Five Letters For the Packers Run Defense: P-A-N-I-C

During his weekly radio appearance on ESPN Milwaukee last week, Aaron Rodgers had a message for the Packers fans.

“Five letters here, just for everybody out there in Packer land. R-E-L-A-X. Relax. We’re going to be OK.”

This quote was in response to the poor performance of the offense against the Lions, one which saw the Packers gain a mere 223 total yards.

So how did the Packers’ offense respond against the Bears? In Packer-esque fashion.

Rodgers had by far his best game of the season (22/28, 302 yards, 4 TDs) leading Green Bay to a 38-17 victory, and silencing critics of the offense in the process.

While the offense seemingly got back on track, the defense-especially the run defense-left everyone wondering if things could get any worse.

After allowing an astonishing 235 yards on the ground to the Bears, the Packers find themselves at the bottom of the league in this category, allowing a ridiculous 176 yards per game through the first four games of the season.

Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the total allowed to the Bears was they had entered the game as the worst rushing offense in the league.

Their performance Sunday continued their deterioration into the worst run defense the Packers have put on the field in recent memory.

Just how bad have they been at stopping the run? Since Week 9 of the 2013 season, the Packers have played 14 games, giving up 2,258 rushing yards (161 yards/game).

Apparently Mike McCarthy wasn’t specific when he said the defense would be better this season, adding we could all write that down in big letters.

While the pass defense has improved to an impressive number five ranking thus far, if the Packers have any chance to make it into the playoffs, let alone a deep playoff run, this issue needs to be fixed ASAP.

While the loss of BJ Raji for the season can partially explain why the run defense has not improved, it cannot be the crutch used to explain just how poor they have played against the run. Raji appeared to have been rejuvinated during Training Camp before suffering a torn ACL, and would have been an upgrade over his replacement Letroy Guion in the middle of the Packers defensive line. But let’s not forget he was on the field when the Packers run defense turned into a sieve midway through last season, so it is unknown if he would have made that much of a difference.

What is known is that bad weather is on the way. Winter brings rain, snow, cold conditions, and bad weather games. Teams traditionally run the ball more in these conditions, controlling the clock in the process. If teams continue to run the ball against the Packers the way they have to start the season, they had better pray their pass defense holds up. If this starts to go south as well, the entire Packers season may go with it.

Even if they were to get into the playoffs, whatever team they would face would try to use this weakness on the Packers defense and exploit it every chance they could-just the way the 49ers have the past two seasons.

Good thing the Packers have Dom Capers, the master of adjustments, calling the shots for the Packers defensively.

While Aaron Rodgers may have told everyone to relax regarding the Packers offense, there is another five letter word that fits their run defense as it is right now: P-A-N-I-C

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John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.

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 johnrehor@yahoo.com.

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6 thoughts on “Five Letters For the Packers Run Defense: P-A-N-I-C

  1. Good thing the Packers have Dom Capers, the master of adjustments, calling the shots for the Packers defensively.

    EXCUSE ME! Capers has had 4 years to make adjustments and has failed miserably!

    This man WAS a good DC about 4 years ago but the times have changed and Capers has not. His old ways of scheming does not stand a chance with these new young OC’s misdirection scheme’s they run now.

    I’m sorry but Capers needs to either step down or hire a assistant that knows how to play against these new schemes that teams are running.

  2. Good thing the Packers have Dom Capers, the master of adjustments, calling the shots for the Packers defensively.

    EXCUSE ME! Capers has had 4 years to make adjustments and has failed miserably!

    This man WAS a good DC about 4 years ago but the times have changed and Capers has not. His old ways of scheming does not stand a chance with these new young OC’s misdirection scheme’s they run now.

    I’m sorry but Capers needs to either step down or hire a assistant that knows how to play against these new schemes that teams are running.

  3. Ted Thompson should have picked up Alan Branch when he was released from the Bills a few weeks ago. But only a team that wants to win, continually make improvements throughout the season will do that. Like the Patriots do they just signed him today he would be a night and day difference to our defense. He has been in the league for a while, can hold the point of attack as well as rush the passer a much better option than Letroy Guion. Just watch and see what happens when the Packers play the Patriots and everyone in Cheesehead land knows that Alan Branch would of and could have been a huge help to our laughable Swiss Cheese defense we will have until we bring in some real help. AJ Hawk is serviceable as a backup but we need a thumper or two for the middle of our defense. I mean Capers must watch film of all the games and every time our inside backers go in for a tackle they are being tackled by the ball carrier. They hold on as they fall on their backs how is that being aggressive thats letting the offense dictate to your defense what they plan on doing to you all day because the whole league knows our weakness and I can tell you know that our run d will not improve the rest of the year. Write that on the wall, like Mike M. said all preseason that our defense will be better. Well he is right if he is talking about our run and chase D. The Ted T. mantra draft and develop is so old and is not working. Just look at the last years of Brett Favre’s run in Green Bay he did not do a single thing to take our team to the next level. That same thing is going on today with Aaron Rodgers. I would admit to making mistakes and try to make some moves to improve our team if i was a GM. Anyone could see through the games this far that this team is not improved in one of the most important areas on defense “stopping the run”. TT is to prideful to admit to any mistakes and that is not an attribute of a leader in any profession. #Truth
    #Life long Packer fan. Go Pack Go!

  4. Ted Thompson should have picked up Alan Branch when he was released from the Bills a few weeks ago. But only a team that wants to win, continually make improvements throughout the season will do that. Like the Patriots do they just signed him today he would be a night and day difference to our defense. He has been in the league for a while, can hold the point of attack as well as rush the passer a much better option than Letroy Guion. Just watch and see what happens when the Packers play the Patriots and everyone in Cheesehead land knows that Alan Branch would of and could have been a huge help to our laughable Swiss Cheese defense we will have until we bring in some real help. AJ Hawk is serviceable as a backup but we need a thumper or two for the middle of our defense. I mean Capers must watch film of all the games and every time our inside backers go in for a tackle they are being tackled by the ball carrier. They hold on as they fall on their backs how is that being aggressive thats letting the offense dictate to your defense what they plan on doing to you all day because the whole league knows our weakness and I can tell you know that our run d will not improve the rest of the year. Write that on the wall, like Mike M. said all preseason that our defense will be better. Well he is right if he is talking about our run and chase D. The Ted T. mantra draft and develop is so old and is not working. Just look at the last years of Brett Favre’s run in Green Bay he did not do a single thing to take our team to the next level. That same thing is going on today with Aaron Rodgers. I would admit to making mistakes and try to make some moves to improve our team if i was a GM. Anyone could see through the games this far that this team is not improved in one of the most important areas on defense “stopping the run”. TT is to prideful to admit to any mistakes and that is not an attribute of a leader in any profession. #Truth
    #Life long Packer fan. Go Pack Go!

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