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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Say Cheeseheads
Here's how the Packers can win Super Bowl LI
He wears number 12 and is impossibly good.

1. Aaron Rodgers

IF A PICTURE paints a thousand words, this Vine is a novel:
https://vine.co/v/53U1ug0H2Qj

 

As pointed out earlier this week, there’s no other quarterback in NFL who can make this throw and, if Rodgers continues to have the hot hand moving forwards, it will be very difficult to beat the Packers.

However, Rodgers threw his first interception in nearly two months on Sunday and, lost in the (warranted) awe of the above throw, was the fact he was also picked off late in the fourth quarter only for it to be called back on a game-changing penalty.

Given the scoring power of the Falcons especially, every drive might need to be a scoring one for Green Bay to reach the Super Bowl.

2. Don’t completely abandon the run

Packers Cowboys Football Michael Ainsworth / AP/Press Association Images Ty Montgomery leaps into the end zone. Michael Ainsworth / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

Obviously, when you have a generational talent like Rodgers, the temptation might be there to pass on every down. However, per Football Outsiders DVOA, the Packers actually rank fifth on the ground on top of fourth through the air.

This could come in especially handy this weekend against an Atlanta defence that can be punished in the run game, ranking just 29th in rushing DVOA compared to 20th against the pass.

Indeed, with both New England and Pittsburgh also ranking outside the top ten in run defence, Ty Montgomery could still have a huge role to play in the remainder of these playoffs.

3. Offensive line strength

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Packers Falcons Football David Goldman / AP/Press Association Images This relationship is crucial for the Packers. David Goldman / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

During his two playoff games, Rodgers’ performances when facing five or more pass rushers (57% completion, 4.9 yards per attempt, one touchdown, one interception, and a 67 passer rating) pale in comparison to when he’s got a clean pocket (67% completion rate, 10.8 yards per attempt, five touchdowns, zero picks, and a 132.5 passer rating).

It’s almost the difference between having Brock Osweiler as your quarterback and Tom Brady. Actually, that’s not quite fair. Without pressure his QBR is 20 points better than Brady and, under duress, his QBR is five points worse than Osweiler’s.

Via Pro Football Focus, the Packers have the 5th ranked offensive line in the league with David Bakhtiari one of the best left tackles in the game, responsible for just 20 pressures on Rodgers’ 610 pass attempts this year.

He and his four team-mates in the front will have to be at their very best this week against a Falcons team that finished third in quarterback hurries during the regular season.

‘But what about my favourite team’ we hear you cry. Don’t worry, we’ll be outlining how all four Super Bowl contenders can lift the Vince Lombardi trophy over the coming days. 

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Here’s how the Falcons can win Super Bowl LI

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