NFL Football 2013: Green Bay Packers Preview
When people in the online sports betting legal realm contemplate how the Green Bay Packers are going to take a few extra steps and return to the Super Bowl – something the team has not been able to do the past few seasons after winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers – the combination the team needs is a supremely efficient offense and an adequate defense. Green Bay doesn’t need to have a dominant defense as part of a winning hand akin to anything you’d see in a set of poker games. This team’s defense just needs to contain opposing offenses and find a way to become more resilient in the red zone, turning last season’s touchdowns into this season’s field goals.
The following piece of analysis from the website Walter Football puts into perspective a number of the Packers’ defensive challenges and needs: “The Packers spent a first-round pick on a player who can apply lots of pressure on the quarterback, which will help their efforts against (San Francisco quarterback Colin) Kaepernick and other read-option signal-callers. Datone Jones will give Green Bay a consistent pass-rushing presence on the defensive line, which is something it did not have this past season outside of Mike Neal, who was just a situational player. Jones will start along with stud B.J. Raji and run-stuffer Ryan Pickett.
“Of course, Green Bay's top pass-rusher will once again be Clay Matthews, who registered 13 sacks in 2012 and was subsequently rewarded with a 5-year, $66 million contract. He'll continue to dominate at one of the rush linebacker spots, so the main concern here is Nick Perry's progression. Perry, a first-round pick in 2012, started a few games across from Matthews, but did nothing. He was ultimately knocked out for the year in Week 6 because of a wrist injury. He'll need to improve for Green Bay's stop unit to look at least functional against the better quarterbacks.
“Getting Desmond Bishop back looked to be a big boost for the Packers as well, but he was released in June after missing all of 2012 with a torn hamstring. Brad Jones performed well in his absence next to A.J. Hawk, so there won't be too much of a drop-off. Hawk, meanwhile, was pretty mediocre. He's just an average starter who neither really helps nor hurts the team.
“Bishop wasn't the only defensive veteran to leave this offseason. Charles Woodson walked away from the team after six-and-a-half highly productive seasons in Green Bay. The half year was in 2012, as Woodson played in just seven games. He was clearly declining, but still happened to be the heart and soul of the secondary. His absence created a big hole at safety next to the talented Morgan Burnett.”
American football betting gurus who saw the Packers’ defense get throttled in each of the last two playoff games – in January of 2012 by the New York Giants and January of 2013 by the San Francisco 49ers – knows that Green Bay has been beaten in different ways. The Giants beat the Packers with third-down passing. The 49ers handled Green Bay’s defense with read-option running. The analysis provided above shows that for every really good player on this defense, there’s also a fairly average player. You can’t win with five or six good players and five or six mediocre ones. The Packers will need their less distinguished defenders – especially the linebackers – to perform above their pay grade if the team wants to win the NFC.
The offense is good enough to win the NFC North. The defense will determine if this team can go all the way.