At the conclusion of the opening week win in Chicago to start the 2019 season, Aaron Rodgers boldly proclaimed: “We’ve got a defense”, in his postgame interview. That was only the beginning of the revolution of this unit. Heading into the 2022 season, the Green Bay Packers are poised to have their best defense since the magical 2010 run.
The pain of a poor Packers defense in the post season is well documented. Over the past decade plus, defense and special teams have often been the downfall of a Rodgers led team. In the playoff games since the Packers last hoisted the Lombardi trophy, the defense had allowed at least 26 points on eight separate occasions. In that same span, they’ve allowed at least 37 points in a game on four occasions.
While Aaron Rodgers had a tremendous run in the 2010 post season, and a great performance in Super Bowl XLV, many marque moments that stand out from that run were on defense. Whether it be the Tramon Williams 70 yard pick 6 against the top seeded Falcons, the Nick Collins pick 6 in the first half of the Super Bowl, or the infamous Clay Matthews game changing forced fumble in that same game. These moments live on in Packers lore.
Is the defense Brian Gutekunst is currently building structured to reach the same pinnacle? The case can absolutely be made for that.
Yesterday news broke of Jaire Alexander’s 4 year $84m contract extension. CB1 got his money, and the Packers got their guy. Good news on all ends. Except it gets better.
This move builds off the previous drafting of Eric Stokes in 2021, and the resigning of Rasul Douglas to a 3 year, $21m deal. The secondary in Green Bay looks stacked. In an NFL dominated by the passing game and high octane receivers, the Packers have responded.
A massive strength of the 2010 Packers defense was their secondary. Between Charles Woodson’s leadership, and the big play ability of both Nick Collins and Tramon Williams, this secondary was dangerous. The three headed monster of Alexander, Stokes, and Douglas could provide very similar lock down ability as this historic unit. And they have this unit locked up for at least the next three years.
While Clay Matthews went on to have an all-time Packers career in Green Bay, his breakthrough moments came during the 2010 run. Could this current team have the next Matthews ready to burst onto the scene in Rashan Gary? Both were young, former first round picks at outside linebacker who changed the game with their elite pass rush ability. Gary had what appeared to be his breakout season last year, as well as his shining moment in the playoffs.
Last season the Packers had a top ten defense, something this fan base has not seen in quite some time. Couple that with the additions of two stud defensive talents acquired in the first round in Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt, expectations are understandably high. Brian Gutekunst has been nothing short of remarkable in transforming this defense into an incredibly feared unit. Now that the expectations are set, time to make some moments.
Zach has been a lifelong Packers fan since his earliest memories of Brett Favre\\\'s Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXXII. A proud shareholder of the team, he bleeds Green and Gold despite being born and raised in New Jersey. You can follow him on twitter at @RapMasterZach.