Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
The Packers (3-2-1) will travel Friday to Los Angeles for their game Sunday at the unbeaten Rams (7-0).
We'll start with Tom Silverstein's story on what the Packers' defense will be up against trying to solve the Rams' play-action puzzle. Silverstein notes that Packers coach Mike McCarthy also is a play-action proponent:
McCarthy also loves the play-action game and used it more often when Eddie Lacy was in his prime and Ryan Grant was still productive. But the absence of a franchise back and his desire to keep the ball in quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ hand has lessened the run threat.
As far back as the Detroit game, McCarthy told his team that they were going to get back to the play-action game, having shelved much of it earlier in the season because Rodgers’ knee injury didn’t allow him to line up under center or execute bootleg fakes.
In the San Francisco game, there were 11 play-action fakes, including six bootlegs that required Rodgers to sprint out toward the sideline. Rodgers completed 6 of 10 passes from those for 162 yards, including gains of 22, 54 and 60 yards.
Eventually, San Francisco adjusted to the bootleg fakes and kept the backside defensive end in place to account for Rodgers’ rollouts. The Packers were trailing and passed a lot, but they could have taken advantage of the 49ers keying on Rodgers with more run calls.
“It’s really been the emphasis the last two years,” McCarthy said of play action. “But we lost Aaron (to a broken collarbone) last year and never really got into the stuff. We have similar concepts that the Rams, that teams are using, Atlanta, San Francisco.”
You can read the whole story here:
There's no question the Packers have missed Trevor Davis on punt returns, writes Ryan Wood. But will he return soon?
Will Aaron Rodgers finally be able to shed his knee brace Sunday?
Mike Daniels and Nick Perry talk about trying to contain Todd Gurley and the Rams' running game:
Wood and Olivia Reiner look at the possible effect of the L.A. heat (mid-80s forecast) on the Packers:
Packers running back Ty Montgomery is doing good work off the field as well:
No surprise that Aaron Donald tops this list, but look who's No. 4:
The Packers won't be the only team Sunday starting a difficult stretch of games:
The MMQB crew members make their Packers-Rams predictions:
Jason Wilde writes about Randall Cobb's imminent return for the Wisconsin State Journal:
Ian Rapoport spreads the good word on NFL Network about Rodgers' health:
Count Pro Football Focus among those lobbying for more playing time for Aaron Jones:
Acme Packing Co. looks at the role rookies will play in the Packers' playoff push:
At Cheesehead TV, they're skeptical of the Packers' underdog status against the Rams:
This is fun to watch:
And finally, Bill Walton is ready to welcome the Packers to L.A.: