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Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, November 5, 2008 9:56:38 PM(UTC)
Quote:
[img_r]http://media.jsonline.com/images/440*399/pack110408.jpg[/img_r]Green Bay - It's so hard to stop thinking about the one that got away.

And in a tough, close loss at Tennessee, where a victory could have been a huge boost for Green Bay, three of them did.

Dropped interceptions.

Now there are a million things that already top the list of concerns for the Packers, from decision-making to red zone ineptitude to the run game.

But takeaway opportunities are another. In Green Bay's four victories this season, the Packers had late interceptions in all of them and in three of those games, the interceptions determined the outcome in Green Bay's favor.

At Tennessee, three potential turnovers fell on the ground. After the 19-16 overtime loss, the Packers gave the impression they were kicking themselves a little.

"The team that wins the turnover ratio has much larger winning percentages than the other team," secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer said. "Along with explosive plays, those are two biggest factors.

"And when you score on defense or special teams, you're probably looking 75% to 95% chance of winning."

Maybe that's one way to look at the first half of the Packers' season. As the defense goes, so go the Packers.

Green Bay's defense has saved the day before with big time interceptions:

Against Minnesota, Atari Bigby's interception late in the fourth quarter killed the Vikings' final drive, allowing the Packers to hold on for a 24-19 victory.

At Detroit, the Packers surrendered 16 points in the fourth quarter and were clinging to a 27-25 lead when Charles Woodson intercepted the Lions twice. The first led to a touchdown by the Packers, and the second he returned himself for a 41-yard score. Nick Collins capped the game with another 42-yard interception return for a touchdown.

At Seattle, Woodson's fourth-quarter interception led to a 51-yard field goal by the Packers and a commanding 27-10 lead before Tramon Williams added another interception to kill any hope for the Seahawks.

Even against Indianapolis, with the game well in hand, the Packers picked up a third-quarter interception by Collins (which he returned for a 62-yard touchdown) and a fourth-quarter interception by Aaron Rouse (which killed a very long drive). Those interceptions weren't game-changers but they took a lot of pressure off Green Bay's offense and padded the lead.

Now, consider what happened Sunday at Tennessee:

In the first quarter, neither Al Harris nor Collins yelled "I got it" loud enough because they both went up for a free ball, and they both tumbled down empty-handed.

"Al never looked behind him; all he saw was the ball," Schottenheimer said. "Nick never saw him; his eyes were on the ball. As close as they were together, you'd think, 'I got it!' Or, 'Me me me!' But unfortunately we had a foul on that play so it would have been taken away from us."

Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga was called for a 15-yard penalty.

At the start of the fourth quarter, defensive end Mike Montgomery's outstretched arms nearly hauled in an interception but his tip - he couldn't hold on - might have prevented an interception by Collins, who was breaking on the ball.

With the score tied at 16-16 and 4 minutes 37 seconds left, Bigby couldn't complete the play after getting his hands on a pass downfield. As his momentum made him fall backward, the interception slipped away at the last second.

"He was in great shape to make the play, but the receiver tipped the ball," Schottenheimer said.

Three chances, which coach Mike McCarthy said were all legitimate takeaway shots for his defense, yielded no interceptions. In a game on the road, where maybe a play or two can make the difference, any of those might have been a factor.

"We practice turnovers every day," McCarthy said. "We have a drill in our practice format that's ball security. It's based on taking the ball away. There's different types of drills that we do, and also on the other side of the ball, drills to make sure we take care of the football. We're counting on those opportunities. Those are opportunities in the football game that you have to make plays."

The Packers lead the league with 13 interceptions and with five returned for touchdowns. Though it might be unrealistic to expect them to continue at that pace, generating turnovers remains a team priority. Defensive coordinator Bob Sanders said they worked on it every day, from the secondary to the line, focusing on catching balls, stripping ball-carriers and diving on the ground for recovered fumbles.

"Our goal is to get a couple turnovers a game," Sanders said. "Our goal is to do whatever it takes to help the team win. We want to give our offense as many opportunities as we can because we have a lot of playmakers on offense, and the more opportunities your offense gets, it certainly helps us win points."

The Packers insist they haven't fallen into the trap of expecting their defense to bail them out every week.

"We had a ton of opportunities (Sunday). My goodness, we moved the ball up and down the field," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "We had six possessions on their side of the field - not counting the touchdown that we had - and we only had nine points. I don't think our guys are sitting around waiting for the defense to make a play. We look at it as we had a bunch of chances to make it on our own and unfortunately we weren't as productive as we should have been."

