- Gary Horton, Scouts Inc.
After breaking down film, here is Scouts Inc.'s take on what to watch in the NFL this weekend:
Green Bay's pass protection
When watching the Packers on offense early in the season compared to last week, you'll see specific changes on film. In their first four games, we saw mostly spread sets with four- and five-man routes in which the backs would release into the defense as outlet receivers. In the past two weeks (both wins), this offense has switched to more max-protection schemes with some two-man routes in which backs and tight ends stay in and block pass-rushers before releasing. The reason? QB Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 25 times, but none last week with this new blocking change. We see more three- and five-step drops; the ball comes out quicker; and more max schemes helps the run game, with added blockers. Play-action is more effective now with an improved Ryan Grant in the backfield, and with backs doing a better job in blitz pickup, Rodgers can be very effective in hitting the hot receiver in the vacated blitz hole. Playing behind a shaky offensive line, Rodgers needs these new blocking wrinkles to keep him upright, especially this week against a good Minnesota pass rush.