Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay defense keeps opening eyes
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with ESPN's Bill Barnwell writing about the Packers and the NFL's other six unbeaten teams. After noting that since 2002, just under 70% of the teams that started 3-0 reached the playoffs, Barnwell lists what has surprised him about each of the unbeatens (and what hasn't).
Regarding the Packers, Barnwell writes in part:
Surprising: This is the best defense in football.
Have you seen the Packers through three weeks? Mitchell Trubisky, Kirk Cousins and Joe Flacco aren't exactly Patrick Mahomes, but the Packers have faced 38 drives through three games, which is tied for the second most in football. They're allowing less than one point per possession, which is good for the second-best mark in football.
With the offense struggling for consistent production, though, the defense has to make leads hold up for long stretches. They've also created opportunities for the offense with takeaways. The Packers have turned opponents over on a league-leading 21.1% of possessions, and the same Mike Pettine defense that forced 15 takeaways in 16 games a year ago now has eight after just three contests. ...
Through three weeks, the Packers have scored seven touchdowns. Two have come on the opening drives of games, when they were likely running plays they had scripted before the game began. Of the other five scores, three came off takeaways. For years, the Packers would go as far as Rodgers could carry them. Now the defense is carrying Green Bay.
You can find out what hasn't surprised Barnwell about the Packers here:
Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about how the Packers eased the transition for their prized free agents:
Unless coach Matt LaFleur can scheme him open or until another receiver steps up, Packers star Davante Adams will continue to see double teams:
With tight end Jimmy Graham battling injuries, fullback Danny Vitale could play a bigger role in the passing game:
Is Vitale part of a league-wide fullback resurgence?
Tom Oates writes about the Packers' playmakers for the Wisconsin State Journal:
In his weekly column, Peter King of NBC Sports writes that the quick Sunday-to-Thursday turnaround is bad news for the banged-up Eagles:
Thursday: Green Bay. Philadelphia at Green Bay. This is a short-week game that the Eagles do not need right now. Man, Philly’s beat up for this game. And the Packers are going to bring the heat with the Smiths (Preston, Za’Darius) on Carson Wentz. Great Thursday nighter. Just hope the Eagles can hang in physically.
You can check out King's entire column here:
The Packers' run defense will be tested again Thursday:
Former Green Bay and Washington safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix gets a pick-6 Monday night:
Could star cornerback Jalen Ramsey wind up with the Lions?
Speaking of the Lions, it looks like good news for a former Packer:
And finally: "Clubhouse Live" with host Aaron Jones will return Monday after taking the short week off:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt