The Green Bay Packers are 12-0 with four very winnable games over the next month … but there’s one thing that continues to turn heads around the NFL and concern Packers fans the most – the Packers defense – or the lack thereof.
If there’s one word to describe this unit, it’s consistency. Yes, they have been consistently porous.
Sure, they’ve had their share of injuries, but this year’s unit has performed similarly in every game this season – from the season-opening win over New Orleans to the heart-stopping win over the Giants yesterday.
This has been an opportunistic unit, for sure. They have continually come up with just enough big plays to ensure the offensive unit’s efforts have not gone for naught. Yesterday’s pick-six by all-world linebacker Clay Matthews was the latest example of a play that helped turn the tide and secure a Packers win.
The question in my mind is whether this team can make it out of the regular season unscathed, but even more importantly, if this team can make it through the playoffs and the Super Bowl without a loss – that is if this defense continues to play as it has.
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With the offense continuing to play with a scorched earth attitude, this is a unit that could carry the team the rest of the way, as they have through the first 12 games.
However, when you’ve got a defense that is giving up 25-35 points and more than 400 yards-per-game, it’s going to get continually difficult for the offense to produce the deeper they get into the season and especially into the playoffs.
There is going to come a week when the defense is going to have to hold the opposition under 20 points … can they do it?
Well, this unit certainly has the talent to do so, but with both inside linebackers out until further notice, safety Nick Collins gone for the season, and Charles Woodson’s playing time questionable next week when the Pack hosts Sir Charles’s former team, the Oakland Raiders, it’s going to be another uphill climb. Oakland isn’t a slouch, though they did lose miserably to Miami Sunday.
Then again, the Giants suffered a humiliating defeat to the Saints last week and came out angry and ready to prove a point against the Packers. Will the Raiders have a similar point to prove … and who better to prove it than against the champions.
The bottom line is that this defense has got to start playing like it did last year at this time for the Packers to have any possibility of going deep into the playoffs or to the Super Bowl.
I’ve got an idea … maybe Aaron Rodgers should play defense.
Well, maybe not …