Through the first four games of the season, the Green Bay Packers have had such a big improvement to their defense compared to 2011. However, there is one department of the defense that has seen a significant drop-off and that is the amount of turnovers they have created.
Through the first four games of last season, the Packers already had 11 turnovers, this season they just have four, all of which came against the Chicago Bears. In the other three games there has not been one turnover for the Packers, which led the league in interceptions with 31 and in total turnovers with 43 last season. The turnovers the defense forced was a big reason why the yardage they allowed was, for the most part, not that big of a problem. Defensive coordinator Don Capers relies on the turnovers as a big part of his defense, but isn’t too concerned about the lack of turnovers produced so far.
“You only get so many opportunities, so when you get them you have to convert them,” Capers said. “I feel good about our guys’ ability to do that. I think they’ll come because based out of the three years I’ve been here, I think we’ve been the leader or one of the leaders for getting the ball taken away, and that’s a big part of the game.”
Those opportunities that Capers is talking about happened in the Saints game this past weekend. Early in the fourth quarter, the defense let a couple opportunities literally slip right through their hands. Drew Brees through a pass that went right into the hands of linebacker D.J. Smith, but he was not bale to catch the ball allowing to pop in the air right into the area of Tramon Williams and Morgan Burnett who collided both going for the easy interception.
Early in the quarter, Charles Woodson undercut a route, but was not able to secure the interception. This is exactly what Capers is talking about. The Packers have had their opportunities to create turnovers , but have not been able to capitalize. Though there is still the positive that Green Bay is creating the opportunities for turnovers.
“As long as you continue to get around the ball,” Capers said. “We could’ve had two in Seattle. We could’ve had two to three yesterday, and we get those, we’re probably one of the leaders in the league. That’s stuff can change around in a real hurry.
“I think the key is as long as you have the elements, guys breaking to the ball and you’re getting consistent pressure on the quarterback, those things fit together. It’s going to change.”
This weekend the Packers will be going up against rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the aggressive Green Bay defense should have plenty of opportunities to make plays. Hopefully this week they will be able to capitalize.
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