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Can The Packers Win With Defense

In 2010-11 the Packers had key defenders that made plays during the season and throughout their title run through the playoffs. Woodson, Collins, Bishop and Jenkins would drop from the Packer roster in subsequent years and the Packers had trouble replacing those key starters.

Collins in particular, sustaining a career ending neck injury during their second game of the next season took a toll that proved too much for a grief stricken 2011-12 playoff team. Dealing from the death of the son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin’s son, the defense could muster only one sack of Eli Manning. Tramon Williams and Charlie Peprah led the team in tackles, but had no interceptions or passes defensed. Woodson’s stats were nearly nonexistent, one pass defensed combined with no tackles.

Eli Manning passed for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers, Grant and Kuhn all fumbled and the game was a lopsided embarrassment for a 15-1 regular season team.

2019 Green Bay Packers Defense

Image Source: Packers.com

Since that playoff loss the Packers have invested in the defense with high draft picks. Since 2018 Gutekunst has drafted defense with seven of his top ten draft picks in his five drafts. His only first round offensive pick was for a backup quarterback.

2022 will answer the title question, will the focus on defense pay off? This year’s draft could see big contributions from their newest linebacker and defensive tackle. On paper, the defense has a a stronger unit than last year’s team which ranked in the top ten in the NFL. They will also be in the second year of Joe Barry’s defensive scheme which should bring early positive results.

The NFL has seen historically superior defenses in Baltimore and Denver bring the Lombardi Trophy home. The mortgage Gutekunst is paying interest on is a lack of seasoned pass catchers. The loss of Davante Adams and MVS adds to the trepidation of Allen Lazard’s refusing to sign his RFA tender. If Lazard forces the Packers into a corner, and he will never have as much leverage as he has now, the offense could ultimately line up Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and the rookie picks week one.

While FA’s Juwann Winfree and Malik Taylor share the room with 2021 third rounder Amari Rodgers, none of them have shown game changing potential. The loss of Adams may be due to Gutekunst’s “disrespect” of Adams, which is NFL talk for underestimating the financial market for receivers. The Packers made Adams play in 2021 for 18 million and he decided to go home. To Northern California.

Not part of the Gutekunst plan, but a reality that is now critical due to Adam’s passing on what is claimed to be the Packers final favorable offer. Perhaps Adams saw the writing on the wall. Aaron Rodgers seasons are limited, perhaps he retires next year if he wins another Lombardi trophy. Adams will need at least three more years of good stats to ensure a trip to Canton. Maybe he was not impressed with Jordan Love’s potential. In any event the 2022 season may rest on two rookies from the best college defense of 2020 and the health of players Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, De’Vondre Campbell and Rashan Gary. Let’s hope the rookies on both sides of the football learn quickly.

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Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a lawyer, victim advocate, writer, and long term Packer fan and Packer history enthusiast.

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20 Comments

  1. Mitch Anthony May 22, 2022

    I just don’t see where Lazard has all that much leverage under the current CBA rules. The deal he was offered expires June 15th, and that is for just under $4 million. After that date it can revert back to just under $1 million. Unless he is holding out hoping another team makes him a much better offer than $4 million, one which GB would have the first rights to match and force them to give him a better raise. If that deal doesn’t materialize he likely signs his RFA on June 14th and plays in GB. The way I read things, that’s the amount of his leverage.

    I’ve always liked Allen Lazard and I hope they keep him, and keep him happy here in GB. Can’t blame him for trying. The team has paid plenty of guys more than $4 mil for considerably less production and value to the team.

    Reply
  2. Howard May 22, 2022

    Mitch, I agree with what you wrote about Lazard. Except, I do believe the date for Lazard to sign an offer from another team has expired. RFAs have to receive an offer by another team by April 22. The rights to Lazard are solely in the hands of the Packers at this time. No team can sign Lazard, unless the Packers withdraw the offer (2nd round tender) to Lazard. I do not see The Packers withdrawing the offer. Lazard could sit out the season or the majority of the season. I don’t see that happening either, as it could create the same scenario next season for Lazard. Lazard will either sign and play for the 2nd round tender at a little less than 4 million this year, or the Packers and Lazard’s camp are working on a longer term contract.

