The Green Bay Packers may have turned to a new page in their defensive playbook, but they also made sure that their uniforms looked fresh. The team unveiled its throwback threads for the first time during Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.,
The “packers defense” is a football team in the NFL. The team, which was founded in 1919, has been around for a while. They have won 13 championships and have appeared in 15 Super Bowls. Their current head coach is Mike McCarthy who took over from Mike Sherman in 2006.
On a day when the Green Bay Packers wore throwback uniforms and turned back the clock, defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s unit literally turned a new page.
The Packers, who are currently 6-1, won again in Week 7 of the NFL season, defeating the Washington Redskins by a score of 24-10.
Green Bay is on a run right now, having won six straight games, and the Packers’ sole setback of the season feels like a long time ago. Green Bay got off to a shaky start in Week 1 with a setback to the New Orleans Saints, but the Packers have bounced back in a major manner since then.
Green Bay had some highlights to hang its hat on despite a lackluster victory against Washington, which dropped to 2-5.
The Packers’ defense was also relieved of a significant burden.
The Green Bay Packers’ defense has finally found out how to make red-zone stops.
Green Bay Packers #52 Rashan Gary reacts after sacking Washington Football Team #4 Taylor Heinicke in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field | John Fisher/Getty Images
The Super Bowl is the expectation in Green Bay this season, as it is most seasons, but the status of the defense has been one of the major doubts surrounding this squad thus far in 2021. The Packers have given up 15 consecutive touchdowns to opponents in the red zone heading into their game against Washington.
It’s right, you read that correctly.
An NFL defense, although a solid one, let up a score to its opponent 15 times out of 15 occasions.
It’s a number that’s been a complete embarrassment for Barry’s team, and it’s made even more odd by the fact that Green Bay’s defense has been shockingly solid. However, this was the stumbling block they couldn’t overcome, and it’s one of the key reasons skeptics have questioned if the Packers are really a Super Bowl contender this season.
Because Washington isn’t renowned for its offensive prowess with quarterback Taylor Heinicke at the helm, that question may still persist, but the Packers have officially exorcised their most bizarre demon to date.
In the second half against Washington, Green Bay’s defense caused four consecutive red-zone stops, eventually ending the dreadful skid. The Packers’ defense allowed no touchdowns in the second half, and they stood strong when Washington came close to scoring on two consecutive drives, forcing turnovers on downs.
Against Washington, the Packers had numerous spectacular individual efforts.
Following Sunday’s triumph, De’Vondre Campbell expressed his thanks to the organization for providing him with a long-awaited “chance to be the guy” in the heart of the #Packers’ defense. pic.twitter.com/mgDtsEO2Sg
October 24, 2021 — Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod)
The Packers had a couple standout defensive performances in a week when Aaron Rodgers’ offense felt a little subdued (despite the fact that he passed for three touchdowns).
De’Vondre Campbell, a linebacker for Green Bay, has been a standout this season. He’s the Packers’ top tackler and the defense’s pulse. He has a keen sense of the game and a propensity for forcing turnovers.
Against Washington, he had 13 tackles and two forced turnovers, extending his Pro Bowl-caliber season.
Rashan Gary, the Packers’ outside linebacker, is also beginning to shine, and he had his finest game of the season against a hampered Washington defense. Gary was a constant presence in the Washington backfield, recording seven total tackles, four quarterback hits, two sacks, and one forced fumble in the process.
In the fourth quarter, slot corner Chandon Sullivan stepped up to replace the secondary gap in Green Bay’s defense, intercepting Heinicke and sealing one of Green Bay’s red zone stops.
The Packers limited Washington to a 4-of-11 third-down conversion rate and a 1-of-4 fourth-down conversion rate, while forcing four sacks as a team.
Joe Barry, the defensive coordinator, is beginning to address some questions.
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry watches a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium | Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images
After two consecutive NFC Championship defeats in which Green Bay’s defense just didn’t live up to the occasion, the Packers parted ways with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine this summer.
In a defeat against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game in 2020, Pettine’s team gave up 220 yards and four touchdowns to Raheem Mostert. The Packers faced Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game the next season, but the defense let up a few unforgivable plays. Kevin King inexplicably allowed Scotty Miller sneak underneath him while in prevent defense, resulting in a score with one second remaining on the first half clock.
Green Bay just let Pettine leave once his contract ended because he needed to go.
After failing to entice Jim Leonhard away from his defensive coordinator position with the Wisconsin Badgers, the Packers were forced to go to “Plan B” and employ Barry, which was fairly humiliating.
The trade didn’t go over well with the fans, particularly when Green Bay missed out on Leonhard, but the greater problem was Barry’s shady reputation.
He is well-known for being the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions, who finished the season with a record of 0-16. He was also the defensive coordinator for Washington for two seasons, although his teams were not very noteworthy. Barry most recently served as an assistant coach for Sean McVay and linebackers coach for Brandon Staley, who is currently the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Staley’s defense was so excellent for the Rams that he was hired by the Chargers, and the Packers hoped that Barry would be able to repeat similar success for them.
Green Bay’s defense has taken some time to acclimate to Barry’s plan, but apart from the red zone problem, the Packers have been playing well. He’s also generating results from a team that is without both its best pass rusher, Za’Darius Smith, and its top corner, Jaire Alexander.
The Packers defense was ranked in the Top 15 in the NFL heading into the Washington game, and those rankings will only increase after Week 7 is over.
With the red zone problem behind him and maybe some mending on the way, the Packers’ bet in signing Barry may prove to be worthwhile. It’s beginning to seem like that’s the case.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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