|The Raiders Team Bus|
The defense has been much maligned this year, including by me. If anything will prevent the Packers from realizing their ultimate goal, it seems like it will be the defense. They are ranked 31st in the league by yards allowed, after all. But Sunday was an excellent case study in just what the defensive philosophy of the Packers really is. Sure they allowed over 350 yards of offense, but they got 5 take-aways and a defensive touchdown.
The emphasis of the Packers defense is taking the ball away. If they can give Rodgers and the offense just one or two additional possessions in the game, it translates into wide margins of victory. And on that front, the Packers have one of the best defenses in the league. They are far-and-away #1 in the NFL in interceptions, logging 27 so far this year, well ahead of #2 in that category (Detroit with 18). And with the offense's excellent ball security, the result is a +20 turn-over margin, second only to the 49ers.
I still worry that if there comes a time this season when the defense needs to get that final stand that they may not be able to get it done, as we witnessed in the game last week against the Giants. But if they can put up performances like they did Sunday, it won't matter. The opponents will be a pile of bark chips while the Packers starters are in sweat pants by the start of the 4th quarter.