    Reply
  3. Mitch Anthony May 23, 2022

    Howard, you are right….again. I totally forgot about that detail of the April date. So, he’s basically just hoping for a better deal. Therein lies his leverage.

    Reply
  4. PF4L May 23, 2022

    This is the best….
    .
    The Minnesota Vikings: A Legacy of Failure
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZiwQnxSRUY

    Reply
  5. Tom M May 23, 2022

    Davante Adams didn’t exactly go home. He went to Las Vegas. He grew up in the Bay Area and a Raider fan. He played college ball with his buddy Derek Carr at Fresno State also a Raider. Throw in all that with a 141 million dollar contract and a life long dream to play for the Raiders and what he thought of Jordan Love or Packer management had virtually nothing to do with his decision. I vividly remember that playoff loss to the NY Giants. Aaron Rodgers shit the bed. He wasn’t the only one to be sure. But for someone who went 15-1 with Jordy, Jennings, Jones, Driver, and Finley. It was a harbinger for playoff losses to come. What’s become apparent to most, is that stats win awards but don’t guarantee championships. If your going to commit to Aaron Rodgers you better give him a defense and a run game. Otherwise all you get is stats and disappointment.

    Reply
  6. Deepsky May 24, 2022

    The only way the Packers are going to go to the Super Bowl again is if the defense scores in tough matchups in the playoffs, like the Packers defense did against the Bears. Rodgers could have several Pro Bowl receivers and it wouldn’t matter, he’d would still never get the Packers to the Super Bowl without the defense scoring.

    Reply
  7. PF4L May 24, 2022

    Ok…..thanks for the chuckle Deep…..
    “he’d would”
    I love you guys 🙄
    *********************
    The only way the Packers are going to go to the Super Bowl is if they earn it (AS A TEAM).

    This has been talked about every season, year in, your out.
    SB caliber team, Championship team.
    If you can’t get to a SB, you are not a SB caliber team
    If you can’t get to a SB, you are not a Championship team.
    Only Championship teams are allowed in the Super Bowl.
    *******************
    As i have stated, i do have a bit of optimism for this season, but some pieces have to come into play concerning the rookie draft class, which seems to be the case annually these days..
    The “IF” factor.
    I have said the last three seasons…the Packers have to “prove it”, and to prove it, they have to earn it.
    A bit of optimism is fine…BUT, they aren’t a Championship or SB caliber team…until they are.
    I’ll probably be reading that again in here in the future, and thats fine, but i’ll be here to keep it 💯.
    ***************************
    Now…..the following writing is bothersome to me (as a Packer fan)
    .
    “Rodgers could have several Pro Bowl receivers and it wouldn’t matter, he’d would still never get the Packers to the Super Bowl without the defense scoring.” – Deep
    .
    Why don’t a few of you seething bitter “Packer fans” find another team to root for until Rodgers retires.
    Sound good?…..See ya in a few years, we’ll leave the light on.
    ******************
    Funny….i remember a NFCCG game against the Seahawks where the Packers were up by 12 points with a bit over 5 minutes left in the game.
    Someone please explain to me how that game was lost….did the defense “not score enough points in that last 5 minutes”?
    Or did the defense and special teams have a meltdown.
    .
    How is our special teams today, 7 years later?….still ranked last?
    .
    Or how about…the NFCCG against the Bucs…did our defense score enough for Rodgers to get to a Super Bowl, or was the defense too G D busy giving up 3 painfully easy passing TD’s for 21 points?
    *****************
    Recap: “Rodgers could have several Pro Bowl receivers and it wouldn’t matter, he’d would still never get the Packers to the Super Bowl without the defense scoring.”
    .
    Seriously Deep? Did you really write that?
    **************

