The Green Bay Packers defense has been a massive disappointment over the past few seasons. Despite their constant investment of first round picks on the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Joe Barry has failed to produce a top-ten defense. Last season, Green Bay’s defense finished:
- 17th in points allowed
- 17th in total yards allowed
- 28th in yards allowed per play
- 21st in turnover created
- 6th in passing yards allowed
- 12th in passing touchdowns allowed
- 24th in passing yards allowed per attempt
- 26th in rushing yards allowed
- 23rd in rushing touchdowns allowed
- 28th in rushing yards allowed per attempt
- 24th in penalties committed
- 25th in turnover percentage
In other words, the defense was not very good at all. Going into 2023, the team will have eight first round picks on it. Simply put, these kind of results are not tolerable.
Related: NFL Analyst Claims Green Bay Packers Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry Is Under More Pressure Than Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers 2023 Defense Receives An Embarrassing Ranking
The fact of the matter is that a defense with eight first round picks on it has no business being ranked in the bottom half of the NFL. Unfortunately, the defensive coaching has not utilized the talent the unit has been given. For this reason, Bleacher Report ranked the Packers’ defense 18th in their preseason defensive rankings:
“Without a high-flying Packers offense, opponents were able to attack Green Bay on the ground more often in 2022. The big unknown is whether that will change with Rodgers out of town and Jordan Love under center.
“This makes Green Bay one of the tougher defenses to rank. Headlined by playmakers like Preston Smith, Darnell Savage, Jaire Alexander and rookie first-round pick Lukas Van Ness, the defensive unit could be a real problem for teams hoping to win through the air. However, Green Bay did very little to address its problematic run defense this offseason.
“If Love can’t spark the offense, Green Bay will again have an overall defense that is average at best.”
This is an interesting take because Aaron Rodgers and the offense are given the blame for the defense’s struggles in 2022. The writer, Kristopher Knox, points to the 2021 season when the team ranked 30th in rushing yards allowed per carry, but ninth in total yards and 13th in points allowed. He argues that Rodgers in MVP form forced opposing offenses to pass more as the Packers often played with the lead, and that this defense is built to play with the lead.
Related: Green Bay Packers Star Has Strong Words for Fans Who Think Team is Rebuilding
This certainly makes sense. Even the 2022 numbers show that the Packers have a better pass defense than run defense. The problem, however, is the fact that those eight first round picks on defense, which include Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt, and Quay Walker, along with Rashan Gary and Lukas Van Ness. To put it plainly, there is too much talent among these players alone for the team to struggle in run defense the way they have. The problem is that they have not been utilized properly.
The Green Bay Packers’ Defense Ranked Best in NFC North
The good news for Packers fans is that, according to the same rankings by Bleacher Report, Green Bay is predicted to have the best defense in the NFC North. Their division rivals’ defenses are ranked as follows:
- Detroit Lions- 24th
- Chicago Bears- 29th
- Minnesota Vikings- 30th
If the Packers finish the season with the best defense in the division, and if the offense lives up to the hopes the front office has for it, Green Bay could return to the postseason in 2023.
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