Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers has gone on record about his 31st ranked defense, saying that it’s never too late to rectify a poor performance because each week is a different outing and a new situation.
He said there have been positives and negatives with his squad this year, but that it was his squad’s ability to keep opposing teams out of the end zone and to take the ball away from them were the two keys that have helped the Packers win 14 games to date.
“I think No. 1, our goal on defense is do what it takes to win games,” Capers said. “And we’ve won 14 games. Now I think the things that give you the best chance of doing that from a defensive standpoint is: No. 1, limiting the points allowed. No. 2 taking the ball away.”
“Those things have been fairly consistent. I think we were seventh in the league in points allowed the first year we were here, second last year and 12th now. The take-aways, over a three-year period, we’re first in the league. Those have been very positive.”
However, on the flip side, it’s been the team’s inability to stop the big plays … the huge plays … that have led to the Packers giving up right around 400 yards per game.
“The things that haven’t been as positive, obviously, the big plays. Which adds to the yardage allowed. And probably the inconsistency. I think we’ve been more consistent (in the past). I would say both in run defense and pass defense. We’ve been very good in pass defense the first two years and the first year we set a franchise record in run defense. So, I think that’s kind of it in a nutshell.
“Our philosophy is based on some base principles and we’re always going to come back to that and what we think it’s going to take to help us win football games. And many times that’s tied in to what we’ve got going on on offense.”
In order to win in the playoffs, the Packers are going to get back to those base principles. Last year, the team won at the end of the season because they stopped offenses and scored at a high clip.
The way the offense is playing, the points will come, but without a defense that can stop the run and get off the field on third down, it’s going to be difficult to get back to the Super Bowl, let alone win it.
Here’s what the defense has done so far this season with team ranking in parentheses:
No. 12 in points per game (21.2)
No. 31 in yards per game (400.7)
No. 2 in take-aways (34)
No. 27 in sacks (27)