A few minutes ago as I was getting worked up again over the loss Saturday, I suddenly remembered that this wasn’t the only horrendous defensive playoff performance by a Dom Capers’ defense. In fact, after doing some research, it could be argued that the atrocious defensive performance Saturday is more the norm for a Capers-led defense (in the playoffs anyway). Check it out:
- 2009 – The Packers lost in the first round of the playoffs – 51-45 to the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona. Not only did the Packers give up 51 points, they gave up 535 yards, 379 of which were to Kurt Warner and the passing offense. That is terrible playoff defense.
- 2010 – Ok. This year I’ll give Capers a break. The defense was pretty solid throughout the playoffs right through to the Super Bowl.
- 2011 – The Packers lost in the first round at home to the Giants – 37-20. The Pack gave up 425 yards of offense, including 330 to Eli Manning and the NYG passing game. Terrible playoff defense.
- 2012 – The Packers D was admittedly pretty solid against Minnesota in round 1. No question. But in round 2, they gave up 590 yards, including an unforgivable 327 rushing yards, and watched San Fran puke out 45 points. That again is terrible playoff defense.
I highlight this only because my larger concern about Capers is that the guy clearly doesn’t bring it – doesn’t plan well – for the playoffs. Throughout the season he does an OK job, but even then he really has never done anything special with our his defenses (except for 2010). He’s had defenses that have flashed brilliance at times, but he’s never produced consistent defenses that other teams worry about. Wayne Larrivee was saying the other day he thinks Capers will surely stay and that he should, because TT and MM will base evaluations on the full 18 games played, not just one playoff game. But I’d urge Wayne, TT and MM to consider first of all, that over 18 games this year Capers and his defense had yet another pedestrian, unremarkable season – and secondly, that Capers’ having shoddy playoff defensive performances has become a pattern now. And considering playoffs are far more important than the regular season, this can’t be ignored.
I don’t think it would be unfair for TT to essentially say to Capers at this point, next year will be your last if you don’t get the D to perform much better during the season and in the playoffs. (Though looking at the schedule as friend Mike points out, playoffs could be a stretch…)