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Missed tackles continue to plague Packers

Nov. 29, 2013
 
Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett (42) gets beat by receiver Calvin Johnson (81) for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Jim Matthews/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett (42) gets beat by receiver Calvin Johnson (81) for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Jim Matthews/Press-Gazette Media

The Green Bay Packers’ recurring issues on defense and special teams carried over to another week and subsequently another disheartening defeat in Thursday’s 40-10 blowout loss to the Detroit Lions.

Plenty of fingers have been pointed as to where blame deserves to be levied, but missed tackles continues to be at the center of the problem on both units.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he’d only watched the special-teams film as of his Friday’s morning news conference, but estimated his team missed at least 20 tackles.

The Packers weren’t quite that bad, according to Pro Football Focus, but were still docked for 13 missed tackles by their count. The five on special teams were the most this season and second-most defensively. Only a 12-missed tackle performance in Minnesota on Oct. 27 was worse.

If this pace holds through the final four games of the regular season, the Packers defense (126) and special teams would finish with their highest volume of missed tackles during the Dom Capers and Shawn Slocum (26) regime.

“I mean you get above 10 missed tackles in a game, that's a long day. That's a combination of special teams and defense,” said McCarthy of a defense that’s already yielded 95 missed tackles in 12 games and a special-teams unit with another 20.

That comes out to 7.9 missed tackles per game on defense and 1.7 on special teams. It helped contribute in the Lions rushing for 241 yards and a 5.6-yard per carry average on Thursday and Jeremy Ross breaking out on a 35-yard punt return in the second quarter.

Safety M.D. Jennings had the most missed tackles on defense (three) and saddled fullback John Kuhn with two on special teams.

“We need to stay focused on football, the little parts, because that’s … the little aspects, I’m referring to the fundamentals,” McCarthy said. “If a change needs to be made, we’ll make it. If there’s something that needs to be adjusted, we’ll adjust it. And obviously we’ve got a lot of things that we need to emphasize.”
-whodkiew@pressgazettemedia.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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