Why don’t the Packers play more man coverage?

The Green Bay Packers have long loved zone coverage in their base defense. But the important point here is that this fortress is not impregnable. Lately, there seems to be an open invitation to the recipient to visit the middle and the seams. They basically became VIP jobs. Defenders look lost and miss shots left and right.

GreenBay’s defense maintained its “bend, don’t break” mantra, sticking to zone coverage like glue to prevent explosive plays. This was their favorite strategy to prevent home runs from the opposing team. The problem is that the protection starts to bend and break. Last week, Baker Mayfield had a very good passer rating against Green Bay’s defense and ran the zone with confidence. If that wasn’t enough, Bryce Young pitched a career high in a difficult season for Joe Barry’s defense in the second inning on Sunday.

The Packers feel they are married to a zone defense, but the coaching staff hasn’t made any adjustments and the defense is starting to fall apart. Barry addressed the issue earlier this season, pointing out the lack of significant “checks” on certain offensive linemen. Barry acknowledged the problem after the Las Vegas Raiders game. In one notable play, Barry Preston had Smith cover Davante Adams, highlighting the need for the Packers to eliminate and correct these coverage mistakes.

After the game, Barry said it wasn’t as simple as changing coverage. “I wish it was easy. We called a cover where Preston had to fall, it was a near fall and they put Tae in guard. Sometimes there is a built-in mechanism, control, or function that allows you to close it. “Depending on the people we hire and the people we hire, we didn’t have that mechanism.”

The mystery surrounding Green Bay in Las Vegas is not a one-off coincidence. It was a recurring headache throughout the season. Consider the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for example. Even when Mayfield broke it up, the Packers stuck to their zone coverage strategy. Defensive backs were constantly deployed and linebackers had to cover speedy receivers. So the secondary had to deal primarily with running backs and tight ends.

De’Vondre Campbell has allowed the most yards in zone coverage by a Packers linebacker since 2006. Against the Buccaneers, the Packers stuck to their zone coverage strategy throughout the game. Was awesome. The receiver found wide open spaces in the middle of the field with surprising ease. Barry justified this approach with the “Mike Evans factor”, acknowledging the influence of the future celebrity member. To be fair, the real problem came when the Packers failed to contain everyone else, including Evans. Barry stubbornly stuck to his one weakness throughout the game, allowing the Buccaneers to move the ball with ease.

Adaptation is key in the NFL, but not for the Packers. Green Bay’s inability to control the middle of the game is a glaring weakness in its defensive game, costing it down the field. Green Bay’s cornerbacks can play man coverage. In Jair Alexander, Eric Stokes and Carrington Valentine, they have a trio of corners that excel in tight man-to-man situations. Why not capitalize on their strengths? 

Trust these cornerbacks to disrupt the rhythm of the receivers and build your own island. If successful, this strategy will be a game changer. The Packers have one of the best pass rushes in the league when rushing four players. Allowing the cornerbacks to play to their strengths expands Green Bay’s coverage and sets the stage for holiday rushes.

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