The Green Bay Packers remained perfect yesterday by beating the Chargers in Lambeau Field West, er, Qualcomm Stadium but it was easily their ugliest win of the season. The Packers’ defense with the exception of two plays was simply awful.
“A lot of bad football” cornerback Charles Woodson said. It has been that way all year. The Packers can count on Aaron Rodgers to keep the Packers close in every game but they can’t count on the defense to keep getting interceptions at this pace. They need to be able to get a stop the old fashioned way every now and then.
I was shocked at poorly the defense played coming off the bye when the coaches have two weeks to prepare. The Packers put very little pressure on Philip Rivers and looked confused in the secondary on three of the four touchdown passes.
I think teams have figured out Capers’ schemes and he hasn’t been able to adjust as well as he has in the past. Maybe losing Nick Collins to injury and Cullen Jenkins to free agency are bigger blows to the defense than we thought. Something is not quite right.
I think if the Packers have to face the Saints or the Eagles in the playoffs they will have a hard time winning. The Eagles are really scary because they have the second best running back in the league behind Adrian Peterson in LeSean McCoy. Throw in Mike Vick and an excellent receiver group and they have the balance to rival the Packers’ offense.
Woodson says the Packers need to find a way to free up Clay Matthews who has been held in check the first eight games. That would be a good start. Amazingly the Packers are leading the league in interceptions with little or no pass rush.
Winning regular season games is all fine and dandy, but winning in the playoffs is a different beast. The Packers have eight games to get it fixed and have no breathing room with the 49ers sitting at 7-1 and playing a JV schedule the rest of the year.
This will be either Capers’ finest work or his darkest hour, as the only thing standing between the Packers and another Super Bowl title is the play of their defense.