Very nice ideas in this thread.....man, some of you sound like you could be OCs. :D
Defensively, I like to remind everyone that 15-20 years ago, WE WERE the very teams we are trying to stop now......the Montana, Young battleship teams that Brees & Rodgers are aspiring to be...
Anyways, a lot of similarities:
Great catching RBs
Lackluster/average running game
So what did the New York Football Giants of 1990 and Green Bay Packers of the late '90s do to stop us?
A lot of nickel & dime defenses. From what I can recall, the 3-4 Giants went 3-3-5 and 3-2-6 and we couldn't run s*** on them. As far as the Packers in '95 or '96 I think it was either nickel/dime or effective zone defense.
We have the best run defense in football. Is it worth sacrificing a little bit of that run defense to have more DBs on the field? I'm not sure but if you run a 3-3-5, you could have Bowman & Willis in, with Aldon pass rushing, and an extra corner or safety.
There has to be pressure of course, which with Aldon makes it more of a 4-2-5.
If you want to shut down the run, you bring an 8 or 9 man front. If you want to shut down the pass you just need more DBs than LBs.
This formula I think would work better for the Packers & Patriots than the Saints since the Saints can run better and they have the advantage of Sproles.
Will be interesting to see what Harbaugh does.
BTW, about the comment about Payton vs. Harbaugh:
Payton might be more experienced, but I have no doubt in my mind that Harbaugh will want to win the game more and will go the extra mile. Harbaugh must have let out a big smile as the clock ran down in St. Louis knowing he no longer has to HOLD BACK.
[ Edited by JTsBiggestFan on Jan 3, 2012 at 11:08 PM ]