Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph
The Green Bay Packers defense has struggled the last few weeks – that’s putting it lightly – even though they have the talent to be a lot better.
The Packers’ defense started out strong during the first half of the season, but tackling issues have been one of the biggest concerns for the team the past few weeks.
Many will blame the the Packers’ struggles on the tumultuous quarterback situation with Aaron Rodgers‘ injury, but that is just an excuse. The issues with the Packers defense have nothing to do with the offense.
The Packers have to make a big change and there is only one way that could light a fire under this defense and help them play up to their potential.
The Packers need to fire Dom Capers.
Now this may seem crazy, especially at this point in the season, but other teams have fired coordinators mid-season and gone on to have a lot of success. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens’ offense was struggling, so the Ravens decided to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Jim Caldwell took over, and we know how the Ravens’ offense took off under Caldwell with the Ravens going on to win the Super Bowl.
But there are other football-related issues as to why the Packers should fire Capers.
The first is how the Packers have failed to put pressure on the quarterback. The Packers have only had four sacks in the last two games with Datone Jones accounting for half of them despite not being a starter.
The Packers have gone with size on their defensive line, but it has not been working – they are still failing to get pressure on the quarterback. Datone Jones has proven he can be a quality run defender and B.J. Raji is a player who should be at nose tackle. Mike Neal and Mike Daniels are also proving that they are eager to play and bring more speed to the defensive line. Capers is simply misusing his personnel on the defensive line.
The next issue is how the Packers’ secondary has struggled despite having tons of talent. The Packers have Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, and Casey Hayward at cornerback. They could all start on just about every team in the NFL. Micah Hyde is rangy and has the talent to possibly be an upgrade at safety, yet Capers isn’t willing to take a chance on filling the safety spot opposite Morgan Burnett.
Also, the Packers are creating some bad mismatches on big receivers that just don’t make sense. One of those was clear when Davon House was covering the Bears’ Alshon Jeffery in the red zone and Jeffery made House look bad with his touchdown catch. The Packers have better match-ups for Jeffery with guys like Shields and Hayward who are much more athletic and better cornerbacks than House. Capers is not making smart matchup decisions and misusing talent which has caused the Packers to have a below average pass defense.
Philadelphia Eagles running backBryce Brown
(34) runs with the ball past Green Bay Packers linebackerClay Matthews
(52) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph
The last issue is what happened the past two weeks late in the fourth quarter. The Bears did it and the Eagles did it once again on their final possession against the Packers. The Packers had plenty of time to get a stop and get back – all they needed was one stop.
The Packers knew that the Eagles were going to run the football with LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown every play, and the Packers had plenty of time to get a stop and get the offense back out there since there was 9:32 left when the Eagles got the ball. Instead of the Packers rallying, the Eagles ran right over Green Bay and held the ball for those final 9:32. For the second straight week, the Packers have allowed the opponent to control the ball over the final nine or 10 minutes. That in itself is a fireable offense.
The Packers’ defense quit.
This is a bold statement that will bring tons of controversy, but McCoy and the Eagles just ran right over the Packers despite how Green Bay put eight in the box. The Packers seemed close after a third and 2 stop but a false start by the Eagles before the play led to a third and 7.
The Packers allowed an eight-yard reception to James Casey and the defense seemed to fall apart after that. Five of the seven plays after Philadelphia’s first down were runs of at least 7 yards which is just absolutely humiliating.
The Packers’ defense just seemed to have given up.
The Packers’ defense humiliated themselves at the end of this game. The team cannot continue to perform like this and it all comes down to the coordinator.
Dom Capers should be fired.