2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers again can believe in their defense

    2012-11-22 14:52

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers again have a defense that they believe can win games for them.

``You know, last year, there weren't many games where you'd say that,'' Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. ``Of course, our offense was playing so well, it was such a different scenario.''

This year, the Aaron Rodgers-led offense isn't as unstoppable, which is why the NFL MVP appreciates the defense's return to form.

``For our defense to play that way, it gives our offense a ton of confidence, knowing that we don't have to press thinking that we got to score just about every possession in order to win the game,'' Rodgers said earlier this week on his weekly radio show. ``They keep playing like this, we're going to be tough to beat.''

Last year's defense ranked dead last in the 32-team NFL in yards allowed, gave up more passing yards than any defense in NFL history and finished 19th in scoring defense.

In 2012, the defense entered this week's games 16th in yards allowed per game (343.9), 21st in yards passing allowed per game (244.4), 11th in yards rushing allowed per game (99.5), 10th in scoring defense (20.7 points per game) and second in sacks (33). Coach Mike McCarthy now acknowledges that last year's defense simply wasn't good enough, prompting him to focus on making his team more balanced.

``Our special teams has graded out consistently as the best unit. The defense graded out this week (against Detroit) as the best unit,'' McCarthy said. ``Offensively, we have to pick it up. We didn't grade very well.

``But that's how you win the hard games. That's why you win the tough games. That's what good teams do.''

And that's why the Packers may be in better position for a long playoff run this year.

``Last year, if the offense struggled, the team struggled,'' veteran defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. ``Now this year, I think it's more of a team effort. I think we pick each other up.''

Never were the Packers' issues last season more evident than in the two games they played against the Giants - their opponent again Sunday night.

In the Dec. 4 regular-season meeting at MetLife Stadium, the Packers won a 38-35 shootout on Mason Crosby's game-winning 31-yard field goal as time expired.

The Packers' offense racked up 449 yards, but the Giants had 447. The Packers' offense scored touchdowns on four of its five trips into the red zone; the Giants scored on three of their four. The Packers' 12 possessions ended in four touchdowns, five punts, one interception, one missed field goal and Crosby's game-winner. The Giants' 12 possessions ended in four touchdowns, four punts, two field goals, one interception and one fumble.

Then, in the Jan. 15 rematch in the NFC divisional playoffs at Lambeau Field, when the offense wasn't up to the task of going touchdown-for-touchdown with the Giants, the Packers were in trouble.

In a 37-20 loss that wasn't that close, they allowed Eli Manning to complete 21 of 33 passes for 330 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Rodgers was very un-Rodgers-like (26 of 46, 264 yards, two TDs, one INT, one lost fumble). The Giants racked up 420 total yards, and the Packers managed only one sack and one takeaway.

The Giants converted half of their third-down situations. With the Packers offense turning the ball over four times, the defense couldn't save the day with takeaways of its own.

This year's defense is different, and that's obvious to Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who had Capers as his defensive coordinator in Jacksonville for two seasons.

``The Packers' defensive team last year had a tremendous amount of takeaways,'' Coughlin said Wednesday. ``This year's team has not as many takeaways, but they appear to be playing a much tighter, much better defense. The personnel combinations are really obvious, lots of young players contributing.''

Last Sunday against the Lions, the Packers offense managed only two touchdowns: Rodgers' 20-yard first-quarter TD to Jermichael Finley and his go-ahead 22-yard TD to Randall Cobb in the fourth quarter. But the Packers won because of safety M.D. Jennings' 72-yard interception return for a touchdown and the way the defense, trailing 17-14, held the Lions to a field goal late in the fourth quarter when a touchdown likely would have put the game out of reach.

``What you want is a confidence level with your team that there's going to be days that one side of the ball's not clicking. And you're good enough that the other side picks up the slack,'' Capers said. ``To me, that's an indication of a good football team.

``That way, you don't always have to depend on having to outscore people. And obviously being a defensive guy, I've always felt that if you have a good defense, it gives you a chance.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ryan CladySep 17 06:13p

Denver Broncos DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. S David Bruton (shoulder) and OG Ben Garland [ More ]

Cyrus GraySep 17 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah (foot, quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder), WR Junior Hemingway (hip), OL Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, triceps) [ More ]

M. Jones-DrewSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Matt McCantsSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Rod Streater (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), [ More ]

Anthony SpencerSep 17 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), LB Rolando McClain (groin) and RB Joseph Randle (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Ken Bishop (illness), [ More ]

Montell OwensSep 17 05:53p

Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Nick Fairley (biceps), SS [ More ]

Brad JonesSep 17 05:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) and DB Micah Hyde (knee) both were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Casey Hayward (glute) and LB Brad Jones (quadriceps) [ More ]

Shaun HillSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Scott WellsSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), TE Cory Harkey (knee) and C Scott Wells (non-injury) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Brandon McGee (foot) was limited.

Tavon AustinSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Kirk CousinsSep 17 05:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could return around eight weeks after head coach Jon Gruden said Griffin will be in a cast for the next 10 days. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) and S Shiloh Keo (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), OG Ben Jones (ankle, knee), CB Johnathan Joseph [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 17 05:23p

The Minnesota Vikings intend to bring RB Adrian Peterson back after his legal issues are resolved.

Arian FosterSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

C. WhitehurstSep 17 05:03p

Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) and LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) practiced in full.

Jonathan GoodwinSep 17 05:03p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (elbow), LB David Hawthorne (ankle), SS Marcus Ball (hamstring) and FB Erik Lorig (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonSep 17 05:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), RB Rex Burkhead (knee), OG Mike Pollak (knee), LB Sean Porter (hamstring), DT Brandon Thompson (knee), OT Andrew Whitworth (knee), OG Kevin Zeitler [ More ]

Dexter McClusterSep 17 05:03p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt thinks McCluster will improve as the week goes on. [ More ]

Greg HardySep 17 04:53p

Carolina Panthers DE Greg Hardy has agreed to be placed on the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Xavier RhodesSep 17 04:53p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib) and OT Phil Loadholt (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Xavier Rhodes (groin), WR Rodney Smith [ More ]

Asa JacksonSep 17 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens DT Timmy Jernigan (knee) and OT Eugene Monroe (knee) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Asa Jackson (concussion) and CB Lardarius Webb (back) both fully participated in practice.

Kedric GolstonSep 17 04:53p

Washington Redskins DE Kedric Golston (groin), LB Akeem Jordan (knee) and CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. PK Kai Forbath (groin) and FB [ More ]

Kyle RudolphSep 17 04:53p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Paul McQuistanSep 17 04:53p

Cleveland Browns LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. WR Travis Benjamin (knee), DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), DT John Hughes (hamstring), P Spencer Lanning (shoulder), [ More ]

Keith RiversSep 17 04:43p

Buffalo Bills LB Randell Johnson (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Stefan Charles (hip), LB Keith Rivers (groin) and WR Robert Woods (ankle) all were [ More ]

Wes WelkerSep 17 04:43p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker will return to the slot receiver position in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, moving WR Emmanuel Sanders back outside opposite WR Demaryius Thomas. [ More ]

Brett KeiselSep 17 04:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. RB Dri Archer (ankle) and OG Ramon Foster (ankle) were [ More ]

Lance MooreSep 17 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Toby GerhartSep 17 04:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (foot) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Cecil Shorts IIISep 17 04:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Eric DeckerSep 17 04:23p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Sept. 17.

T Y HiltonSep 17 04:23p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (groin) was limited at practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group