The Packers defense has a great reputation for being among the best in the league, but on Charles Woodson Day, they showed what could be possible. The team’s second-year safety demonstrated his signature speed and playmaking ability with two interceptions of Tom Brady. With help from Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers up front as well as rookie Kevin King at cornerback, it is not out of the question that this dominant unit puts together another Super Bowl run next season.
The “Charles Woodson Day” is a day for the Green Bay Packers defense to celebrate Charles Woodson. He was drafted by the Packers in 1998, and has been a member of the team ever since. Read more in detail here: charles woodson jr.
Charles Woodson’s name and time with the Green Bay Packers were memorialized at halftime of the Packers’ game against the visiting Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon. Green Bay’s defense, unsurprisingly, once again displayed its Super Bowl mettle in this contest, which the Packers won 36-28.
That isn’t to say that Matthew Stafford and the Rams didn’t make some plays. Sean McVay’s offense, with so much skill, is going to put up some scores. That is self-evident.
However, on a day when one of Green Bay’s finest defenders was celebrated, many members of the Pack’s defense made headlines of their own.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to make mistakes.
During his career with the Packers, Woodson was renowned for being a terrific ball-hawk. In seven seasons with the Packers, he recorded an amazing 38 interceptions, as well as 15 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 11.5 sacks, and 29 tackles for loss.
Green Bay’s defense in 2021 has been borderline outstanding, owing in large part to turnovers. The Packers are more likely to win when they can compel their opponent to give up the ball.
That was the situation in the Rams’ case. On paper, LA’s offense seemed to be rolling a little. The Rams racked up 353 total yards and 28 points on offense. However, it was about all LA had going for it.
Stafford struggled throughout the game, owing in large part to Green Bay’s tenacious defense. Only twice did the Packers get to their old NFC North rival, but both sacks were enormous. One was a strip-sack by Rashan Gary, which the Packers recovered. On 3rd-and-10 from the LA 30-yard line, Kenny Clark had the other sack. With 7:01 left in the fourth quarter, the Rams were forced to punt after being pushed out of field goal range and down 11 points.
Stafford was also intercepted by the Packers in a crucial situation. Late in the third quarter, cornerback Rasul Douglas jumped in front of a pass and returned it 33 yards for a score.
The Packers won the turnover fight 3-to-1, including a fumble recovery by special teams in punt coverage.
“Those are key plays in the game.” “Every week, the first thing we speak about is winning the ball and winning the turnover margin,” Clark said after the game to the reporters. “That was enormous for us,” says the author.
Los Angeles gained some yards, but the Packers defense made the crucial plays.
Green Bay Packers’ Kenny Clark #97 reacts after sacking Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford #9 during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field | Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Overall, the performance of Green Bay’s secondary against Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. was remarkable. Green Bay’s victory was largely due to their ability to slow down both of those guys.
Early in the fourth quarter, OBJ threw a 54-yard touchdown pass, but it was about all he could generate in his second game with the Rams. Stafford targeted him ten times, but he only managed three catches. Some of it was due to him still getting adjusted to the system in LA, but a lot of it was due to Green Bay’s secondary’s strong coverage.
Kupp, on the other hand, caught seven passes for 96 yards but was held without a score for the third time in as many games. Kupp, the NFL’s top receiver before the game, struggled to get open for most of the first half and into the third quarter. As the Rams went down large and began fanning the ball out, he started finding some space, but overall, Green Bay played a fantastic game against one of the finest wideouts in the league. Douglas’ pick-six was notable because he moved in front of Kupp and made a play.
The Packers also maintained their dominance in the run game. When McVay’s offense is on point, he loves to use a slew of single-back runs to build up the throw. However, the Rams’ inability to get going on the ground contributed to Green Bay’s ability to concentrate on LA’s passing offense.
The Rams only ran 20 times as a unit. Darrell Henderson Jr. was restricted to 55 yards on 16 carries for a 3.4 yard per carry average.
Green Bay’s defense has yet to reach its potential.
The Green Bay Packers’ Rasul Douglas #29 returns an interception for a score against the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field in the third quarter | Stacy Revere/Getty Images
The Packers haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2011. Woodson was hurt in the first half of the game against a powerful Pittsburgh Steelers defense, and although he couldn’t assist his team on the field in the second half, he did play a key part in motivating his teammates to go out and finish the game.
The defense of 2021 is arguably greater than that of the Super Bowl champions. Green Bay doesn’t have any big-name superstar players like Woodson, Clay Matthews, or Nick Collins right now, but they do have a few guys who are close to reaching Super Bowl form.
Gary added another sack to his season total of 6.5. He’s on his way to become one of the league’s finest pass rushers.
Clark has always been a dominating defensive lineman, but this season he’s playing like a madman. On the other sideline, he outshined both Aaron Donald and Von Miller, and he’s playing like the league’s finest player at his position.
Green Bay linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has been the team’s defensive captain all season, while second-year undrafted linebacker Krys Barnes has been performing like a second-round selection.
Then there’s rookie cornerback Eric Stokes, who, despite being pressed into action due to injury, is doing well. He and Douglas have been playing as if they were starters the whole time. The Packers have been able to overcome several injuries to Kevin King and a serious shoulder injury to great cornerback Jaire Alexander because they’ve been so excellent.
This is the aspect of this defense that should alert the rest of the NFC. The Packers are doing well, but there’s a decent possibility they haven’t reached their full potential yet.
During the bye week, players will regain their health, and Alexander’s comeback is a possibility. He’s been spotted working out during practice and seems to be getting closer to returning each week. Then there’s Za’Darius Smith, the talented linebacker who hasn’t played since Week 1 due to a back issue. He was on the sidelines (in street clothes) and even sprinted out of the tunnel with the defense against the Rams. There’s no news on when he’ll return, but if he can return before the conclusion of the season, Green Bay’s defense, particularly its pass rush, will be much improved.
“The sky is the limit; we have so much potential; all we have to do now is bring it all together.” According to Ryan Wood, Douglas commented after the game, “We still haven’t put together our finest game.”
When questioned about Green Bay’s defensive potential, he responded, “It might become terrifying.”
It’s rather frightening.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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The “charles woodson teams” is a day in which the Green Bay Packers Defense flashes its scary Super Bowl ceiling on Charles Woodson Day.
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