Another week, another win, another 5 years off my life. Green Bay dug down deep when it mattered and pulled off another close one that should not have been close. The offense turned it around by doing what Lafleur and Rodgers (when he feels like it) do best, taking what the other team gives them. Yet once again, it looked like Joe Barry REFUSED to do the same.
Even coming into the game, it was obvious that the Patriots were going to lean on the run game. With backup veteran Brian Hoyer in at QB and leading receiver Jakobi Myers out, New England needed their run game to slow down the game, set up the pass, and keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands.
We all knew it, so why didn’t Joe Barry play to it?
The defense was not “bad” by any means, but it should have been destructive. After a nasty hit by the monster Rashan Gary, Hoyer stepped out and in came rookie 4th round pick Bailey Zappe. This SHOULD have been the final straw. Any cheesehead who is watching is thinking “please just make this kid beat us.” It was so, so obvious that the Packers should stack the box and play tight coverage right?
Wrong.. According to Joe Barry anyways.
Just as in the Minnesota game, Joe Barry “stuck to his guns” and continued to play his defense. He played two, maybe 3 DL at a time with two edge rushers and two LBs almost the entire game. Even as New England continue to pound the ball and not threaten through the air at all, he refused to change his game.
Green Bay has one of the deepest DL depth chart in the league. There is not risk of losing players to injury or them running out of steam. We have 5 players who can rotate and play at that position, and at least 4 should have been out on every play in the second half.
Yes, they had a couple wide open passes and one TD in the air, but there are extenuating factors for both of those.
For the TD, the Packer’s secondary got caught off guard with the most egregious missed delay of game in history. And for all the other passes, the DBs kept getting caught with their eyes in the backfield because they kept having to help on the run game. If the front group takes care of business, the backfield would have been able to be more focused on playing tight coverage and making a lackluster group of receivers and a third string rookie beat them.
Good coaches plan well, great coaches adapt even better. And I have NOT seeing that out of Barry.
If New England runs the ball more that game, we lose. Joe Barry has to be able to figure out how to adapt his defense throughout the game or we are not going to be so lucky when we face a real, healthy offense.
Please Joe Barry, throw out your pride and admit your gameplan is not perfect. It doesn’t work against every offense. Use your stars, adapt, and dominate.
Then we win.
PJ is an Ohio native who was fortunate enough to be born into the green and gold family through his father who grew up in Green Bay. He now resides in NYC where he is an avid fan and fantasy football player. You can follow him on twitter at @PJsPack_.