Packers fire Joe Barry: Matt LaFleur makes necessary change at defensive coordinator

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal

The Green Bay Packers needed to make a change.

Joe Barry's defense made significant improvements down the stretch, but head coach Matt LaFleur decided it was time to move on at defensive coordinator.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Packers have fired Barry.

Green Bay lacked depth in the secondary for much of the season, especially after trading Rasul Douglas, but Barry still had plenty of talent to work with. The Packers have an excellent front seven. This defense should've reached a higher level, and it may have helped them earn a higher seed in the NFC.

In the regular season, Green Bay ranked 17th in total yards allowed, ninth against the pass, and 28th versus the run. The Packers finished 27th in defensive DVOA.

Despite recent turnaround, Packers make right decision to replace Joe Barry

To Barry's credit, the defense took significant strides in the final four games of the season, including two in the playoffs. They held the Minnesota Vikings to 10 points and the Chicago Bears to nine. Green Bay restricted the Dallas Cowboys to 16 points until late in the fourth quarter, when they allowed two touchdowns with the game already out of sight.

Green Bay held up against the San Francisco 49ers, giving up a respectable 24 points. They were a couple of dropped interceptions away from making it a great game for Barry's unit.

However, part of the Packers' success was due to 49ers errors. Brock Purdy didn't play well in the rain. He missed a bunch of wide-open receivers and even threw pass right at Darnell Savage.

When Green Bay's defense played badly this season, things quickly became disastrous.

It's hard to ignore the four teams that rushed for over 200 yards against the Packers. Baker Mayfield earned a perfect passer rating at Lambeau Field. Then there's the Carolina Panthers game.

The Panthers scored 30 points in only one game this season. Guess who that was against? Carolina averaged 13.9 points per game. They were shut out in their final two games after playing the Packers. The Panthers scored a combined 45 points in their final five games, 30 of which came against the Packers, which means they managed only 15 in the other four.

Too many of these moments added up, which is why the Packers had to make a change. It's now over to Matt LaFleur to find the right replacement.

More Packers news and analysis