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Some Positive Packers Defensive Numbers

Tramon-Williams-vs.-Marshall

The talk surrounding the Green Bay Packers’ defense is usually negative and with good reason over the last few years. It has mostly remained that way this season, especially with everybody looking at NFL’s worst ranked run defense (163 yards per game). However, there are many positive stats being overlooked with Green Bay’s defense so far.

The Packers are only ranked 22nd in the NFL in total defense (371.8 yards per game), but you have to look much deeper into that number. A huge part of the high yardage number for Green Bay is that they’re always on the field. The offense only averages controlling the ball for 25:54 this season, which is second to last in the NFL. The Packers are 10th in yards per play allowed on defense. That is a much more revealing number than the total yardage.

Green Bay ranks second in the NFL in opponent passer rating at 70.1. Three of their five opposing quarterbacks have been Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler. It’s certainly an accomplishment to have the second best opponent passer rating in the league when those quarterbacks have comprised of 60 percent of your schedule. Even though the defense did not have a good day against Seattle it was Marshawn Lynch who really hurt them and not Wilson.

This falls in line with the Packers having the fifth best passing defense in the NFL in yards per game (209). Opposing passers are only completing 59 percent of their passes against Green Bay for 6.4 yards per attempt. That is good for seventh and fifth in the NFL respectively.

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Packers Aftermath: Packers 42, Vikings 10

Peppers lambeau leap

The Green Bay Packers did just what you expected them to a team on their third quarterback and second running back on a short week at home. They obliterated them. The Packers dominated from start to finish in a 42-10 shellacking of the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay’s defense and running game were the stories in this one.  The defense was flying all over the field and played the fastest it has looked in awhile.

The run defense was much improved and the pass rush was magnificent. Dom Capers played more looks to stop the run and to make Christian Ponder beat him. Ponder obliged and was  absolutely egregious. However, if the Packers got that kind of pass rush on any quarterback they would have had problems.

The Packers had six sacks and 16 quarterback hits on Ponder. Clay Matthews did not have a sack, but he was very active rushing the passer and looked healthy. Nick Perry led the way with two sacks and he continues to make plays when he is on the field. Even Letroy Guion looked great against his former team with 1.5 sacks. Recently promoted Luther Robinson also got in on the act with a few pressures in place of the injured Datone Jones.

Three turnovers from Green Bay’s defense put the game away in the first half. Julius Peppers picked off a Ponder pass and returned it 49 yards to the end zone for the touchdown and his first Lambeau Leap. The return was amazing for a 33-year old ex-defensive end, as he out ran Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon.

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Green Bay Packers Set Up for Mid Season Run

Clay int

The Green Bay Packers are set up again for another mid season run like they have made for two straight seasons.

After starting off the season 1-2 last year, Green Bay went on a four game winning streak and were poised to make it five until Aaron Rodgers got injured against the Bears. In 2012, the Packers started off 2-3 before rattling off five straight wins.

The schedule is set up for the Packers to do something similar this year. They have faced the toughest part of their schedule already and survived at 2-2, which is really a fine record for the quality of opponents they were facing and where they were playing them.

The Packers’ next three opponents are Minnesota, at Miami and Carolina. Those are three teams they should beat. Obviously, you can never predict the NFL and nobody can be taken lightly, but those three teams do not stack up with the stretch the Packers just went through.

Teddy Bridgewater looked awesome for Minnesota yesterday, but it’s so tough for road teams to win on Thursdays, and it will be tougher for a rookie quarterback. Atlanta’s defense is also terrible, not that the Green Bay defense is anything to write home about of course. One thing Dom Capers has been good at with the Packers is confusing young quarterbacks.

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Green Bay Packers Injury Roundup

BJ Raji

Well that certainly didn’t last very long did it? It seems like just yesterday that the boys of From the Benches were discussing that the Packers were finally going through a training camp without a high number of injuries.  The thought was that this might finally be the year that the team stays healthy and climbs back towards the 13 win number that would secure it a first round bye.  That good fortune turned and turned quickly.  Jared Abbrederis, Don Barclay, Colt Lyerla, BJ Raji and JC Tretter have all been lost for significant parts of the season.  All five of these players were on my initial 53 man projection.

While I understand that including Colt Lyerla in that projection was partly wishful thinking and might have been a bit of a long shot, the other 4 players were virtual roster locks.  2 of those players were unquestioned starters at the time of their injury.  I’m going to take a brief look at all of these injuries, what they mean for this season, what they mean for the big picture and what frame of mind these injuries should put Cheesehead nation in.

Jared Abbrederis- “Abby” tore his ACL in practice before even being able to step on the field in a preseason game.  While it was unclear whether or not he was going to win the #5 receiver spot, it was clear that he was the leader for the punt return position.  The loss of Abbrederis has more than likely thrust either starting safety Micah Hyde or starting wide receiver Randall Cobb into the punt return position.  There is an outside chance that both the 5th receiver spot and the punt return spot can be taken care of by Jeff Janis, but the Saginaw Valley State product is very raw.

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5 Takeaways From the First Week of Packer Training Camp

Casey Hayward Packers

Football is finally back! The Packers kicked off training camp last Saturday and there are already some interesting storylines developing.

You have young receivers like Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis trying to show that they deserve playing time in a crowded receiver group. JC Tretter and Corey Linsley are vying to replace Evan Dietrich-Smith at center. And the Packers have a group of seven tight ends all fighting for a chance to be the starter.

But with the first week of training camp coming to an end, and the first preseason game just a little over a week away, here are the 5 storylines I am most interested in.

  1. The Safety Battle

    Micah Hyde continues to get reps with the first team defense on the other side of veteran Morgan Burnett, while 1st round pick, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix remains with the second team.  On Sunday, Mike McCarthy praised Hyde’s transition to safety as “seamless,” and by all accounts, he has looked excellent in training camp. Even if he isn’t able to beat out Hyde for the starting job, Clinton-Dix should still see plenty of playing time in the Packer’s sub packages.

  1. The Resurgence of Raji

    It’s been less than a week, but BJ Raji has looked more like his 2010 self, rather than the disappointing version the Packers have seen the past 2 years. He has routinely won his one on one battles, and he looks like a man on a mission.  Maybe the return to nose tackle has made the difference, or maybe having to sign back with the Packers on a one year prove it deal has motivated him, but whatever the reason, the Packers can only hope they have an explosive, motivated Raji once the season starts.

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BREAKING: Green Bay Packers select Carl Bradford , LB, Arizona State at 121

Carl Badford Packers

Analysis:

Carl Bradford is a redshirt junior who has a lot of versatility. Bradford has played defensive end, outside linebacker, and inside linebacker. He may be best suited to play inside in the Packers defense. At 6’1” 250 pounds, he may not have the length the Packers look for in an edge rusher.

Bradford had 21.5 sacks over the past 3 season to go along with 154 tackles, and 43 tackles for a loss.

How does he fit with the Packers?

The Bradford selection is another sign the Packers will move to more multiple fronts on defense.

An explosive athlete I like him as a possible replacement for Brad Jones, but he could be a possible back up for Clay Matthews. He has the versatility to play inside or outside in the Packers scheme. I love the selection!

NFL comparison: Alec Ogletree – Bradford is similar in size and speed to Ogletree, who was a 1st round pick by the Rams in 2013. Bradford was a much more productive pass rusher than Ogletree, but they both play with an aggressive attitude .

 

PackersTalk.com writers Ross Uglem and Ian Hanley  contributed to this article.

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Ian Hanley is a writer at PackersTalk.com. PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on twitter at @Ian_M_Hanley.

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