Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay defense working on 'limiting the explosives'
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 Tom Silverstein writing about the Packers' defense in his "5 things to watch" in the Eagles game Thursday night. Silverstein notes that as good as the Packers’ defense has looked, it did give up 198 yards rushing against Minnesota and 149 yards rushing against Denver. Opponents are averaging 5.34 yards per carry in those two games. The Packers also have yielded three passing plays of 40 or more yards.
“The praise we’re receiving as a defense, our guys know that we’re nowhere near where we can be,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. “The film doesn’t lie. We’ve had some plays where we would want them back and there have been some things we should have done that we didn’t. But hopefully they realize how close we are to being real good. But we’re not there yet until we get a handle on limiting the explosives.”
You can find more of Silverstein's analysis along with our staff prediction here:
Silverstein and Jim Owczarski preview the Eagles game on their Packers Podcast:
And check out the transcript of Dougherty's question-and-answer session in his weekly Packers chat:
There's a chance the Packers could be without Z'Darius Smith, who is listed as questionable for Thursday night with a knee injury:
Some key players have been ruled out for the Eagles:
An interesting nugget via The Power Sweep:
Gil Brandt ranks the eight unbeaten teams for NFL.com and although he puts the Packers "on the bubble" for the playoffs, he sounds upbeat about their outlook in the NFC North:
6 PACKERS (3-0)
Since 1992, the Packers have enjoyed either Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback. In that time, it's been rare that one could say the defense was carrying Green Bay's offense. And yet, that is the case through three weeks of the 2019 season. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's unit is absolutely flourishing, thanks to the additions of pass rushers Preston Smith (4.5 sacks) and Za'Darius Smith (3.0 sacks) and safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, along with the development of defensive tackle Kenny Clark and cornerback Jaire Alexander into top-tier players. It's fair to assume Rodgers and new head coach Matt LaFleur will eventually get the offense rolling again, and when that happens, we can expect the Packers to pull away in the highly competitive NFC North.
You can read the whole story here:
Jason La Canfora pens a similar story for CBS Sports, also ranking the Packers sixth among the unbeatens:
6. Green Bay Packers
All of the money and draft assets sunk into the defense appear very well spent. Major upgrades to that unit. But the offense has been suspect, despite getting +8 in turnover margin, and despite all the short field and early leads they have been gifted. And they won't get to face the likes of Kirk Cousins, Mitch Trubisky and Joe Flacco every week. Schedule ramps up, big time, and the offense must evolve. The Packers are 28th in yards per play, and 22nd in offensive points scored, and an unsustainable 48-percent of those points have come off turnovers. They average just 5.9 yards per play in the second half – when adjustments are key and the play calling script has expired, and they are going three-and-out 30 percent of the time. They are going to better than last season, but how much better? We'll find out soon.
To see the entire article, click below:
The national media has been made aware of the Packers' defensive dominance. This from Kevin Patra of NFL.com:
It's a different world watching Rodgers being carried by a defense after years of dragging them along by their collar. But good teams find ways to win even when one side struggles. The Packers will need Rodgers to improve as the competition stiffens, starting with Thursday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles. Knowing in the meantime that the defense can stem the tide should be welcome news in Green Bay.
Check out the entire story here:
Some individual recognition for Preston Smith:
Peter Bukowski sees hope for the Packers' offense:
Packers Hall of Famer Frank Winters cites other factors besides the defense for Green Bay's fast start:
Former Packers receiver James Jones remains bullish on the offense:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt