Why Packers won't make the playoffs: Joe Barry
The Packers have the talent on defense, but that was true a year ago, too. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry needs to get it right this season. Unfortunately, he didn't in 2022.
Many believed Green Bay's defense could be a top-five unit last year, but they ranked 17th in total yards allowed and an embarrassing 26th against the run.
They were better against the pass, ranking sixth, but that was partly due to opponents attempting a league-low 478 passes against the Packers. Green Bay allowed a completion percentage of 65.7 and a passer rating of 88.3, both disappointing numbers for a defense this talented.
Even worse was the pass rush. The Packers made only 34 sacks, the fifth-fewest in the NFL.
Teams knew they could run the ball at Joe Barry's defense, and the Packers could do nothing about it. According to ESPN, Green Bay ranked 31st in run stop win rate.
It doesn't all fall on Barry, but he continuously played soft coverages, allowing for easy completions at key moments in games. The Packers were at their best when they were aggressive. It's riskier and opens up the possibility of big plays for opposing offenses, but Green Bay has the talent to do it.
Barry is under pressure. Unless he changes his approach from last season, the Packers' defense may fail to meet expectations again.