GREEN BAY - The Packers have three sacks through the first two games of the season, ranking them just 24th in the NFL in that category. There doesn’t seem to be much concern in the locker room over the sack total, however.
“Obviously we strive for sacks around here, disrupting the quarterback, turnovers,” said linebacker Clay Matthews. “We'll see where we're at after this week. Obviously we're getting back to a more traditional offense that we're used to seeing.”
The traditional offense will be presented by the Andy Dalton-led Bengals. Few doubt Dalton’s athleticism, but he’ll be a change after facing highly mobile quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III in the first two weeks of the year.
“[Facing a more traditional quarterback] allows us to be pass-rushers a little more,” said Matthews. “You can never get too crazy out there, our distribution in regards to the rush lanes. It brings a smile to my face. We'll see what it means after this week.”
Matthews and company’s work is cut out for them: the Bengals have only allowed one sack through the first two games of the season.
Defensive lineman Mike Daniels, who has had a penchant for getting pressure up the middle of the line so far this season, agrees with Matthews. He says facing Kaepernick and RGIII force you to be more careful when rushing the passer.
“You can't fly off the ball like a psychopath or else those really athletic quarterbacks are going to make you pay,” said Daniels.
But don’t expect any “psychopath”-like pass rushes this week.
“I don't think you can ever really fly off the ball like a psychopath, it is the NFL, but I think we'll be able to work some more things out,” said Daniels.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy says he liked the pressure his team got on Griffin, though they only recorded one sack, that one coming on a blitz by cornerback Davon House.
“We did some things in San Francisco that were clearly different than how we approached Washington,” said McCarthy. “We were able to generate pressure, had turnover opportunities, and we need to continue to do that.”
The rest of the defense is ready for the pressure to be turned up.
“If you can have those guys get the pressure on any quarterback,” said Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, “it's most likely going to be a good day for the back end [of the defense].”
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