To look at it in a different lite, I dont' believe it was all the lines fault. I found this on aol and think it really tells the whole story.
If you're a Packers fan, it's fair to wonder if the season went downhill the minute that Chad Clifton sprained his ankle against the Bengals. Since then, the Packers have been shuffling linemen and Aaron Rodgers has been running for his life. The season hit bottom this past Monday when Jared Allen and his friends sacked Rodgers eight times in the Vikings 30-23 win.
But if you watch the Vikings game a little more closely, you may notice that not all of the Packers' protection problems were the offensive line's fault. It's hard to point fingers at a quarterback who threw for 384 yards, but Aaron Rodgers was as much to do with the Vikings eight sacks as his injury-plagued offensive line. Of the eight sacks against the Vikings as many as five of them can be blamed at least in part on Rodgers or the play call.
When Clifton went down, the Packers shuffled three players to fill his spot. Starting left guard Daryn Colledge has proven that he's much better as a guard than as a fill-in left tackle. Center Jason Spitz has moved over to Colledge's old guard spot while Scott Wells has stepped into the starting lineup at center.
And when Colledge left the Vikings game with a sprained knee, Green Bay was down to playing third-string left tackle T.J. Lang as defensive end Jared Allen finished off a four-and-a-half sack day. Right tackle Allen Barbre isn't exactly having a Pro Bowl season either.
That kind of shakeup would affect any offensive line, and it clearly has hurt the Packers, especially at tackle. Babre has allowed five sacks, Colledge has allowed four, Lang has allowed two and Clifton has allowed one. Those 12 sacks are more than all but six teams have given up this season. The Packers' interior linemen have allowed only two sacks, so when it comes to pass rushing, the problem is limited to the edges.
But Rodgers deserves some of the blame as well, as he showed on Monday. On four of the Vikings eight sacks, Rodgers held the ball for more than three seconds (as much as 5.7 seconds on one sack) and another turned into a sack because of a busted play. In an attempt to make plays downfield, Rodgers would hold the ball, even as Allen was ravaging the Packers' offensive tackles. The Packers offensive line was overmatched by the Vikings front four, but instead of getting rid of the ball more quickly because of that, Rodgers would wait and try to make the perfect pass. It worked a lot--he threw for 384 yards--but it also helped set up the Vikings pass rush's big day.
After timing each and every one of the 268 sacks that have been recorded in the first four weeks of the season it's becoming pretty apparent that the average sack occurs somewhere between 2.7 and 2.8 seconds after the snap of the ball. When announcers talk about a quarterback having an internal alarm clock to know when to get rid of the ball, that alarm clock generally should be going off around 2.7 seconds after the snap. Considering the injuries on the Packers' offensive line, Rodgers may want to move that alarm clock up to 2.5 seconds or so on an average snap. Instead, he's hit the snooze button.
The worst came on a pass play with the Packers backed up at their own goal line. Colledge had just left the game with a knee injury (after Allen had picked up 2 1/2 sacks in the first three quarters). The Packers tried to give third-string left tackle Lang some help by using tailback Ryan Grant to help double-team Allen. If Rodgers had gotten rid of the ball on time, it would have worked. But he ended up pump faking, pulling the ball down, stepping up into the pocket and looking for another option. The double team for Allen prevented him from getting free around the outside, but when Rodgers stepped up, it gave Allen a open lane to reverse his momentum and pull Rodgers down from behind for the sack and a safety 3.3 seconds after the snap.
On another sack, Rodgers held the ball for an amazing 5.7 seconds before defensive end Brian Robison finally got free for the sack. Of the 268 sacks recorded this season, only seven have seen a quarterback hold the ball longer. Usually when a sack happens that long after the snap, it occurs because the quarterback has run around to the point where the play has completely broken down But Rodgers was just moving around looking for a receiver and struggling to find someone to throw to.
Rodgers was sacked on a rollout pass where linebacker Ben Leber (who had dropped into coverage) came up to make a big hit. Rodgers had 4.3 seconds to throw the ball, which is easily enough time to at least throw the ball away if no one was open. There also was a sack where Rodgers was driven down 3.4 seconds after the snap. And a fifth sack came on a blown play where Rodgers looked to throw a quick stop to a wide receiver, only to find the receiver streaking downfield instead. With the play falling apart, Rodgers simply ate the ball. That may not have been Rodgers' fault, but it wasn't the line's fault either.
Now that doesn't mean the offensive line is blameless, they're not anything close to blameless. Teams don't need to send blitzes to pressure Rodgers--on 75 percent of the Packers' sacks, teams have rushed only four men. For the entire NFL, four-man rushes have accounted for only 57 percent of sacks. That leads to a vicious cycle: since team's don't have to send extra pass rushers against the Packers, they can drop more men into coverage, which makes it harder for Rodgers to find an open receiver, which means Rodgers holds the ball longer which leads to more sacks.
With 20 sacks allowed this season, the Packers easily lead the league (the Bills are the only other team that has allowed more than 13 sacks) and the offensive line is a big part of that. But it's also true that Rodgers' approach of holding the ball to make big plays means Packers fans have to live with sacks as well as plenty of passing yards.
God and the Soldier we all adore,
In times of trouble and then no more
when war is over and all things righted
God is forgotten, the old soldier Slighted.