NFL

Packers: Defense improving after dismal 2011

12/22/12 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

After ranking last in the league (No.32) in terms of total defense and passing yards allowed (411.6 yards per game), a huge turnover in the department has allowed the Green Bay Packers to seize the NFC North in Week 15.
 
Success
Considering lasts seasons’ struggles, ranking in the upper half on NFL’s effective teams in total defense would have been a challenge for the Green Bay Packers. But after holding the Chicago Bears to 190 total net yards in a 21-13 win last Sunday, the Green Bay Packers have climbed up to the No.14 in total defense across the league while allowing teams 340.3 yards per game.
 
The improvement has been most noticeable in the Green Bay Packers’ pass defense, where they’ve allowed team just 226.0 passing yards per game clinching the No.16 spot. Last season, the Green Bay Packers ranked at the bottom of the league, allowing 299.8 passing yards per game.
 
It’s been a steady journey for the Green Bay Packers, especially over the last month. The Green Bay Packers had ranked 18th in yards allowed and 22nd in passing yards allowed following a Week 12 loss to the New York Giants. However, Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ had been hands on with the issue since the start of the season. Dom Capers had hoped that as the season moved along, the presence of younger energetic players will help boost the defense.
 
“The exciting thing is I’ve seen growth, and I’ve seen improvement in all those guys. They’ve really factored into our defense,” said Dom Capers. “So I’m hoping, and I think they understand the sense of urgency with which we have to play with now because it’s all about momentum and making positive things happen.”
 
“I think the experience they’ve gained is going to benefit us these last two regular-season games as we head into the playoffs.”
 
The Green Bay Packers host the Tennessee Titans (5-9) this Sunday, before facing the Minnesota Vikings on road in Week 17.
 
Failure
 If the Green Bay Packers’ offense picked-off anything from last Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, it’s a lesson in always signing a recently field-active player as replacement, especially at skill positions. Ryan Grant played but four weeks (with one carry) for the Washington Redskins last season before he was scooped up by the Green Bay Packers.
 
During last Sunday’s game, Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman forced a fumble out of Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant, who was on his fifth carry of the season.
 
Ryan Grant had his first carry for the Green Bay Packers this season in a lone rushing attempt against the Detroit Lions last week. Then, during the third-quarter on his fourth carry against the Chicago Bears, Ryan Grant fumbled at the end after rushing for 14-yards.
 
However, in all fairness, Charles Tillman excels at forcing fumbles – and came out at his best even when Ryan Grant had the ball quite securely covered by both hands.
 
“Ryan had the ball put away and Tillman, as he’s been able to do a number of times, he has a knack for doing it, so you have to give him credit for doing it,” said Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements. “But we still have to protect it.”
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