On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., May. 02, 2015 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM CDT Packers' 2015 NFL Draft Party Evolution is located at 233 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, Wis. Event parking is available in the parking structure next door (225 E. Chicago St.), where full day parking passes will be $10.
  • Sun., May. 03, 2015 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Jared Abbrederis appearance

    Staff Appreciation Week

  • Tue., May. 26, 2015 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM CDT Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Sponsor code – Packers

  • Sun., May. 31, 2015 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM CDT Packers Coaching School

    The Green Bay Packers are set to host the team’s second annual “Green Bay Packers Coaching School” at Lambeau Field on Sunday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The complimentary coaching school has a curriculum exclusively designed for youth football coaches, and can accommodate a maximum of 300 coaches. The event will feature innovative classroom sessions in the Lambeau Field Atrium, as well as on-field football instruction from top local high school and youth football coaches in the Don Hutson Center.

  • Sat., Jun. 06, 2015 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM CDT Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic The 18th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 6, inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers’ indoor practice facility.
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CDT Jared Abbrederis appearance 11th Annual Youth Football Golf Outing

News

Print
RSS

Packers want to improve on third down

Posted Oct 11, 2013

Ravens defense playing well on third down

GREEN BAY—Mike McCarthy pinpointed a key to Sunday’s game without even trying.

Earlier this week, in discussing Baltimore’s defense, McCarthy said he was impressed by how well the Ravens are playing on third down.

Moments later, he was asked if there’s an area he’d like to see his offense improve. His answer: “We need to pick it up on third down. That’s the thing we spent a lot of time on (Tuesday) night as a staff.”

Third down is known as the “money down” for a reason in the NFL. It’s key every week. But given this is the second straight game the Packers have gone up against one of the league’s top third-down defenses – Detroit is now No. 2, while Baltimore is No. 4 – and McCarthy’s admission the coaching staff concentrated on third down in game-planning this week, it’s as though a game-changing third-down moment (or two or three) is being forecast.

“We’d like to do a better job there,” McCarthy said. “We have a plan, we have a process. We definitely have the players. I have confidence we’ll get it where it needs to be.”

It’s not as though third down has been a glaring sore spot. The Packers rank a respectable 12th in third-down offense at 38.8 percent, and they actually knocked the Lions out of the No. 1 perch in third-down defense by converting seven of 16 (44 percent) last week.

But there were a pair of third-and-one passes that failed, one that prevented the Packers from getting into scoring range and another that forced one of the five field-goal attempts. Failing on third-and-short on the road against the Ravens on Sunday could serve as a huge momentum swing for the home team.

“Their defense has always been the focal point in my opinion of their football team,” McCarthy said.

Another related area where a Baltimore strength will clash with a Green Bay focal point is the red zone.

Despite scoring 52 points in their last two games, the Packers scored touchdowns on just two of six trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line against Cincinnati and Detroit. Traditionally one of the top red-zone offenses in the league, Green Bay is tied for 13th (56.3 percent, nine TDs in 16 possessions) in the rankings.

Settling for field goals certainly contributed to the loss to the Bengals and very well could have caused more difficulty against the Lions.

“We allowed Detroit multiple times to just stay within that one score, and you can’t allow teams to do that,” receiver Jordy Nelson said. “Because it’ll just take one big play and all of a sudden, we’ll be losing.”

The Ravens, meanwhile, are tied for third in red-zone defense (33 percent) and have allowed only two TDs in 10 possessions since Week 1.

From the head coach on down, the Packers expressed confidence this week that the red-zone efficiency would improve. Doing so against Baltimore, like nearly any important task offensively, will be a tall order.

“It tightens up, everything moves a lot faster, and everybody has to be on the same page,” receiver James Jones said of being in the red zone.

“When we get down there, the focus has to go up, the urgency has to go up. The windows are a lot smaller because you’re working with a short field. Throws have to be fit in, and there are going to be some contested catches where we have to go up and make some plays.”

Additional coverage - Oct. 11

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Super Bowl I rematch: Packers vs. Chiefs

    (0:53) Posted 4 hours ago

    The 2015 NFL season features 19 Super Bowl rematches on the road to Super Bowl 50. The matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I is one of those rematches.

  • NFC Championship Rematch: Packers vs. Seahawks

    (1:09) Posted 4 hours ago

    Check out the trailer for the most anticipated rematch from the 2014 NFL Playoffs. Will the Packers find their redemption?

  • Prospect Primer: OT Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State

    (2:13) Posted 6 hours ago

    Packers.com presents 'Prospect Primer,' a video look at an assortment of draft-eligible players who attended the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Colorado State OT Ty Sambrailo started 25 games at left tackle over the past two seasons, earning second-team All-Mountain West in 2013 and then first team in 2014. Back in 2012, saw game action at four of five spots along the offensive line.