1. Defensive tackle
Another year of run-stopping problems for this defense. When they’ve been bad against the run, they’ve been really bad.
And it’s not all that surprising. Run defense was a major issue last season as we saw in the NFC title game. But the Packers did very little to strengthen the defensive line in the offseason, instead hoping that the development of young talent on the roster would be enough.
We’ve seen improvements from Tyler Lancaster, who currently ranks eighth in run stop win rate among defensive tackles, according to ESPN. But Kenny Clark hasn’t been at his best this season and the run defense as a whole has continued to struggle.
At its worst, we see games like the loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota’s game plan was to run the ball and control the tempo of the game. Dalvin Cook rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns and also caught two passes for 63 yards and a score. The Vikings ran the ball 34 times, threw 14 times and won 28-22.
This is the type of performance the Packers need to avoid in the playoffs.
It all starts up front, which means defensive tackle will likely be a major need in the offseason once again.