There's no question that Green Bay's defense has directly contributed to the successful outings so far.

"It's not a matter of counting on them to win the game," running back Ryan Grant said. "When we win the turnover battle, we win the game. When we lose the turnover battle, we lose. Plain and simple as that."
cheeseheads123  
#2 Posted : Thursday, November 6, 2008 4:20:21 PM(UTC)
Ryan Grant said it all.
Bigbyfan  
#3 Posted : Thursday, November 6, 2008 9:15:36 PM(UTC)
This is true with all teams...
DarkaneRules  
#4 Posted : Thursday, November 6, 2008 10:42:21 PM(UTC)
Yeah. I gotta say it is interesting hearing reporters ask the same questions every year like the game changes haha. Hey they've got to write stories ya know.
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Zero2Cool (5h) : Sporting News ranks Mike McCarthy fifth-best coach in NFL
Zero2Cool (18-Jun) : Tiger?
gbguy20 (18-Jun) : hot wife and he chases old women
Nonstopdrivel (18-Jun) : Oh, and one count of felony first-degree burglary.
Nonstopdrivel (18-Jun) : He's also charged with at least one count on kidnapping and two counts of attempted rape.
nerdmann (18-Jun) : Yeah, wtf Kellen?
Nonstopdrivel (18-Jun) : Kellen Winslow accused of raping and sexually assaulting several women between the ages of 54 and 86.
Zero2Cool (15-Jun) : Today's Birthdays: Toddy (26)
Cheesey (11-Jun) : Thanks Kevin.
Cheesey (11-Jun) : Ok.
Zero2Cool (11-Jun) : Alan, it's an online stream.
Zero2Cool (11-Jun) : McCarthy speaks at 10am, so probably 11am for practice start.
Zero2Cool (11-Jun) : McCarthy speaks at 10am, so probably 11am for practice start.
Cheesey (11-Jun) : I don’t know if I can get that station.
Zero2Cool (11-Jun) : Listen to 107.5 the fan they'll tell you. I'm at airport.
Cheesey (11-Jun) : Thanks for trying WPR! I guess I’ll have to just wing it.
wpr (11-Jun) : Cheesey, The Packer's site says Nitschke Field. 12 am to 11:59 pm. I don't think they know
Cheesey (11-Jun) : Come on!! U smart guys can help me on this!
Cheesey (11-Jun) : Do any of you know what time the Packers mini camp practice is tomorrow?
Zero2Cool (11-Jun) : Vince Lombardi would have been 105 today
Zero2Cool (11-Jun) : If I were Owens, after reading what some of the voters have said. I'd say F YOU too. Shady process.
Zero2Cool (11-Jun) : Apparently it costs the inductees a LOT of money to attend.
beast (10-Jun) : Or if Owens is avoiding all HoF activity? Or if he's trying to figure a way to make money off this. Simply saying he's not going to be there doesn't tell me enough
beast (10-Jun) : I feel as if I need more details. Owens said he's not physical showing up, but he could still give a speech via video.
Zero2Cool (9-Jun) : Using 32 reporter votes is wrong.
Zero2Cool (9-Jun) : They held grudges against him, and ignored his excellence on the field. Bogus shit. Political garbage.
Zero2Cool (9-Jun) : Owens has a point. Absolutely garbage how voters acted, and have responded.
buckeyepackfan (9-Jun) : The HOF needs to conveniently forget to include Owen's in the ceremonies, then fake apologize after.
gbguy20 (8-Jun) : Kevin, suggestion box. move the applaud button to the bottom of the post so i don't have to scroll back up after reading a good post. same goes for quote button i suppose
Cheesey (7-Jun) : Well...I wonder what HE is protesting. Maybe that he made WAY too much money?
Nonstopdrivel (7-Jun) : Wait, what? He bitches for years about not having been selected, and now he won't attend the ceremony?
Zero2Cool (7-Jun) : Hall of Fame announces that Terrell Owens has informed them he will NOT attend the enshrinement ceremony in August.
Nonstopdrivel (5-Jun) : Looking at some of the multiyear rookie UDFA contracts made me think of it. But now I see it's standard to sign them for three years.
packerfanoutwest (4-Jun) : Tavais or Tyrell,,,what's your question/point and why?
Nonstopdrivel (3-Jun) : Probably I was thinking about Tyrell Sutton (Northwestern -- went to the Panthers).
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