Post Game Thoughts: Tramon Williams Misses Nick Collins

By Bryan Lutz

This is just an observation from today’s 45-38 win, but the Packers are desperately missing Nick Collins.  I am mostly a baseball fan, and really into sabermetrics.  With sabermetrics, you get really in depth on a player’s whole worth to a team.  With football, it’s really hard to know exactly what one player means.  Football is the ultimate team sport.  Throughout the week, from practice squad to Sundays, each player has an impact.  You really can’t say that about the 25th man on a baseball team, or a 12th man on a basketball team.

Football doesn’t really have any advanced stats.  At least, as far as I know of.   I wish it did though, because other than that we just have to go by what our eyes see.  Granted I can’t see every play call play out there, or know if anyone is in the wrong coverage, but Tramon Williams has been insanely bad this year.  This is just my observation.  By all means, if I am wrong then prove me wrong.  I would love to know why.  It seems there have been countless plays where we see a receiver blow by Williams, with a trailing Williams frantically trying to chase them down before a touchdown.  Tramon did have a fantastic pick-6 today of Philip Rivers, but other than that, he was burnt three times by Vincent Jackson.

Then I started to think, what has changed exactly?  Granted the Packers pass rush is deplorable.  That allows extra time for receivers to get open.  But, the play that sticks out in my mind was one Jackson’s trio of TD’s that Williams was burnt because Charlie Peprah too the short route.  Williams seemed to be upset after the play.  He could have been upset with himself, but more likely it was Peprah who jumped the shorter route.  Peprah had himself an interesting game was well on the stat sheet, with two inceptions including a touchdown, but what is he doing that can’t be put on a stat sheet?

That’s where Nick Collins is being missed.  Nick Collins was a ballhawk, a hard-hitting, 3-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl safety.  Having that safety blanket back there is what allowed the Packers corners to play as aggressive as they normally did.   Williams was a top-10 corner last year, and this year he seems to be more of a turn gate.  With the inexperience of Peprah and a one-handed Morgan Burnett, it puts more pressure on the coverage, when they already have enough pressure from the putrid pass rush.

Packers defense is scaring to beejezus out of me.  I almost feel like this Packer team is like a prime Steve Nash led Phoenix Suns team.  Which isn’t exactly the recipe for post-season success.  They are still the best team in the NFL, but there is no way in hell they are going undefeated, let alone beat three high quality playoff caliber teams with the way the defense is now.  Professor Capers needs to cook up something nice, or else the single best year from a quarterback might go to waste.

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