Sorry about missing out on yesterday article I was attempting to write. I have moved it back tow Wednesday and omit the Oppoenents of the Past and Future, since it was soley based on the strength of schedule and somebody else has gotten to that. But without futher ado:
Recently we have heard the news that the Green Bay Packers defense isn't what it use to be? The question to be really asking is, what did it use to be? Lets take a look at the stats.
2010 Yards Per Game: 309.1
2011 Yards Per Game: 391.1
2010 Points Per Game: 15
2011 Points Per Game: 20.1
2010 3rd Down Completion: 36%
2011 3rd Down Completion: 43%
2010 Sacks: 47
2011 Sacks: 17
2010 Interceptions: 24
2011 Interceptions: 13
2010 Fumbles/Recovered: 15/8
2011 Fumbles/Recovered: 5/3
As you can see from the numbers, we are allowing almost 90 more yards, 5 more points, and allowing more completions to be hit. But that is over a 16 game schedule compared to a 7 game schedule. The only big difference between this year and last year is the lost of Cullen Jenkins and the lost of Nick Collins.
Cullen Jenkins, in my eyes, was dominate due to the fact that Clay Matthews was on the field. The two just fit together because you always doubled up on one and the other got free. Even if you doubled up on Matthews and had a tackle/guard that could hold Jenkins down, it allowed Walden, Bishop, Hawk, or Zombo to get in the back field. The lack of this additional pass rusher is what has hurt when it comes to 3rd Down Completions and Sacks. But as for him just playing by himself: 17 tackles and 5 sacks in 6 games. In 4 games, the playoffs last year, with Clay Matthews on the opposite side he only managed 4 tackles and .5 sacks. Clay managed 16 tackles and 3.5 sacks. It would be nice to have a dominate pass rusher opposite the Claymaker.
What has hurt 3rd Down Completions, Interceptions, Yards, and Points is the lost of Nick Collins. Collins was one of the most underrated Safeties outside of Green Bay. Collins, just like Woodson, was a ball hawk. Nothing helped out our defense more than to watch those two roam and pick off what they could. The emergence of Morgan Burnett, this year, and Tramon Williams, last year, made this defense hard to pick on a certain man. The lost of Collins is like losing the heart of this defense.
As we look forward to the schedule, the quarterback play seems to only stay at a high level. After the bye we play Rivers, Ponder, Freeman,Stafford (twice), Eli, Palmer, Cassel, Cutler. Oh but it gets better for the defense. The Chargers are only team that ranks in the top 10 of offense. Sunday I will step more in depth of the Quarterbacks we will be looking to face and what to expect from them.