What has happened to Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers?
There must be an impostor roaming the coaches box on game days.
This has to be the case, because since the Bye Week, the Packers defense has been playing with a fire lit under them not seen in some time under Capers regime. And it is a more than pleasant sight to see.
The season started off looking like it would be more of the same for the Packers defense. A combined 88 points scored against the Packers between the 49ers, Redskins, and Bengals seemed to indicate that whatever changes were promised following last year’s playoff debacle against the 49ers were not going to come to fruition. That another season of frustration was on the horizon for the defense, and it would be up to the offense to just keep scoring to keep the Packers competitive.
The Packers went on their Bye Week, and the defense returned a changed unit.
Since the Bye, a mere 39 points has been scored against the Packers defense. Quite a change from what seemed to be more of the same from this defense.
More importantly, the defense has been playing with fire over the past three weeks. A fire that had to have been lit by Capers.
Despite playing without Clay Matthews much of the past three weeks, individual performances by others have propelled the defense into a force to be reckoned with.
AJ Hawk is playing his best football by far since being drafted in 2006.
Davon House looks every bit the player he was expected to be when he was drafted.
Jamari Lattimore has stepped in for an injured Brad Jones and been a solid contributor.
These are just three examples of players who came back from the Bye with a newly lit fire, and have been performing at a new level since. Their performances, along with others on defense, have helped the team to three consecutive wins.
The defense will need to continue to perform at a high level. As injuries continue to take their toll on the offensive side of the ball, it will be up to the defense to ensure that any leads the Packers have are protected. As the offense does the best it can to put points on the board in the absence of Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley, and James Jones, the defense MUST continue to play like they have the past three weeks, and not regress to the version seen in weeks 1-3.
As one of the most vocal critics of Dom Capers over the past several seasons, it has been good to see the Capers led defense play at such a high level. Whatever fire he has lit needs to stay lit for the rest of the season if the Packers stand a chance at making a deep playoff run this season.
It’s on you Dom Capers. Be the defensive pyromaniac we all know you can be.
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.