Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry saves his worst calls for the most important moments.
On a crucial drive in the Packers' loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last week, Barry had Preston Smith cover All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams. It resulted in the most predictable of first downs, Adams picking up an easy 21 yards.
The timing couldn't have been much worse. Green Bay held a three-point lead late in the third quarter, with Las Vegas facing second-and-10 from the Packers' 37-yard line. There was a chance to hold the Raiders to a long field goal attempt. Instead, the Packers gifted the Raiders a first down, and they scored a touchdown just four players later.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Barry's defense. Why is there no check for the Packers to get out of situations like that? Barry gave a laughable excuse this week.
Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry responds to awful Davante Adams matchup
The Adams completion was the worst play of the night for Green Bay's defense, and it was so avoidable. Smith would've been better off running offside and giving up five yards instead of trying to guard Adams.
Packers fans have seen this too often, and they won't enjoy Barry's explanation.
"If you're Preston, you almost have to just survive the down and try to keep it to as minimal as you can. But that's a poor matchup for him to be in, and that's totally on me," said Barry.
"For us to be able to put him in that situation, we've got to have a mechanism to get out of it. We just have to have a built-in check, which we will and we can do. But based on the personnel they were in, we never thought it would come up. It ended up being a bad play. That was me. It was not Preston."
Why isn't there already a mechanism? Barry's defense has been burned by this before.
Rewind to Week 1 of last season. Preston Smith found himself in a similar situation, matched up with All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson. It was far too easy for Jefferson.
In the Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons this year, Barry had linebacker De'Vondre Campbell sit 10 yards off running back Bijan Robinson. The problem? It was third-and-3. Robinson picked up the easiest first down of his life, and the Falcons scored a game-winning field goal shortly after.
And, again, in a crucial moment, Smith had to cover Adams in the drive that cost the Packers victory against the Raiders. Barry's reasoning? Well, we didn't expect them to do that.
Matt LaFleur said after the Detroit Lions loss: "It's insane to do the same things over and over again and expect different results."
He was referring to the run defense. We can now say the same thing about Barry not having a mechanism to get out of disastrous matchups like Preston Smith covering Davante Adams.