Packers unlikely to lighten extra coverage on Brandon Marshall
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org December 15, 2012 1:18AM
Updated: January 17, 2013 6:26AM
How exactly did the Green Bay Packers contain Bears receiver Brandon Marshall in Week 2?
It was a variety of things, really. But the premise for every coverage was the same: Don’t let Marshall get man-to-man coverage.
In his rant against the Packers last week, Marshall essentially dared them to cover him one-on-one at Soldier Field on Sunday. He praised their defensive coordinator, Dom Capers, but called out their defensive backs for being soft and for comments they made about him.
‘‘Coach Capers did an amazing job of game-planning us and game-planning me,’’ Marshall said. ‘‘I didn’t beat double or triple coverage or whatever they were throwing at us. I take it as a slap in my face when guys talk about my lack of ability to do something against them when they have help all over the place.
‘‘I’m looking forward to one-on-one coverage. Hopefully, those guys in games like this may go to their coach and say, ‘Let me have him. I want Brandon Marshall. I want to stop Brandon Marshall. Let me have him one-on-one, press coverage.’ And we’ll see what happens.”
Marshall has beaten man coverage all season, so it’s unlikely the Packers will do that with the NFC North title there for the taking. The onus is on Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice to move Marshall around to get that coverage, and on other receivers to make the Packers pay if he is covered.
The diagrammed play shows one way the Packers held Marshall to two catches for 24 yards. They make it look like they’re in single-high coverage (one safety over the top of man coverage) against the Bears’ offset I-formation with two receivers and a tight end. It’s a defense the Bears have done well against, but the Packers aren’t exactly in it.
Safety Charles Woodson may line up in the middle, but just before the ball is snapped, he heads over to double-team Marshall, who already has cornerback Tramon Williams on him. Williams is able to keep Marshall inside of his coverage, where Woodson is looming.
Receiver Devin Hester, tight end Kellen Davis and fullback Evan Rodriguez are covered by single defenders but fail to get open before Jay Cutler is sacked by linebacker Clay Matthews.
Cutler eyed Marshall first and actually received good protection from left tackle J’Marcus Webb on Matthews. But with no one open, the Packers, who only rushed four, got a coverage sack before Cutler could check it down to running back Michael Bush.