Five things Packers need to address in the bye week

Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

1. Stop the run

We’ll start with the obvious. Like last season, the Packers need to improve their run defense.

While the Packers have allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards in two of their four games and currently rank ninth in run defense, the worry is that was partly due to the opponents they were facing, as well as the game script. Green Bay has been ahead for the majority of each game this season, forcing opponents to be less balanced offensively.

That won’t be the case against the best teams in the NFC, especially in the playoffs. To avoid a similar result to last season when the 49ers ran all over the Packers in the NFC title game, this is an area Mike Pettine needs to get some improvements from his defense.

Getting Kenny Clark back from injury will certainly help, and there’s a good chance Clark will return from a groin injury in Week 6. Another solution could be to sign free agent defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who will visit with the Packers on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

Outside of that, this defense simply needs to get some improvements from within. Whether that’s scheme or just players improving up front, the run defense needs to be better.

There were some positives from the Falcons performance. Atlanta struggled to get the ground game going and averaged just 3.1 yards per carry. It’s a start, but Green Bay will need to improve up front when it comes up against a team like San Francisco.