One of the biggest surprises of the 2022 NFL offseason was that the Green Bay Packers did not really use the draft or free agency to address the safety position. Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, the team’s starting safety duo for the past three seasons, are at a crossroads. While the Packers have picked up the fifth year of Savage’s rookie contract, Amos is in the final year of the four-year contract he signed in 2019. Going into this season, they were the only real reliable safeties on the roster. Now, Dallin Leavitt, Tariq Carpenter, and Rudy Ford are the only depth they have behind their starters. That is not really a depth chart that inspires confidence, and the starters have been struggling through the season’s first two games.
Related: The Packers Have a Safety Problem that Needs to Be Addressed
The Packers Starting Safeties Are Giving Up a Ton of Passing Yards
While the Packers’ pass rushers are getting home better than most others at their positions so far this season, the team’s starting safeties are struggling early. Darnell Savage has been brutal in run defense. As can be seen here, Savage appears to shy away from making contact downfield on running plays:
Just one of those alignment/strategy things that bugs me about Barry. You're *begging* Chicago to run it in that gap.
The only way this light box / two-high stuff works is if you've got safeties willing to fly downhill and make a tackle. That's not Savage rn. It's barely Amos. pic.twitter.com/zqyR0ggAzX
— Ross Uglem (@RossUglem) September 19, 2022
Surprisingly, opposing quarterbacks have only targeted Savage three times this season. Why is this surprising? Well, he has given up a reception on all three targets. Furthermore, Kirk Cousins and Justin Fields have a combined 118.7 passer rating when targeting him. The only saving grace, I suppose, is that Savage has only given up two yards after a catch. In other words, he has gotten the receivers done very quickly.
The same cannot be said, however, for Adrian Amos so far this season. Like Savage, Amos has been targeted three times. He has given up two receptions for 70 yards, most of which have come after the catch. 32 of the yards have come through the air, and 38 after the catch was made. Additionally, opposing quarterbacks have a 109.7 passer rating when targeting Amos so far this season.
Hope Is Not Gone, but Concern Should Be There
As mentioned repeatedly, all of these numbers are through two weeks of the season. It is far too early to believe that this is the way that Amos and Savage will play all season long. If anything, especially in Amos’ case, history shows that he will bounce back. However, Savage struggled mightily last year and so far has shown no signs of fixing the holes in his game. With three special teams specialists behind them on the depth chart, there is very little at the safety position in terms of production right now. This is something that needs to be fixed quickly. If it is not, the Packers will, once again, fall short of their goal of a Super Bowl run.
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