    Reply
  8. Tom M May 25, 2022

    It’s called taking responsibility Kevin. Rodgers has to own up to his shit show that is his playoff record. Was it the “teams fault” on the last play of the playoff loss to the 49ers Aaron Rodgers threw a piss poor ball into double coverage to Davante Adams while Allen Lazard was wide open on a crossing route? We’ve had two GM’s, two HC’s, multiple DC’s and OC’s and scores of players since Rodgers took over as QB. When does Rodgers get held to the same high standard as everyone else? If it’s all about the team, then it doesn’t matter who his WR’s are or where they’re drafted. As long as Gutekunst is making “the team” better. Perhaps Rodgers best game last year was his thrilling come from behind, 30-28 win against the 49ers. You remember that game? It’s where Rodgers played pitch and catch with Davante Adams. Davante embarrassed a rookie 4th round corner on the game winning drive. Arrogant Aaron Rodgers thought he could do it again come playoff time. Why? Because he’s Aaron Fucking Rodgers and he’s a back to back MVP winner and he can do whatever the hell he wants! And that’s the problem with playoff teams. They’re coached extremely well and aren’t prone to making the same mistakes twice. It’s not like your playing Detroit, Chicago, or Minnesota that lull you into thinking you’re better than you really are. San Francisco and Kyle Shanahan were ready for Rodgers the next time. Shanahan knew if he made things difficult for Rodgers he’d fold like a cheap suit. And sure enough he did. But you go ahead and blame it on “the team.” Aaron Rodgers is perfect in every way! Just look at his playoff record. Why he’s the greatest QB ever! Right girls?

    Reply
  9. Deepsky May 25, 2022

    PF4L. Of course I wrote that. You gotta face the truth, the only season that didn’t end with a playoff defeat was when the defense scored. Rodgers will inevitably have a have a bad game in the playoffs. Rodgers had a 55 QB rating in the Seattle game. What if he even had an average game? He’s no Brady who will find some 4th string receiver to keep the chains moving to win and get his team to the Super Bowl. Rodgers definitely carried the team a lot of years and in many playoff games, but inevitably he will have a bad game that ends the Packers season.

    Reply
  10. PF4L May 25, 2022

    Funny how Rodgers “shit show” is always brought up…..CONSTANTLY.
    .
    How was Farve’s play-off record after his MVP years?
    .
    Nary a word about that “shit show” even in the slightest reference.
    .
    Maybe that’s just a vikings fans loyalty to Favre talking
    ******************
    How many times have we heard from these Rodgers haters about the Seattle debacle…or may i infer, that “shit show”?
    .
    How about the defenses shit show of repeatedly giving up 500 yards or more in past playoffs losses, and giving up 40 and 50 burgers in the process. Not to mention giving up almost 200 yards rushing….to a…… QB? (Rodgers fault?)
    Nary a reference to that “shit show” that was going on.
    .
    Yes…This was all when Rodgers was under center…i have a strange feeling that maybe..those “shit shows” were somehow…Rodgers fault?…..lol.
    .
    Take a break children…go play with your lincoln logs for awhile.
    .
    Join us momentarily for the reply’s from these football explaining to all us ladies, how a decade of piss poor special teams “shit shows”…is also Rodgers fault.
    .
    LOL, never stop embarrassing yourself…i love you guys!! 🙄
    ******************************
    LOL…Keep bringing up Brady. that’s precious.
    .
    For arguments sake…coming in 2nd place to Brady…isn’t half bad is it?
    ********************
    “Rodgers had a 55 QB rating in the Seattle game” – Deep
    .
    No shit hey?
    .
    Ben Rothlisberger had a 22.6 passer rating and won a Super Bowl.
    .
    How could that be?…..Confusing…..right?
    ******************
    Someday, hopefully, someday……you water heads will finally realize…it takes a team to win Championships.

    Reply
  11. Dean May 26, 2022

    Deep – in reference to that Seattle game where GB was up by 12 and lost, Rodgers had a calf injury though out the tail end of that season that basically prevented him from running effectively with the ball. Seattle knew that and used it to their advantage to cover receivers especially in the red zone and not worry about him running. GB kicked many field goals. Not sure of Wilson’s QB rating but with 4 picks it probably was lower. Not sure if GB has recovered mentally from that debacle and it may have effected them the last 2 playoff loses…

    Reply
  12. Tom M May 27, 2022

    Now wait a minute Kevin. After all these years of telling us Aaron Rodgers is the best QB ever, now your telling us it’s OK that Rodgers is Tom Brady’s water boy? And just how many yards did the defense give up to the 49ers in January? Look, even Tom Brady loses playoff games. As I recall his SB record is 7-2. The goal is to win more than you lose and Erin doesn’t do that. In fact, I said at the time there was no shame in losing to Tom Brady and the Bucs in the NFCC game. But there’s no excuse to lose to Jimmy Garapolo and the 49ers. I took issue with the fact he didn’t take responsibility for the Tampa loss and immediately went into diva mode about wanting to be traded. I’ve also said that Favre and Rodgers careers have mirrored one another. If Rodgers were to sent dick pics to an intern, probably male, then they’d be identical.

