The Green Bay Packers will practice all week to face a team they’re very familiar with. They’ll prepare and try to improve on Sunday’s performance against the Minnesota Vikings, a team that ran all over them.
No matter what happens in the playoffs, the Packers will need to make significant changes for the 2013 season.
Here are some things that will get them started:
Choose a running back, not four
It’s been a while since the Packers have had a single running back like the Vikings have in Adrian Peterson.
This year it appeared Cedric Benson would handle the duties at running back but he got hurt early in the season. James Starks and Alex Green shared carries for most of the season, but both have missed time due to injury.
A promising practice squad player emerged in recent weeks in DuJuan Harris, but that Packers cannot expect him to be anything more than a short-term answer.
The Packers will need to address the running game through the draft. The ideal runner would need to be an every down guy who can break tackles and remain healthy.
Fix the defense
Going into 2012, the Packers defense hadn’t really improved much from last year. Adding Nick Perry was supposed to give the Packers and Clay Matthews the help they needed at linebacker. Perry was only able to make it through six games logging only two sacks and 13 total tackles.
Elsewhere on defense, the Packers made mediocre quarterbacks look like elite quarterbacks. For example, rookie Andrew Luck threw for 362 yards against the struggling Packers defense early in the season.
The tackling in 2012 remained poor, the best example would be Sunday’s many failed attempts to bring down Peterson.
Bring in a kicker to show Crosby he isn’t guaranteed a spot on the squad
Mason Crosby struggled this season and the Packers didn’t do anything about it. No kickers were brought in for tryouts and Crosby was given every opportunity to improve and show coaches he deserved to be the Packers’ kicker.
By going 2-for-9 from 50 yards or more, Crosby sure didn’t impress anyone. Even at short distance, 30-39 yards, Crosby missed two. For the season, he was 21 of 33, not good.
The Packers have to bring in some kickers during training camp in 2013. Crosby will have to do everything he can to fight them off and keep his job.