Was it all too good to be true or is this just a bump in the road?
Don’t look now but concern seems to be rising regarding the Green Bay Packers’ defense. After starting the season as an elite unit despite injuries to key players like Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith, the defense has come back to earth a bit over the past three weeks.
It started against the Los Angeles Rams when the defense let them back into the game to the point where an onside kick recovery was needed. Then they were gashed by Mark Andrew and the Baltimore Ravens. Add in Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns running all over them on Saturday and you can see why eyebrows are being raised.
To be fair, the defense has been pressuring the quarterback and generating turnovers so it’s not like things have been all bad. Rasul Douglas in particular had three interceptions in the past three games. That definitely takes some of the sting over the yardage and points being given up.
Green Bay’s offense hasn’t helped in situations either. Putting up only 3 points in the second half against Cleveland put the defense in a corner when just one more touchdown would have iced the game much earlier than it was. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
Overall, I would say the defense bears watching over the final two games but they definitely need Alexander back to stiffen up the back end. That would allow Joe Barry to deploy Douglas and Eric Stokes in different ways.
Maybe this is just fans whose hearts have broken by the defense in multiple postseasons just worrying it will happen again but until they pitch another strong game angst will continue to creep in.
Thankfully Green Bay’s defense found a way to make the play that has won the last two games but it would be much nicer if it never came to that. Better fundamental tackling and getting off the field on third down should be areas of focus this week.
Confidence in the defense has been shaken and that’s been reflected in the defense falling to 13th overall. Fans should be forgiven for being pessimistic as they have seen this story before. Hopefully the ending is a happier one than in the past.
The national surge in COVID cases is decimating the entire NFL and the Packers are no exception. Here’s hoping the team can minimize the effects and those testing positive recover quickly.
Looking ahead, the tundra will be frozen come kickoff time Sunday night with the temperature a brisk 5 degrees and it will be close to zero at game’s end.
Pretty sure those are Life Savers in name only at this point as eating one very well could be a Life Ender after 30 years.