Over the past three seasons, the Green Bay Packers faithful have watched Joe Barry call horrible defensive plays and get outplayed too often.
Barry's first claim to fame in the NFL came when he coached the abysmal 2007 Detroit Lions defense. While not the worst performance he would have in his tenure as the defensive coordinator for Detroit, they looked average, finishing 7-9 with the worst defense in the league.
The Lions would go 0-16 the following season, and Barry walked. His Lions defense ranked dead last in first downs allowed, passing interceptions, passing yards per attempt, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards per attempt, average drive points, total points against, and total yards against.
While he bounced around in the NFL following his departure, Barry became the defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers due to his time in Washington with their head coach, Matt LaFleur. Barry was a decent linebackers coach but should not have touched the field as a defensive coordinator ever again.
Packers past three games highlight why Matt LaFleur must replace Joe Barry
In Week 7, Tommy DeVito replaced Tyrod Taylor against the New York Jets. While his performance in that game left much to be desired, he played fairly well across the next couple of games.
But against the Packers, DeVito looked great, going 17/21 for 158 yards, one touchdown, and a 113.9 passer rating. He also led the game-winning field goal drive. On that possession, Barry called terrible prevent defensive schemes, which allowed passes over the middle that the Giants took advantage of. The Packers could also not get any pressure on the quarterback, not recording a sack the entire game against an offensive line that has allowed a franchise-high 76 sacks.
While Baker Mayfield is having a great season, against the Packers defense, he looked incredible. For the first time, a visiting quarterback had a perfect passer rating at Lambeau Field. Baker went 22/28 for 381 yards and four touchdowns, with a perfect 158.3 passer rating. There were many times in this game where the Packers could have made a stop and tried to win, but even with predictable plays being called, Barry could not stop the run.
If we take our minds off the fact that Barry tends to have cornerbacks 10 yards off the receiver, running the ball against the Packers is like taking candy from a baby. In 2022, the Packers' defense ranked 22nd in attempts, 26th in yards allowed, 23rd in touchdowns, and 28th in yards per attempt -- an abysmal season rank that should've had Barry fired but only put him on the hot seat for 2023.
This season, the Packers defense is somehow even worse, ranking 29th in rushing attempts, 30th in yards, 19th in touchdowns, and 28th in yards per attempt.
Rookie QB Bryce Young has played horribly this season due to a lack of a competent head coach mixed with a young and underperforming team. Prior to his game against the Packers, Young went seven straight games under 200 yards passing and four straight games without a touchdown through the air.
Against the Packers, Young went 23/35 for 312 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 113.0.
This game against the Panthers could've been a chance for the Packers' defense and Barry to reset and show what their play-calling could've been like for the entire season, but Barry showed how incompetent he was in leading a defense.
Matt LaFleur needs to understand that there are better defensive coaches currently on the team than Barry. Considering the play-calling for the past two seasons and Barry's tenure in previous positions, he should've let him go earlier in the season.