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Monday, January 10, 2011

Green Bay Packers Game Plan: Contain Michael Vick

After watching Sunday's wildcard match-up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers it was apparent that the Packers were not going to let Michael Vick beat them with his legs, and if he were to be successful, he would have to throw the football downfield.
The Packers maintained steady defensive line pressure on Vick, had great contain, kept him in the pocket, and collapsed the pocket from the outside and in, to take away his time and space. The defence was set-up to make it difficult for Vick to scramble and run where he is probably the most dangerous. This forced the Eagles to hand the ball off as well as throw downfield where for the most part, the Packers had good downfield coverage.
There was a few times where the Packers did blitz their inside linebackers only to have Vick make a good read on this, and he would put the ball behind the blitzing linebackers for a solid gain. But overall, the Packers played a very patient defensive game, contained Vick in the pocket, took away the big play, and forced the Eagles to grind it out. Now in Michael Vick's defence he was playing injured. But overall you could see what the Packers game plan was, and that was to take away the running ability of Michael Vick.

When you consider game planning for the Eagles you have to consider that they have one of the most explosive offences in the league, behind one of the premier quarterback athletes in the NFL. When you game plan you want to try and disrupt and take away something that is one of their strengths and force them to win by doing or going to something else. Obviously, the Packers decided that this offence begins and ends on the legs of Michael Vick. So take away his running ability, and force him to be more one dimensional. A good strategy that worked well for the Packers!