Packers defense
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Whenever a team has a great offense, they are typically in a great position to contend for a Super Bowl. What ultimately brings a team that championship is the strong play of their defense. The Packers have that great offense, but they definitely don’t have that great defense to put them over the top. Were at the halfway point of the 2020 season and the common conclusion is the Packers defense isn’t good. Their biggest problem goes back to last season and that is they struggle to contain the run. I believe the defense will ultimately hold the Packers back from getting another championship.

This season, the Packers defense is giving 25.5 points per game and they rank 17th in scoring defense. This is a clear regression from last year when they only allowed 19.6 points per game. Although that number is flawed, considering the unsustainable interception rate against a slate of laughable quarterbacks. Another problem is they are allowing opponents to score touchdowns in the red zone 69.2% of the time.

Although those numbers are alarming, the most concerning thing that goes back to last year is their inability to contain the run. We all remember the 49ers pounded the Packers to the tune of 285 yards in the NFC Championship game last year. This year it seems like nothing has changed. This year, running back’s like Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Ronald Jones had career-defining games against this defense. 

The worst part about all of this is they have lost their identity on defense. Last season Za’Darius and Preston Smith gave Mike Pettine’s defense an identity with constant quarterback pressure. Now the quarterback pressure isn’t consistent, and Preston Smith has been an afterthought. It also doesn’t that the Packers have only forced six turnovers through nine weeks. The only time the Packers defense has looked good is against bad offenses.

While the Packers will most likely make the playoffs in 2020, it will be because of their high-octane offense. The Packers win in spite of their defense and last season’s NFC Championship exit showed that’s not sustainable. It also doesn’t help that the defense seems to have forgotten how to tackle this year. Mike Pettine better make some adjustments otherwise the blueprint is there to beat them.