The Green Bay Packers defense played poorly in the team’s disappointing loss to the New York Giants on Monday Night. Essentially, they failed in most critical aspects of the game. Once again, defensive coordinator Joe Barry failed to adequately prepare for the opponent and to implement an appropriate game plan. Here is a look at the issues the Packers defense faced against the Giants and how they failed to come through:

First Reason the Packers Defense Failed to Come Through: The Run Defense Was Overwhelmed

Run defense has always been a lower priority for Barry and in the modern NFL, that makes a certain amount of sense. However, if stopping the pass is the priority, it can’t be to the point where the opponent can run the ball at will and control the game that way.

The Giants ran all over the Packers in this game. As a team, the Giants carried the ball 34 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns. That is a 6.1-yard average per carry.

The big problem with this was that stopping the run should have been the top priority against the Giants. Their most dangerous weapon is Saquon Barkley. Stopping or containing Barkley should have been the defense’s primary focus.

Instead, Barkley gained 86 yards on 20 carries. Most of those yards came late in the game when the Packers knew the Giants would try to run out the clock.

The Packers also had no answer for the running of quarterback Tommy DeVito who gained 71 yards on 10 carries.

The Packers defense has allowed 200 yards or more rushing in four games this season. They are 0-4 in those contests.

Second Reason: A Complete Lack of Pass Rush

The Giants came into this game having allowed 69 sacks this season, more than any team in the NFL. The Packers pass rush has done a good job all year of putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Unfortunately, Green Bay’s defense failed to get any pressure on DeVito, an undrafted rookie making his fourth NFL start.

The Packers made no sacks and recorded only two quarterback hits in this game, both by Rashan Gary. On those rare occasions the team got any pressure, DeVito was easily able to outflank the rush and scramble away because the pass rushers failed to stay in their lanes and keep contain.

Perhaps more disappointing was Barry’s failure to adjust. When the pass rush wasn’t getting home, he didn’t send many blitzes or change his approach. He didn’t throw more stunts at the Giants or send a safety or an extra linebacker. The result was an efficient passing game for DeVito who completed 17-of-21 passes and never turned the ball over.

When you have talented pass rushers like Gary, Preston Smith, Kenny Clark, and Karl Brooks in the lineup, you have options. Barry failed to utilize them properly and the result was an easy game for DeVito.

Third Reason the Packers Defense Failed to Come Through: The Final Drive Strategy

The Packers took the lead with 1:33 seconds left in the fourth quarter on Malik Heath’s first career touchdown. The Giants took over at their own 25. Now it was up to the defense to hold on for the win.

Barry played like he thought the Giants needed a touchdown to win, rather than a field goal. He employed a very loose zone and did not put together any blitz packages to get pressure on the quarterback. DeVito took full advantage of both decisions.

After three short passes gained 12 yards, Keisean Nixon was burned badly Wan’Dale Robinson for a 32-yard gain that moved the ball from the Giants 46 to the Green Bay 22. The damage was done. There were still 42 seconds left on the clock, but the Giants were already in easy field goal range.

The Giants ran three plays that gained a total of four yards as the Packers burned their remaining time outs. The Giants Randy Bullock made a 37-yard field goal to win the game.

Unfortunately, the Packers defense was outcoached and outplayed on Monday night. Barry’s game plan was both poorly conceived and badly executed. It was a major reason why the team lost to the Giants on Monday night.




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