I’m as upset as all of you about our crappy performance against the Lions. Our playoff chances were dealt a serious blow and I’m ticked at how it went down. The head coach and the offense own this loss. Period.
In fact, one thing that has been buried in the aftermath of this loss, is the fact that our defense has been nothing short of dominant in the last 6 games in particular. Yes, we haven’t played offensive powerhouses in that time but we have contained some high quality players. In the last 6 games, we have held opponents to a shocking total of 8.83 points per game. 8.83! That is crazy. And right now, this stretch has helped us attain the #1 ranking overall in the NFL when it comes to points allowed at 14.5 PPG – a not so small achievement.
Dom Capers’ defensive play calling has been phenomenal in the last 6 games. He deserves lots of credit for this impressive run of defensive form – as do some players who have been stepping up like Raji, Bishop, Woodson, Tramon, Collins, Peprah, Jenkins/Pickett (when they’ve been able to play), and Hawk (though he’s faded in the last 2 games). While I’m as intimidated by the Pats offense as most other Packer fans – remember just how well our defense has been playing and frankly, how well we match up with NE’s personnel. Belichick, in a rare actual offering of information earlier today, indicated that the Packers’ defense is different than the ones NE just destroyed (Jets, Bears) and went on to imply that our personnel and scheme is quite a bit better than that of either Chicago or NY. And right now, I think he’s right. They are busy getting all of the attention while we are busy just getting it done. (Though he did also compare it to Pittsburgh’s defense, a defense NE tore apart a few weeks ago).
I know lots of folks are saying that our defense was bad against the run in Detroit. But as I noted previously – Detroit ran the ball 41 times (to 22 passes) and taking away Drew Stanton’s 44 yards on 4 carries, the Detroit RBs averaged less than 4 yards per carry…which is generally considered to be at least decent run defense. And, at some point late in the game (Gregg Easterbrook noted in his TMQ article today), the Pack had given up zero nets yards passing…zero. Cap that off with the fact that Detroit scored 7 points and I think it’s fair to say the defense more than did it’s job.
Let just hope the defense shows up Sunday and that those players who have been fading lately like Hawk and Clay Matthews, play some inspired ball.
(Oh, and just to work this in – since Desmond Bishop entered the starting line-up, the Pack has given up an average of just 12.8 points per game. Coincidence…no.)