    Reply
  13. PF4L May 27, 2022

    “If Rodgers were to sent dick pics to an intern, probably male, then they’d be identical.” – Scholar
    .
    Stay in school kids.
    **************************
    ” …….I took issue with the fact he didn’t take responsibility for the Tampa loss” – Etiquette mentor
    *********************
    Maybe you should write Rodgers a scathing letter discussing how much of a disappointment he is to you?
    .
    How about complain to him about his on field performance and explain to him that he’ll never be Tom Brady.
    . .
    Maybe tell him what you think about his family matters.(maybe you could council him) and help him repair his relationships.
    .
    How about discuss with him his “Beards”, and explain to him how his relationship with “Kevin” upsets you so much. Maybe you could do some good there.
    .
    While your at it, tell him about your distaste for his man bun. Maybe he’ll change his hairstyle to something more to your liking.

    You could also try to convince him to take more responsibility for the play of the defense and special teams through the years.

    While your on a roll…..discuss with Rodgers his history of being “oft injured” (as you’ve told us). I’m sure that would impress him greatly and maybe you could even advise him on how to work out in regards to preventive injury management.
    .
    That way, you could get all that off your chest and do Rodgers some good in self improvement in the process…win/win right?.
    .
    That’s just a start……..as you are an expert on “Everything that’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers”.
    ***************
    Have a nice Day

    Reply
  14. Tom M May 27, 2022

    Aaron KNOWS he’ll never be Tom Brady. It’s you Kevin, that can’t face the truth. For you it’s all rainbows and butterflies. Stats and awards. And lots and lots of blaming Gutekunst and Murphy. Why, Brian Gutekunst wasted two second round picks on another Jeff Janis! Because the RAS score tells you so. You read tea leaves too?

    Reply
  15. Cheese May 28, 2022

    “Aaron KNOWS he’ll never be Tom Brady”
    .
    Holy crap dude, you got problems. You talk about Rodgers like a bitter 50 year old woman who still can’t get over being rejected by the lead jock back in high school, and anyone who says anything remotely nice about him gets to feel your menopausal wrath.
    .
    Maybe you should consider getting an image of Tom Brady’s dick tattooed directly onto your tongue.
    .
    By the way, what was that guy’s name that just signed Rodgers to a massive new contract? Oh yeah, BRIAN GUTEKUNST.
    .
    https://imgflip.com/i/6hs2uw

    Reply
  16. Ed May 28, 2022

    Thanks Cheese. I always wanted to see a photo of Tommy.
    Kinda matched my mental image of him.

    Reply
  17. Tom M May 28, 2022

    Ed, unless it’s a pic of a Greek God, it ain’t me! And Cheese, do you really have to bring up your mom?

    Reply
  18. PF4L May 28, 2022

    And there it is, Mom talk.
    .
    This is what a dying website looks like.

    Reply
  19. Tom M May 28, 2022

    Look ladies, while your all crying over “weapons” and WR’s, I say your boy Aaron Rodgers will win 13 games this year. The great ones elevate those around him. Isn’t Aaron Rodgers one of the great ones? Don’t you have faith in your boy to do just that? The purpose of the regular season isn’t to win awards or accumulate stats. It’s to qualify for the playoff tournament. 13 wins will get you in. That’s the only thing that matters. And once your in, anything can happen. Maybe this is our year. I’d love to see Aaron Rodgers go out just like John Elway. Back to back SB wins. It could happen. And if it does they’ll be enough credit to go around for everyone. Rodgers, LaFleur, Gutekunst, and Murphy.

    Reply

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