brady and Manning at Indy, or even Rodgers. Plenty of playoffs, no SB’s lately. Our 2013 Packers, Rodgers takes the lead twice against SF but defense can’t hold the lead for even one series to possibly allow the offense to extend the lead. Then defense allows SF to hold ball for 5+ plus minutes and close out game. The problem is that too many Packer fans expect offense to score on every possession and when they don’t they blame the playcalling. The first assumption has nearly a zero probability and the second is ridiculous. Playcalling, good or bad, is only as effective as the players execution on the field. For example, game winning play against the Bears, do you know or care what the play call was? No, because the players executed a game winning TD. If our defense executed against SF we might have a game in 2 weeks. Thanks, Since ’61

      3. The “excuse” is that tying up all the cap signing FAs means you have no room left when it comes to signing the likes of Rodgers and Matthews when their payday comes up without gutting your roster.

        You can’t spend every dollar every year and expect to not have it come back to haunt you eventually.

  19. “Against the old pound-it offenses, this 3-4 worked but it doesn’t work in the modern, mobile game”. That’s an odd statement when discussing SEA and SF because both teams are old pound-it offensive styles, by necessity.

    CK showed again yesterday that he’s far from a competent pocket passer. Both 4th quarter picks should never have thrown, and the TD to Boldin should have been intercepted (another poor decision). If CK is not running he’s a liability. SF might have one SB win and be playing for another if they had stuck with Alex Smith. Russell Wilson is light years ahead of CK, but he doesn’t have anyone to throw the ball to.

    Both defenses are very good, but they’re going to look a lot better playing each other because both offenses are so limited.

    1. We actually played quite well against teams that ran right at us. As soon as teams started to run wide on us or a QB scooted out around the end we didn’t have enough speed to contain the offense. I think that teams basically tried to spread us and expose our inability to set the edge or pursue east-west motion. My opinion.

      1. Good distinction Razer. I wasn’t trying to call out you’re previous comment, just was using part of what you said to make a point.

  20. Is anyone else in favor of a hybrid defense? Ted has so many tweeners, I feel like we already have a lot of pieces…Perry and Neal are 4-3 ends, Daniels and worthy are 4-3 tackles, there’s a lot of flexibility due to some of these ‘miscast’ players. Just my two cents.

    1. Great idea. But Dom would NEVER do it. He’s a 34 guy through and through. Maybe (with apologies to LeBeau), Dome is THE 34 guy.

      A 43 Hybrid with Neal, Daniels, D. Jones, and Perry. CM3, ILB (or Hawk/Jones) and Mulumba?

      Those same guys CAN play both schemes! Which grouping would show up on any given play? Wow. Offenses wouldn’t know what hit them.

      1. Capers used the 4-3 when he was DC in Jacksonville. fewest pnts allowed in 1999. having the potential to play both schemes and being able to alternate it on a play-by-play basis are two different things. how comfortable would the players be in their roles when they are constantly switching? & the more you ask players to remember, the less likely they are to play fast. you need to pay fast to be a good defense.

        1. You raise a great point sir; I think it starts with the talent level on the defensive side of the ball, not to mention the talent that we did have underperformed most of the season.

          However, they played their best defensive game in the playoffs, so that was promising.

    2. Totally would love to see this. If we had two stud interior guys then let Datone Jones, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Worthy, Matthews or one of two decent ILB generate coordinated pass rushes, no O-line would be safe.

      If OLB/DE hybrids are the most abundant draft players then lets tune the defense to take advantage of this. But you do need two big disruptive guys in the trenches to anchor the line. Raji didn’t play hard enough and Pickett is near the end. Still need to control the line.

    3. They already do. Sure the base D is a 3-4, but they play an awful lot of nickel and dime where they tend to come with a combination of 4-3-2 man fronts and varying LBs, either playing with their hand down or off the line.

      Base scheme, 4-3 vs. 3-4, is becoming less and less important. Sub packages and situational packages rule the game.

    4. I’m pretty sure 7 of the top 10 defenses are 3/4. Zone fire schemes are good; lots of flexibility built in.

      The 4-3 has more beef up front; but the 3-4 is here to stay I don’t think the Packers will force a change in defensive scheme with Rodgers in his prime.

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