Sept 13, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) during the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Packers vs. Colts: The defense is exposed - again

Is Charles Woodson a step behind these days and is it becoming a problem? Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

I admit it right here – I didn’t watch the Packers vs. Colts game yesterday.

Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was on the road. I spent the weekend in Chicago with my family and had to resort to an in and out signal from the Colts radio network for my fix of the game.

I was only able to catch the first and last quarters – what turned out to be the best and worst of the game.

I guess I didn’t miss much of anything good in between. From what I’ve been reading today, there are people gathering in two camps – the pessimists who are already writing the Packers off  and the optimists who are pointing to the 2010 season when the Packers had that rough start, barely made the playoffs and then went on to win the Super Bowl.

I want to be an optimist, but find myself leaning toward the pessimistic side only because it tends to be more realistic.

While there are similarities between this year’s Packers squad and the one that took the field in 2010, there is a major difference – the defense.

Since that season when the Packers won the Super Bowl, the defense has been atrocious – even last year when Aaron Rodgers carried the Packers to a 15-1 record, it was the defense that was the letdown, the weak chink in the Packers armor.

It hasn’t changed this year even though the addition of a slew of talented rookies promised improvement.

So, what’s the difference?

Dom Capers.

In his first couple of seasons, his squads were impressive because they were aggressive and confusing to opposing offenses.

Not anymore. Offenses across the league have figured Capers out and he hasn’t provided any wrinkles, any changes, any creativity to counter. What we see is a decent attack of the running (for the most part) forcing teams into third down and long situations. Then the Packers go into that old prevent defense where they rush three and sink eight into a zone.

When the Packers lack of pressure allows quarterbacks to stand in the pocket like the Statue of Liberty, it’s all over. Quarterbacks have been able to pick the secondary apart for huge gains.

So, what’s the answer? Is it time to ask for Capers’ head? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t envy Ted Thompson in this situation, but he’s got to know that whatever the Packers are doing on the field isn’t working consistently.

Maybe the Packers talent level on defense isn’t as good as everyone thinks. Maybe Charles Woodson is getting old. Maybe Nick Perry is still two to three years away. Maybe the Packers do really miss Nick Collins.

Regardless, the Packers have to figure this out and do it quickly. Heading to Houston next week to play the Texans is a huge chore and they will have to put together two halves, not just one like they did against the Colts.

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