For the second time after a loss to the Minnesota Vikings, a member of the Green Bay Packers’ defense is pointing fingers.
The first time, it was cornerback Charles Woodson, who openly and loudly questioned why the Packers didn’t blitz Brett Favre more. That was a good question, at the time. The Packers routinely sent only four pass rushers against the Vikings in their first meeting, a 30-23 Minnesota victory in which Brett Favre threw for 271 yards, three touchdowns and didn’t get touched.
Of course, Favre torched the Packers blitz in the first half of yesterday’s meeting and the defense found most of its success playing coverage against the Vikings.
Still, even though defensive coordinator Dom Capers made the correct adjustments in the second half, a member of his unit was again pointing the finger after the yesterday’s 38-26 loss to the Vikings. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins told reporters players are being handcuffed by the system.
The Packers’ defense tallied zero sacks on Sunday as Favre threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns.
“Are we doing everything we can to win games or are we doing everything we can to run a certain thing that we want to run?” Jenkins said. “I want to win and I want to do whatever it takes to win. At some point, you have to take the handcuffs off and let the boys play.”
Jenkins specifically said the Packers have Pro Bowl-caliber players on the defense who are not being used appropriately, an obvious reference to outside linebacker Aaron Kampman, who has been playing the majority of his snaps out of a two-point stance, rather than his traditional three- or four-point stance. Kampman had four tackles on Sunday, and like most of his mates, didn’t get close to Favre.
Like Woodson’s comments, Jenkins’ were made out of frustration. Like the first time the Packers met the Vikings, their defense didn’t play very well, particularly against the pass.
The system may be partially to blame, but the obvious is that Brett Favre played tremendous football in both games against his former team and that the Vikings are simply a better team than the Packers, right now.
It’s time for that reality to sink in.