Anatomy of a Play  

 

Back-shoulder pass execution makes Packers tough to beat

  • By Steve Trout NFL Films
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Entering Week 13, the Green Bay Packers are the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL, having won 17 straight games dating back to last season, and their offense might be unstoppable.

What's their bread-and-butter play, the go-to call for Aaron Rodgers? This week's Anatomy of a Play breaks it down ... the back-shoulder pass.

The back-shoulder pass is a staple of the Packers' playbook -- Rodgers threw it in Week 1, and he threw it last week in Detroit. His targets vary. Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Jermichael Finley all have been on the receiving end of a back-shoulder pass.

Its execution relies on pin-point accuracy. If thrown correctly, it's nearly impossible to defend. It is most effective in man-to-man coverage where Rodgers first reads the cornerback. If he turns away from the quarterback to face the wide receiver, Rodgers likely has his window. Many times it is subtle eye contact between Rodgers and his receiver that gives the green light. Rodgers then targets his receiver's back shoulder, where if he doesn't make the catch, no one will. What the casual observer thinks is an underthrown ball is actually a perfectly executed back-shoulder pass.

The Packers will march into the playoffs and how far they advance is a big unknown. But be certain they'll continue to rely on their go-to play.

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