Grading the Pack - Week 10 (Defense)

This was really the week that Green Bay wanted to show that they could count on the defense for a win when needed. Chicago’s current offensive attack of rookie’s Mitch Trubisky, Tarik Cohen & Adam Shaheen does little to strike fear in opposing defenses, and their group of journeymen receivers haven’t exactly torched defensive backfields.

Chicago has solid offensive tackles, Josh Sitton is still playing good football and there’s no doubting that Jordan Howard is a really nice running back but this is a below average NFL offense. I’ve seen people suggest this week that this was a turnaround effort for the defense. Many saw the disruptiveness inside by Daniels and Clark and the three sacks by Nick Perry and assumed things were looking up. Obviously holding any NFL team to 16 points is a solid effort but there was more than the scoreboard and the three sacks that need to be discussed.

There is no denying the disruptiveness inside of Daniels and Clark. They are doing A+ work inside and it’s going to be difficult for any team to really get going through the center of the field with those two playing at that level. Jake Ryan had a really nice week for the second week in a row and Kevin King continued to show progress on the outside. All of that being said we continued to see the same mental mistakes and communications errors on this defense that have plagued them for far too long.

If Chicago hadn’t fumbled out of the end zone to basically take away 7 points and had Trubisky been even an average NFL passer at this stage of his career Green Bay would have given up 30+ points in this game. Receivers continued to come open when they shouldn’t have and we just haven’t seen players make big plays when needed. Even Nick Perry’s three sacks were delayed and not the result of him beating his man one on one.

Green Bay will get another shot against another below average NFL offense this week. It’s time for the defense to step up and take some of the pressure off of Hundley and the offense.

More on the defense from Michelle: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/green-and-bold-take-packers-defense-with-a-grain-of-salt-218

Top 3 Performers

Mike Daniels +1.90
Kenny Clark +1.10
Jake Ryan +0.65

Bottom 3 Performers

Josh Jones -1.30
Davon House -1.15
Dean Lowry -0.75

Defensive Line

Mike Daniels +1.9
Kenny Clark +1.1
Montravious Adams +0.35
Dean Lowry -0.75

I’ve run out of amazing things to say about Clark & Daniels but once again I’ll simply say that it’s worth tuning in every Sunday just to watch their effort. If you haven’t yet, take your eye off the ball on defense and just keep an eye on their play inside. It’s worth your time.

I was encouraged by the progress of Montravious Adams this week. He took a big jump after looking lost earlier this season. On Sunday he looked much more aware and much stronger at the point of attach. If he can develop into a contributing defensive tackle Green Bay will be set on the interior for a long time to come.

More on Kenny Clark from Zach: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/packers-question-of-the-day-kenny-clarks-rise-314

Edge

Clay Matthews +0.15
Nick Perry -0.05
Vince Biegel -0.05
Kyler Fackrell -0.45
Ahmad Brooks -0.65

While the numbers aren’t sexy, they are somewhat the result of the gameplan that was put in place for Chicago’s offense. It makes sense that Capers and the coaching staff would want to contain the run game and make everything go through Daniels & Clark. In this regard the edge did their job and funneled the vast majority of run plays inside. In the pass game it was a similar gameplan. Green Bay was happy to let Trubisky try to beat them from the pocket and once again focused their edge rushers on containing him inside. This containment along with solid coverage helped Nick Perry amass his three sack performance. That said, when Green Bay needed their rushers to get home one on one they had trouble beating Chicago’s tackles.

Linebacker

Jake Ryan +0.65
Blake Martinez -0.15

So far this season the buzz at linebacker has really been around Blake Martinez’ improvement. While it’s not unwarranted, that same buzz is going to start to generate for Jake Ryan in the very near future. Ryan has been really good the past couple of weeks and his play continues to improve. I would go as far to say that I expect Ryan is the top graded inside linebacker, ahead of Martinez, by the end of the year.

While I am really enjoying Martinez’s improved play, it would be nice to see him make the big play when it’s available. This week he read the quarterback perfectly and had an opportunity to intercept a pass. It ended up as a nice pass breakup but if he really wants to take the next step he needs to find ways to make those type of plays.

Cornerback

Kevin King +0.2
Josh Hawkins +0.0
Damarious Randall -0.5
Davon House -1.15

It wasn’t a huge grade but overall I really liked what I saw out of Kevin King this week. This was the first week where I really looked at his play and thought he had the potential to be a legit number one cornerback as he continues to improve. The skillset is there and you can see the game start to slow down for him. When he can get his hands on defenders and be disruptive at the line he’s really, really tough to beat.

Safety

HaHa Clinton-Dix +0.2
Jermaine Whitehead +0.15
Marwin Evans -0.1
Josh Jones -1.3

It’s not time to panic yet but we should start being a little alarmed at the play of Josh Jones. I’ve said multiple times in my reviews just how ultra-talented he is and how his athleticism jumps off the tape. While those two things remain true, his play also continues to be below average. It’s tough to tell if he’s over thinking, not grasping the defense, or too aggressive but there is real reason for concern. At this point in the season it would be encouraging to see him learning from some of those mental mistakes and starting to fly around a little bit more. As the season has gone on that improvement simply hasn’t been evident. It could even be argued that he’s regressed. Hopefully Jones can play with a bit more consistently going forward and use his God-given ability to help turn this defense around.

