Much has been written in the last six months about how the Green Bay Packers must stop the San Francisco 49ers read-option offense. But how do the 49ers stop the vaunted Green Bay passing game? As the old SportsCenter highlight goes, you can't really stop Aaron Rodgers, you can only hope to contain him. That's what head coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio have been toying with since the regular-season schedule was released—how do we slow down Rodgers and the Packer passing game?To know how to stop the Green Bay offense, you must first understand it. Casual fans know that head coach Mike McCarthy loves to throw the football, and that Rodgers has a ton of weapons to throw to at wide receiver. That's a good foundation, but how does this offense work?
McCarthy, who came to Green Bay via San Francisco, has built an offense based on old-school West Coast offense concepts. He's added in wrinkles like the shotgun formation and more one-back sets, but the route concepts are classic Bill Walsh. That means flooding one side of the field and giving the quarterback an easy read so that he can get the ball out quickly.The West Coast offense was built for quarterbacks, and the Packers' staple passing play—a dig/seam route combination—is a great example of this.Rodgers, in the shotgun, has 11 personnel on the field—that's one running back and one tight end. In this formation, the tight end, Jermichael Finley, is not lined up on the end of the offensive line, but in a flex position one yard off the ball and detached from the right tackle. With one wide receiver split left and two to his right, Rodgers has an overloaded formation on the right.
Tight end Finley releases with outside technique to get away from the outside linebacker. Outside wide receivers use inside technique to gain positioning on their routes. The slot receiver runs a basic seam route while the outside receiver runs a dig route.Rodgers will be looking from the seam, to the dig, to the out route run by Finley. If all are covered, he can go to his backside to check the go route being run by the "X" receiver. If all else fails, the back is releasing into the flats after checking for blitz protection.
This is my favorite:From Ring to lieder there’s opera in all