Green Bay's inability to stop the run for most of the season so far is partly attributable to linemen, linebackers and safeties failing to stand their ground and stay in their gaps.
"You know what, a lot of arm tackling is because we're out of gaps, we're not where we're supposed to be," nose tackle Ryan Pickett lamented this week. "If we're where we're supposed to be, we can fit up and tackle. So, it's a lot of reaching when we're not in our gaps and somebody's not covering their gap right.
"If we can get in place, then we can get some good, hard hitting in and hopefully stop all of this arm tackling."
If they're left to try to arm tackle the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson on Sunday, the Packers will be in a heap of trouble stopping the run. The ultra-elusive Peterson is the focal point for the Green Bay defense in what is being billed as a pivotal matchup of 4-4 NFC North rivals in Minneapolis.
Peterson is the No. 2 rusher in the NFL, averaging 102.9 yards per game. The Packers have the sixth-most generous run defense in the league, yielding an average of 146.4 yards per contest.
When the teams first met in the season opener Sept. 8 at Green Bay, Peterson ran for 103 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, but the Packers managed to eke out a 24-19 win.
"You pick an attribute, and he's right there at the top, whether it's speed, vision, endurance," Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman said of Peterson. "He does a great job of seeing holes. He's become more and more patient with his blocking. I think him and his offensive line have gotten better since the last time we've seen them. We have as well, I believe. So, it'll be a great opportunity to execute on Sunday."
Interestingly, the Vikings, who had 187 yards in the Week 1 meeting, are the only team Green Bay has beaten this season when it has allowed at least 175 rushing yards. The other four instances resulted in losses — 217 yards by Dallas in Week 3, 178 by Tampa Bay in Week 4, 176 by Atlanta in Week 5 and 178 by Tennessee last Sunday.