Coming into the 2022 NFL season, most fans thought the wide receiver core would be the issue. But that has not been the case so far. As of right now, the biggest issue lies with the defense and Joe Barry. The Green Bay Packers have one of the strongest defensive units in football, but the play calling is not playing to the strengths of the players.
When the offense doesn’t score, the defense has to make up and reduce chances of scoring. Admittedly, against the Giants, the Packers offense was terrible in the second half. They didn’t score at all and allowed the New York Giants to roll over them. The main reason to this lack of reducing score from the other team lies in the lack of press from the cornerbacks because of Joe Barry’s play calling.
The Packers using All-Pro Jaire Alexander as a zone coverage cornerback is a disservice to his play. Against the New York Giants, the Packers defense allowed Daniel Jones to throw 217 yards, the most from any defense that has played against the Giants this season. Alexander should be used as a press coverage corner that shadows the opposing teams #1 receiver. Without the #1 receiver to worry about, Rasul Douglas and Eric Stokes can play cleanup against the respective #2 and #3. Stokes and Douglas have proved themselves to be worthy cornerbacks when in either man coverage or zone coverage.
This has been happening all season. In Week 1, the zone defense was exposed when Justin Jefferson had 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. This wouldn’t have happened had Alexander played man coverage against Jefferson. On almost all defensive snaps, the defense is more than 5 yards from the line of scrimmage, which allows for more short passes to be caught.
Defense thrives on play hardnosed football. Playing into the strengths of the defense will raise the play from the offense. Even if the cornerbacks fail to stop their assignment, they have two elite safeties in Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos, and All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell across the middle.