The Packers defense needs to step up in the second half of the season. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Packers defense looking to improve against the run

The Packers defense currently ranks #7 in total yards, #3 in rushing attempts, 25th for yards per attempt and #10 for yards per game. Rankings of statistics are what they are, numbers on paper, but can tell a larger story when dug into.

Let’s discuss these stats one at a time and try to determine why they are what they are and let’s do this from the bad to the not-so-bad order.

#25 Yards per attempt average (4.6) – The Packers are facing opponents that are in a “need to pass” situations because the score is hardly ever in their favor and they are playing catch-up. This forces Dom Capers’ defense to run a lot of nickel and dime defenses leaving the front six to fend off the runs and makes them more susceptible to the running game.

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#3 Rushing attempts (154) – I believe the game plans of the opponents the Packers have faced so far and probably throughout this season are ball control, eat the clock and to not get into a scoring shootout that they probably cannot keep up with. They are trying to pound the ball on the ground, eat up the clock, tire the Packers’ defensive line and linebackers and try to keep their defense off the field against the Packers offense.

#10 Yards per game (102.1) – Not a stellar stat for any defense but middle of the road for all the teams in the NFL. As long as the ball is not crossing the line for a touchdown we can afford to give the yards up and as long as Green Bay’s offense stays productive. Again, the bend, but do break attitude. The defense to this point has only had three touchdowns scored on the ground.

#7 total yards (715) – I think everyone is seeing the point of this article by now. Though this doesn’t sound all that good and could be better, the Packers are holding their own and WINNING.

Do I feel that Green Bay’s defense is a great defense? I believe they can be and have been and it is just a matter of time until Dom Capers pulls back his sleeves and releases his magic potion.

Things I would like to see in the second half of the season? Mike Neal. THE other outside linebacker be named and stand out. MORE turnovers. Run stopping front 7.

I look forward to the second half of the season and hope all Packer fans do as well.

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Tags: Defense NFL Packers Running Game

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