Negative: Mike Pettine
Absolutely nothing good can be pointed to when evaluating Mike Pettine’s status in Green Bay. Now in his third season as the defensive coordinator, it is going from bad to worse for a guy who was brought in to end the years of frustration under Dom Capers. With plenty of talented personnel to go around, Pettine’s defense gave up touchdowns on five straight drives between the end of week one and the beginning of week two.
While management’s continued ignorance of the middle linebacker position continues to compound the problem, it shouldn’t be this bad. The Packers have not exactly played a good offense to this point through two games either. The Vikings have been one of the worst looking teams so far, and the Lions were missing Kenny Golladay.
Green Bay’s run defense is bad enough even with the overrated Kenny Clark. Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, and Montravius Adams is unquestionably the worst interior defensive line in football, and the Lions ran all over it. If Green Bay is at all serious about winning a Super Bowl, then they’ll get Damon Harrison on the phone yesterday.
Positive: Matt LaFleur
It took some getting used to, but what Matt LaFleur has brought the Packers has been tremendous. Sunday against the Lions was LaFleur’s 20th game at the helm of the Packers, and his 16th win. He has implemented a run-first, play-action offense that can at least partially explain the complete refusal by Brian Gutekunst to draft even one receiver in the best receiver class of all-time.
After two games, there appears to be some new layers to the offense. The Packers are utilizing the middle of the field much more than they did last year. Crossing patterns involving Davante Adams and Valdes-Scantling have been used multiple times in each game, while some carefully designed concepts for a talentless tight end group have been useful as well.
While he will never give the team much on the defensive side of the ball, almost as little as Mike Pettine, the team is clearly responding to him as a whole, and the team’s next six games are going to test LaFleur’s team scorching hot offense in ways it hasn’t been yet.