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Packers Are Being True To Themselves

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Clay Matthews leads a Green Bay defense that's facing a lot of pressure this season. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.
Clay Matthews leads a Green Bay defense that's facing a lot of pressure this season. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

In the third scene of Act 1 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, immortal words that have made it on to hundreds of wooden plaques and internet memes are uttered by Polonius to his son Laertes. 

“To thine own self be true.” 

The Green Bay Packers showed they take the contemporary meaning of this phrase seriously in their preseason game this past Friday against the Seattle Seahawks.

“Being true to thine own self” for the Packers in 2013 means the same thing that it has for the past four seasons, which won them a Super Bowl in 2010:

1) Aaron Rodgers (led the NFL in passer rating in 2010)

2) Spreading the ball around (in 2010 the Packers had six players with at least 40 touches)

3) Trying, ineffectively, to run the ball (in 2010 the Packers ranked 24th in the NFL in rushing)

4) Pressure the quarterback (in 2010 the Packers had 47 sacks)

5) Get take-aways  ( in 2010 the Packers amassed 32 take-aways)

While the offensive numbers from Friday were less than dazzling (Green Bay averaged just 3.4 yards per play and scored 10 points), they played a Seattle defense that is as stout as the calves on your fourth grade lunch lady.  Wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were not suited up because of minor injuries, and the Green Bay defense did all it’s asked to do:  give the offense a chance to outscore the opponent.

With four sacks and two interceptions, Green Bay got the pressure its success depends on.  Those four sacks and two interceptions make allowing 6.1 yards per play look better, like bejeweling a turd.  The important part was not allowing the Seahawks to score on four trips inside the red zone and giving up only 17 points. 

If the defense can keep up the pressure, all will be well in Lambeau.  Rodgers playing full games along with the return of Cobb and Nelson should score more than 17 points a game.  However if the interceptions and sacks don’t come, that 6.1 yards a play will hurt as Rodgers and the offense watch the defense get pummeled to death like Ivan Drago over Apollo Creed. 

Green Bay is sticking to what its tried to build.  The Packers are being true to themselves.  As the season unfolds Green Bay fans will see whether that identity is better to be or not to be.