ITI: We’ve talked about how good this team has gotten on defense. Do they have any weaknesses on that side of the ball? What are their strengths?
The strength of the Packers’ defense is its pressure that they’re able to generate with the guys who are up front. General Manager Brian Gutekunst spent big money to address this area in the offseason, and he signed Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith in free agency.
Preston Smith has 4.5 sacks, Za’Darius Smith has three sacks, and they have transformed this defense. Gary has impressed as well, and he notched his first career sack last week against the Denver Broncos.
What’s been exciting is the play of the secondary. They’ve also improved in a big way. As previously noted, Darnell Savage looks to be a future star at safety, and the signing of Adrian Amos has already made a difference.
Perhaps the Packers’ best defensive player is second-year cornerback Jaire Alexander, who has been playing at an All-Pro level this season. Alexander leads the team with six passes defended, and he’s made play after play.
The weakness this season has been the run defense. The Packers are allowing 131 yards per game on the ground, eighth-most in the NFL. If they can’t improve in this area, it could be an issue moving forward.