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Pettine Strikes Back [So much off coverage]

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1 hour ago, ThatJerkDave said:

Yes.  I was shocked a few weeks ago when I looked up the team stats and Z had about 10.  We had 41 sacks in 2019...  And 41 in 2020.  But it seems to me that we had a lot more in 2019 than 2020.  Perhaps it was because Preston and Z combined for 25.5 and Kenny Clark added 6 so we kept seeing the same guys? In 2019, 9 players had a sack on defense.  In 2020, that number increased to 14.  

Or maybe it is because the defense is different as a whole.  I seem to recall that the 2019 defense created a lot more turnovers, but gave up more big plays.  The 2019 defense would stop teams by getting an INT, or a 3rd down sack.  The 2020 defense seems to get a 3 and out, or dies by 1000 cuts.  A drive that ends on a big 3rd down stop because of a sack is more memorable than the 2020 version of: stuffed run, sack, give up 8 yards on 3rd and 14, punt.  We remember that Preston or Z or King saved the day.  And it is less memorable that we had a stuffed run, and two incompletions to get off the field in about a minute, but then the next drive takes 7 minutes off the clock.  Or I could very well just have those ideas stuck in my mind, and am completely wrong :D 

Z had 55 QB pressures in 2019, 35 in 2020

P smith had 34 QB pressures in 2019, 16 in 2020

Gary had 5 QB pressures in 2019, 19 in 2020

Clark  had 15 QB pressures in 2019, 12 in 2020

Lowry had 5 QB pressures in 2019, 10 in 2020

Keke had 1 QB pressures in 2019, 12 in 2020

 Fackrell had 12 QB pressures in 2019


Net change is down about 25 QB pressures.

Also less impact full 3rd down to stop a drive it feels, but no evidence to support that, just a sense from game watch

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On 1/8/2021 at 2:13 PM, MrBobGray said:

I had a realization yesterday about why I get so frustrated watching Pettine's defense this year.  To illustrate my point, let's turn to the magical world of competitive Street Fighter:

Pettine's defense is the football equivalent of Guile.  For those of you who grew up in loving homes, Guile sucks and is played primarily by sociopaths with a deep hunger for human misery.  He's a human wall of fireballs, just endlessly walking back and being a ****, over and over until the joy of the game is sucked from both of you, which is of course the only thing that brings Guile players the twisted emotion that to them resembles happiness.  Closing the gap on Guile is a long, awful test of patience, finding the spacing to jump in and move through, but not too close because otherwise you get Flash Kicked or crouching fierced and then YOU GET TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN WHICH IS JUST THE BEST.

**** Guile, is my point here.

But it's effective, because it puts all the stress on the other player.  They need to maintain their cool and not mess up over and over and over while you just need to remember how to charge a Sonic Boom.  It's a mental stress test, and it's surprisingly tough to pass, especially if you're playing a character built off momentum and emotion.  The Zangief/Guile match-up in most Street Fighters is generally sadder to watch than the opening ten minutes of Up, with the role of cancer here played by whichever human sack of misery picked Guile.  This is what Pettine wants to do.  He wants to force the other team to pick the sad, boring option (5 yard out ad infinitum) over and over and over, betting that their humanity will crack before their will.  And it works!  The Bears stuck to it with almost ridiculous patience and it barely paid off, if at all.  It helps that once you're in the red zone, there's not even a sad boring option because the field is too compressed to really get guys in space.  But really it's just about making the other team make mistakes.

Here's the thing though.  This is fine if you're playing Guile, because you picked Guile specifically to relish in this particular brand of ghoulish torment.  But the Packers defense, personnel-wise, isn't Guile.  It's Akuma, and we're talking SFIV Vortex Akuma too.  Since I know we're too deep into the nerdery now and I've lost most of you, I'll explain.  Akuma is just a big ole' bag jam-packed full of mechanics.  Pretty much nothing he can't do.  He can play keepaway for days, and almost as effectively as Guile.  The fireball spam can be as real as you can dream it.  But unlike Guile, because despite his appearance he has more of a soul than the void inside Guile and those who play him, Akuma can go in as hard as anyone in the game.  His aggressive pressure is crazy, and if he knocks you down once things can go very wrong very quick.  Man has about 14000 options for you on wake-up, and good luck guessing which one it's gonna be without mind reading.  Akuma's best play style is playing just defensive enough that there's no openings, and then obliterating you when you mess up because you tried to press a button because you thought video games were about fun, your first mistake.  

This particular brand of play is what we call "the Belichick method of defense", and it certainly requires either a genius defensive mind or a massive amount of talent.  The Packers sure don't have a genius defensive mind, but boy howdy look at this talent.  Top to bottom, this is probably the most talented Packers defense of Aaron Rodgers' career.  2010 had absolute monsters, but if we're talking overall depth and the full roster I'll give 2020 the edge.  Even more, there's a ton of interesting possibilities that the personnel bring to mind, because you have corners who can play on an island, safeties that can play basically any DB position, three edge who can play anywhere on the line for pressure, a top 5 defensive lineman in football who is dominant in both phases, etc.  This defense could be so many things, and watching Pettine force them to just back up and throw fireballs over, and over, and over, and over, and over, because "hey they'll mess up eventually probably!" is infuriating.  Gutekunst has given Pettine absolutely every tool he could possibly want, and in return Pettine built a defense that uses none of them at all.  

And all around the world Guile players bay and chitter in their nightmare voices in recognition of one of their own.

Couldn't have said it any better myself.

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