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Will the Packers’ defense be better than the offense in 2019?

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It hasn’t been the case frequently in recent years, but this season offers the promise of the Packers’ defense being the superior unit.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Training Camp Jim Matthews-USA TODAY Sports

A new head coach and offensive scheme usually seems to take a year or two to click. A new defense often does the same. But for the Green Bay Packers, a team that has fielded better offenses than defenses in recent years, they are in an odd position. With a new offensive head coach but a returning defensive coordinator, in addition to a massive influx of talent on defense, the team could be heading for a shift in identity in 2019.

That is a theory posited by NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal last week, when he mentioned Mike Pettine’s defense as one of the league’s emerging units. Rosenthal believes that between the major acquisitions this offseason and having a second year in Pettine’s system, the defense will be the better of the two units this fall.

Can Za’Darius and Preston Smith, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, and Rashan Gary lead a huge turnaround in 2019? It’s possible, but doing so would turn the tables on much of the Packers’ recent history. Here are the rankings for the Packers’ offense and defense in yards and points going back over the past ten seasons, starting in 2009:

Packers’ Rankings

Year Offense Points Offense Yards Defense Points Defense Yards
Year Offense Points Offense Yards Defense Points Defense Yards
2018 14 12 22 18
2017 21 26 26 22
2016 4 8 21 22
2015 15 23 12 15
2014 1 6 13 15
2013 8 3 24 25
2012 5 13 11 11
2011 1 3 19 32
2010 10 9 2 5
2009 3 6 7 2

Looking through this table, it’s clear that there were only two years in the past ten where the Packers’ defense was noticeably better than the team’s offense. The first was in 2010, when the team won Super Bowl XLV. Interestingly, the other was in 2015, when the Packers made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, falling to the Cardinals in heartbreaking fashion. That was also notably the year that Jordy Nelson missed after tearing his ACL in the preseason.

Now, back to the question. Will this indeed be the third year since 2009 that the defense is significantly better than the offense? The pieces might be in place for that to be the case. Weigh in through the poll below or in the comments on what you expect this fall.

Poll

Will the Packers’ defense be better than the offense this year?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Yes
    (616 votes)
  • 29%
    No
    (261 votes)
877 votes total Vote Now