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Packers Defense

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by wischeez, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. wischeez

    wischeez Cheesehead

    Dec 4, 2004
    Defense plan hits a snag
    No. 1 unit trips against Broncos
    Posted: Aug. 23, 2008

    Denver - General manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy plan to win games with their defense this year but Friday night hardly provided a preview.
    No pass rush, no turnovers, missed tackles and critical penalties were all part of the defense’s night in a 27-24 exhibition victory over the Denver Broncos Friday night at Invesco Field at Mile High.

    Unable to match the turnaround its offense made after the 34-6 debacle against the San Francisco 49ers last week, the defense rolled over against a Broncos team it held to 13 points here a little less than a year ago. In the first half alone, Denver gained 206 yards and scored on all three of its possessions, driving 58, 99 and 80 yards on the Packers’ No. 1’s.

    “The strength of our defense has always been third down,” coach Mike McCarthy said after the defense allowed four of six conversions in the first half. “We weren’t as sharp as we have been and we need to tackle better. That’s two weeks in a row that our run defense was not as good as it has been. We’re better (on third downs) than we showed on that particular drive.”

    Still, one would have thought the defense would have picked up its game in this, the third and most important exhibition game. After shutting down the 49ers for the first four drives last week, the No. 1 defense allowed five straight scoring drives — four of them touchdowns — with an overall length of 79.2 yards.

    It wasn’t until the first drive of the second half Friday night, when the Broncos had replaced starting quarterback Jay Cutler with backup Patrick Ramsey, that the defense finally forced a punt. After that series, the Packers took out most of their starters. They had replaced starting cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson before the Broncos’ final possession of the first half.

    One of the most alarming aspects of the defense’s problems is that the No. 1’s have gone 14 straight drives without a sack. Even though defensive coordinator Bob Sanders hasn’t blitzed much, the Packers’ only missing pass-rusher during the exhibition season has been end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and they expect to get to the quarterback with their four-man rush

    The only two sacks of the entire exhibition season belong to backup end Jason Hunter, who had a big one that led to the Packers’ winning points against the Broncos. Through three games, the Packers have knocked down the quarterback about a half-dozen times in 94 drop-backs.

    “I have a lot of confidence in the reality of our rush,” end Aaron Kampman said, alluding to the difference between exhibition and regular-season games. “The biggest thing is we have to continue to get people in long-yardage situations. We have a lot of guys rotating in and out and we’re trying a lot of new things. In two weeks, I think we’ll have it ironed out.”

    The Packers were without nose tackle Ryan Pickett, linebacker A.J. Hawk and Gbaja-Biamila, but it was hardly an excuse for missed tackles from Barnett (two), safety Nick Collins and defensive tackle Johnny Jolly, or cornerback Will Blackmon failing to come up with a potential interception or nickel back Tramon Williams giving up 80 yards in two plays late in the first half to allow the Broncos to take a 17-10 lead.

    Woodson and safety Aaron Rouse have the only interceptions and no one has caused a lost fumble.

    “There’s some things we have to clear up, but other than that we’ll be fine,” Barnett said. “I think we’ll be fine. We have to do a better job of getting off the field. But I do know we’re trying some different things and we’re not game-planning things the way we will in the regular season. The regular season means a lot more.”

    Against the Broncos, Cutler, who came into the game having completed 24 of 30 passes in two exhibition games, pretty much had all the time he needed in completing six of 13 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn’t spectacular but with the way his receivers were getting open and breaking tackles, he didn’t need to be.

    In addition, he benefited from an effective ground game.

    The Broncos rushed for 91 yards in 15 carries, including 55 in 11 carries during a 16-play, 99-yard touchdown drive that ate up 8 minutes 29 seconds of the second quarter. The Packers had pinned the Broncos at the 1 after a 59-yard punt by Jon Ryan was downed inches before it hit the goal line.

    The drive was a chance for the Packers to flex their muscles a little bit after holding the Broncos to a field goal after three shots from their 22-yard line on the previous possession. But they couldn’t get off the field on third down.

    By the time the drive was over, the Packers had given up seven first downs.

    The only real bright spot of the night came in the second half when Hunter blasted into Ramsey from the side and forced an errant pass that linebacker Tracy White intercepted deep in Broncos territory. The Packers scored a short time later to take a 27-24 lead.
  2. pack4life

    pack4life Cheesehead

    Aug 13, 2005
    I'm hoping it's like what most of the defensive players are saying, they are trying new things and will have a different gameplan come the regular season. It should be a completely different story come week 1 vs Tavaris Jackson and the Vikes.

    Good article, good post
  3. mike bat

    mike bat Cheesehead

    Aug 18, 2008
    i agree ,, they may just need time in a real game to get it together ... i believe they will tighten it up ...

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