The Packers’ defense did their best to hold the New England Patriots offense from scoring, it came down to overtime. With the overtime win, here’s my defensive player of the game.
The Packers’ secondary shut down the Patriots’ air attack for most of the game and only allowed 15 completions across both quarterbacks. Once again, the defensive front had trouble stopping the rush as both running backs for the Patriots rushed for over 50 yards and averaged just under five yards per carry. Green Bay’s defense has the talent at every position, I still believe that the plays called in by defensive coordinator Joe Barry, are where the issues start.
Packers Defensive Player Of The Game: Rashan Gary, LB
Two words, beast mode. Packers linebacker Rashan Gary has been dominating the defensive line since the start of the season. Gary is currently tied for third with five sacks on the year. After third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe came in for the backup Brian Hoyer, Gary wanted to make sure his presence was felt. With Zappe’s eyes downfield, Gary came from the side and squashed Zappe in the pocket. The ball popped out and landed between Gary’s legs crediting him with the forced fumble and recovery.
In addition to his two sacks, Rashan Gary racked up seven total tackles with four of them being solo. Through four games this season, he has 19 total tackles and 11 of them are solo. Rashan isn’t in the defensive player of the year consideration yet but he is on track to compete for it if he keeps up this high-caliber play style. He is proving all of the doubters wrong when he was drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft. He started out slow back then but he came out with a chip on his shoulder this year.
Packers Other Notable Defensive Players
No surprise but once again, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell is on top of the list for solo tackles at six but he is tied this time with backup safety Rudy Ford. Last week, we saw Keisean Nixon fill in for Jaire Alexander and excel at the position. This week Rudy Ford came in for the concussed Adrian Amos who might miss the flight to London which would give Ford another chance at playing time other than special teams.
The total tackles leader in this game for the Packers was defensive tackle Jarran Reed, he’s been quiet to start the season but played great against the stout Patriots offensive line. Reed was picked up from the Kansas City Chiefs in the off-season. Prior to his short off-season stint with the Chiefs, he was drafted and played all five of his seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Similar to Green Bay, the Patriots don’t have a clear-cut number one receiver that needs A-team coverage but when the Patriots actually threw the ball, cornerback Eric Stokes was there to make a play. Stokes accounted for five solo tackles in the game.
Packers Defense: What To Look For In Week Five
Nothing new here but the defense NEEDS to stop the run. Stopping the run always seems to be an issue for the Packers’ defense. Even with the added beef on the defensive line and stellar linebackers, teams like the Patriots are able to move the chains with ease on the ground. This leads me to believe that it’s not all on the players but that most of the blame should be put on defensive coordinator Joe Barry. If you don’t already know, when the Detroit Lions went 0-16 in 2008, the man calling the plays on defense was none other than Joe Barry. If he’s still using that playbook from the Lions, he needs to stop.
In Week five, the Packers play an international game in London against the 3-1 New York Giants. The Giants’ star running back, Saquon Barkley, currently leads the league in rushing attempts and yards. Both are not good for the defensive front that hasn’t been able to contain the run. Not only is Barkley a downhill runner but he excels at jump cuts and can cut corners leading to large gains. The Packers could luck out with a backup quarterback again this week but Barkley is the guy that we need to plan for because he IS the offense.
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