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Packers Reacts Results: Only 1 percent of fans call the 2023 defense a success

The most consensus result that Packers Reacts has ever recorded claims that fans believe that the defense has not been playing well enough this season.

Green Bay Packers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

We have yet another set of poll results for you, which show how optimism in the coaching staff completely varies between the offensive coaches and defensive coaches. Packers fans, generally, are happy with how the offense has looked in 2023 but are in unison that the defense has not been good enough this season.

Let’s dive into the data.

This result is somewhat surprising to me. I didn’t expect a 50 percent spike in fan confidence after last week’s win against the Carolina Panthers. Sure, the offense cracked 30 points in the game, but the Panthers are one of the worst teams in football — maybe the worst.

On the flip side, the defense also allowed 30 points in the game and nearly coughed up the victory. Had the team lost, their playoff hopes almost certainly would have died then and there in Charlotte. Maybe I’m just being too pessimistic about the recent Packers’ performances, though.

About three-quarters of you consider this season a success so far, which I think is more than fair at this point. I’d explain my reasoning for this, but it leads to our next result.

Almost all of you think that the Packers’ 2023 offense should be considered a success. Quarterback Jordan Love has looked like The Guy in the second half of the season — after the offensive line settled down and the receivers consistently started running the correct routes. Green Bay’s young receivers look like they’re getting better every week, particularly rookies Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks. At tight end, the Packers became the first team in NFL history with three rookies to grab a touchdown in the same season.

The future of the offensive line is still a little shaky, with Jon Runyan Jr. and Yosh Nijman expected to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, but the development of Rasheed Walker and Sean Rhyan have been generally positive. With David Bakhtiari potentially returning and a first-round pick potentially in the mix, there’s a possibility that the line looks better in 2024.

The big question mark remaining on the offensive side of the ball is what will happen at running back, as starter Aaron Jones commands a $17 million cap hit in 2024 and AJ Dillon is in the final year of his contract. Kenyan Drake, Emanuel Wilson and Patrick Taylor have all seen playing time as reserves out of the Packers’ backfield, but the team has not committed to giving the ball to any of them — even when Jones was out of the lineup.

There has never been a more consensus answer to a poll question in the three years that I’ve been running the Packers Reacts series. Nearly every single Green Bay fan who voted believes that the 2023 defense is a disappointment, and it’s hard to argue the other side.

Yes, the team has more financial investments on the defensive side this year. Yes, there are eight first-round picks on defense. What’s more damning, though, is that three straight quarterbacks (Tommy DeVito, Baker Mayfield and Bryce Young) have had career games against Joe Barry’s side of the squad.

If rookie fifth-round pick Jaren Hall even plays above average against this unit, it could be the nail in the coffin for Barry, who is coaching for his job at the moment. This is before even mentioning that inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has stated that he’s done playing through injury and that cornerback Jaire Alexander has been suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

For as much progress as the offense has made in 2023, it sure feels like a wasted year on the defensive end.

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