Early on in the 2013 season, the Green Bay Packers showed signs of life on defense and looked as though they have made significant changes to improve. They were stopping opposing running backs, getting pressure on quarterbacks and getting off the field on numerous occasions throughout the game. However, this trend has changed over the past few weeks and if they continue to play this poorly, Dom Capers may be coaching his last games in Green Bay.
The Packers are currently sitting at 5-5-1 and are within a half game of first place in the NFC North division. The remaining schedule favors the Packers as far as opposing offenses.
They will go up against the Detroit Lions (best offense of the remaining teams) this Thursday on Thanksgiving. Following the Lions, they play against a depleted Atlanta Falcons team before traveling to Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys. From there, they finish with two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and finish up on the road against the Chicago Bears in a matchup that may just decide who wins the division.
All of the remaining games are winnable games for the Packers, and they will go up against offenses that are either depleted with injuries or struggling to find their way. It is an opportunity for Capers to get his defense ready and make a strong playoff push. In order for them to do this, they must do a few things.
The first thing is get pressure on quarterbacks. Late in their most recent game, the defense made Christian Ponder look uncomfortable and finally got to him for several sacks. Secondly, they must become a better tackling team. Third, the secondary has to start playing like they are actually on the field.
This to me is the most important point of emphasis for Capers. The secondary has not created many turnovers this season and if they want to make the playoffs, he must find a way to get the corners and safeties on the same page and create turnovers.
I believe the Packers’ defense can play much better than they have been over the past few weeks. If they can improve, this team has a great shot of making the playoffs. However, if they don’t improve and are watching football in January, Capers can pretty much pack his bags and find a new team to coach.