Packers All About Defense

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Mark Sanchez

The Packers were ugly, but the Jets were uglier.

Here’s that dominating Green Bay Packers defense we’ve been looking for all season long.

Despite giving up several big plays in the passing game, the Packers’ defense forced three New York Jets turnovers, shut down their vaunted running game and shut out the Jets in a 9-0 win. The game improved the Packers to 5-3 and ended the Jets’ five-game win streak.

Despite the defensive display, which included interceptions by Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams, sacks by Clay Matthews and Brandon Chillar, and a fumble recovery by Williams, the Packers offense was atrocious.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was unable to move the ball and finished an uninspiring 15-of-34 for 170 yards. Rodgers continued his recent trend of looking like he and his receivers haven’t practiced together all week long, overthrowing, underthrowing and generally putting the football in places where no one could catch it.

If there was anything positive that came from the Packers’ passing attack, it was that Greg Jennings continued to shine, catching six balls for 81 yards. Jordy Nelson also had his best game of the season, coming up with five catches for 55 yards.

Unfortunately, Donald Driver as again a non-factor. Driver put up a donut for the second week in a row. James Jones, who finished with more than 100 yards last week, followed up that performance by doing absolutely nothing. Jones had no catches and dropped a nearly perfectly thrown deep ball that hit him in the hands and would likely have been an easy touchdown.

Uncharacteristically, the Packers actually tried to establish the run throughout the game. The results were unimpressive — Brandon Jackson finished with 55 yards on 15 carries and John Kuhn had 21 yards on eight carries — but the philosophy seemed to keep the Jets and their vaunted blitzing defense off Rodgers, who was sacked only twice on the day.

For most of the afternoon, Rodgers had plenty of time to throw the football. The confounding thing is he couldn’t do much with it.

The Packers offensive line played well as a whole, but rookie Bryan Bulaga, who started at right tackle, looked completely lost at times. Although he wasn’t overpowered, Bulaga missed several assignments. If there’s a positive about his play, it’s that his mistakes are correctable.

Oddly enough, you could make an argument that punter Tim Masthay was the Packers MVP on the day. Masthay averaged 44 yards on eight punts and had a net of 41.5. He landed five of his kicks inside of the 20, while having his finest day as a member of the Packers.

In the end, Masthay helped the Packers win the field position battle, the defense came up with opportune turnovers and kicker Mason Crosby was good enough, hitting three of four field goals, for the Packers to win.

The two most telling stats were penalties and rushing defense.

The Packers did something they hardly ever have in the Mike McCarthy era — played virtually mistake-free football. The team finished with only three penalties for 15 yards.

They also shut down the Jets’ rushing offense, led by Desmond Bishop’s 10 tackles. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for only 54 yards and Shonn Greene had only 22.

The numbers were nearly identical to those put up by the Packers’ backs and that’s saying something.

Although it wasn’t pretty to watch, the Packers came up with an important and unexpected win on Sunday, which may ultimately set the tone for the rest of the season.


About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

11 Comments on "Packers All About Defense"

  1. Nick K

    Driver re-injured his quad, and didn’t play the second half. That could be why he posted a donut. The wind was also a negative factor in the passing game so it’s a good sign Rodgers didn’t throw any picks.

  2. Buddy

    Yes many props to the Packers D. They won the game as well as our special teams, although I wouldn’t put most of the incompletions on Rodgers. There were quite a few passes that were on the money that our recievers should have hauled in, but over all we got the “W” and that’s the important part. Go Pack!

  3. Ron

    I wonder if Aaron is having vision problems after his concussion. I am an optometrist and that is definitely possible. He seems to be missing which receivers are open.

  4. iltarion

    I have to watch the tape, but A-Rodge appeared to play a pretty solid second half. DD was out. JJ was dropping passes and running the wrong routes. Quarless was dropping passes, and Jordy was having a hard time getting open. In short, the only WR A-Rodge could count on was Jennings, and they were bracketing him down the stretch.

    Yeah, our offense struggled, but the Jets have one of the best defenses in football and a strong wind made it difficult for both teams to pass the ball. Plus, our offense picked up enough first downs to help keep our defense rested and help us win the field position battle. So, I think it is a little over blown. I’m not concerned with the offense. I have a feeling it will show up against Dallas.

  5. Ewils

    I was very surprised with our defense. Having so many key players banged up, I sort of figured our run D would be questionable. This was a much needed win for the Packers. We have the Cowgirls next week, then we get our bye week its looking pretty good so far.

    Go Pack!

  6. Madcity Packer Fan

    Gotta give it to Howard Green with only one full practice and playing a good game as a brand new Packer. It had to feel good for him to upset the team that threw him out of the street weeks earlier. We still need a good RB our receivers to make plays but good game and it sure is looking good going into a home game and then a bye.

  7. chitter

    I gotta pat myself on the back a little bit about how I thought we matched up well and could win this game if we did certain things. Like run the ball 27-30 times (we ran it 26), trust in Charles and Tramon to shut down the Jets average receiving corps, play conservative football, punt the ball well, and have ARodge play a good game. I agree with Iltarion about Rodgers performance. I think it was better than people give him credit for and also he did not take any bad sacks and no costly turnovers.

    But by and large, as great of a win as this was, the Jets looked like the Buffalo Bills out there. They couldn’t do anything right ….and Sanchez actually played pretty well, the guy I thought we could exploit. Fortunately he got no help from his crew.

    The Pack did get every call…EVERY call. The refs DEFINITELY got a memo about calling people for molesting Clay Mathews and one has to wonder if the league doesn’t keep score. Either way, we’ve had our share of shit calls go against us so it was nice for the shoe to be on the other foot.

    A great win, but if we let down against Dallas it’s all meaningless.

    • Taryn

      I have a feeling that even if a Green Bay let down,most of the Cowboys know a win will keep Wade around longer and probably want him gone.

      The Boy’s will play enough to not let the NFL think they’re throwing it,but will play badly enough to send a message to Jerry(AlDavis)Jones.

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