To find an updated, running total of the grades throughout the season, click here: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-regular-season-totals-454

Note: In these articles I often add tweets from Ben Fennell, Zach Kruse & Dusty Evely. All have been gracious enough to allow me to do so and are phenomenal follows. Please make sure you are supporting and following each of them! Thank you!

How I Grade

  • Each player starts by getting a zero or neutral grade on a play. If they performed as expected on a play, their grade stays at zero.
  • For a slightly above or below average play, the player gets graded -0.1 or +0.1. The vast majority of grades on the vast majority of plays are graded -0.1, 0, or +0.1.
  • The highest and lowest grades on an individual play are +2.0 and -2.0 respectively. These would be large, game-changing plays.
  • I won’t grade a play negatively if I cannot tell which player was at fault.
  • Most of the time it’s impossible to tell the play, so I’m not grading on the execution of the play call as an NFL coach would.
  • The goal of this exercise is to grade every snap over the course of the season to get a long-term view of which performers are performing well and which are not meeting expectations. This is very similar to what Pro Football Focus tries to achieve. Is it perfect? No. But what you are getting is a consistent grader who is watching specifically Packer games and putting multiple hours into every week to breakdown film and assign grades.
  • Grades are for offense and defense only (including two point conversions). Special teams does not factor in.
  • Preseason does not have All-22 film which makes this exercise even more challenging than usual
  • Bigger plays in the game such as a 4th and 1 or a two-point conversion are weighted higher than say a normal 1st and 10 play to start the game.
  • Lastly, the grades do not necessarily reflect who the best players are on an overall basis. As an example, Morgan Burnett may grade almost two full points below Jermaine Whitehead. Does this mean that Whitehead is the superior player to Burnett? No. It means that given the opportunities each player was given, Whitehead performed at a higher level for this individual game.

Please feel free to ask questions or comment below!

__________________________

Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and is an Editor for Packer Report. You can find him on WFRV's Green Bay Nation and every Friday on the Friday Film Room on WDUZ . Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder - follow him on Twitter @AndyHermanNFL!

NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (15)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

November 17, 2017 at 05:12 pm

I'm sorry but I have to say it guys. Did anyone watch the Pittsburgh defense last night? I couldn't help but notice ALL the picks selected in the first 3 rounds playing on the field and playing well, especially the 1st rounders. Pittsburgh has managed to rebuild their defense and do it through the draft for the most part.

My question is WHY do people continue to defend that putz Thompson? Pittsburgh's D took a crap around the same time the Packers did, maybe even a little later. My point is they've managed to REBUILD it in a few short years using draft picks. Thompson has managed to use a boat load of picks and it's still a fricking mess. Pittsburgh also had the smarts to move on from LeBeaus 1990's defense but not Thompson or the Packers staff.

Watching Pittsburgh DE last night made me appreciate what a fine GM the Steelers have and what a putz the Packers have. Rodgers is gone Ted, NO WHERE to hide!

0 points
0
0
egbertsouse's picture

November 17, 2017 at 05:26 pm

I wish that I could give you 100 likes. Pittsburgh realized it was time to move on from the old '90s stuff. They've done pretty good in the draft and they also draft late, so the TT apologists can't use that excuse. Maybe they do better because don't consistently draft square pegs and try to pound them in round holes. Or maybe they don't draft basketball players......

0 points
0
0
The TKstinator's picture

November 17, 2017 at 08:29 pm

I think everyone shares your frustration. I am also done defending Dom and Ted. I am so sick of hearing about “communication errors”, esp in the defensive backfield. Of course “too vanilla” is a sure way to get gashed but isn’t there something in between?
Personally, I get more frustrated watching crappy defense than struggling offense. Don’t know why, but that’s just the way I am.

0 points
0
0
TarynsEyes's picture

November 17, 2017 at 06:19 pm

Been saying it for years......the Packers have wasted so many 1st and 2nd rd picks with wrong player whether for need,scheme or BPA....fail,fail,fail.

0 points
0
0
LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

November 17, 2017 at 07:26 pm

Nick Perry, I agree with you 100% on Thompson. As far as the Pittsburg game goes, I only watched a Recap. Pittsburg could have easily lost that game. Our Defense could have made those interceptions. The Long TD Pass was a gift. They got every break in the world in that game. They are a Formidable foe, but I don't think they looked that good. From what I seen, Tennessee without the Turnovers could have easily won that game. Just My Opinion.
LVT

0 points
0
0
LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

November 17, 2017 at 08:25 pm

Jonathan Spader, Yes you did!!. I'm Sorry I didn't read past Nick Perry's post. You are Right, & Deserve the Credit. Sorry, I didn't read your post. I'm glad somebody agrees with me on something. I was surprised when I didn't see my post under his. I should have read down. You're Right On!!
LVT

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

November 18, 2017 at 04:33 am

To both you and LVT...You both make excellent points. I'm going on 58 and could have made the first 2 picks I think. But the Pittsburgh D ranks in the top 2 or 3 in just about EVERY meaningful category so they've been doing it all year long.

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

November 19, 2017 at 04:42 am

HUH???

#3 in Game Stats
#2 in Sacks
#3 in Total Yards
#3 in Pass Defense
#8 in Run Defense
#4 in Scoring Defense
#6 in TD's Allowed
#2 in Interceptions (Tied W/Rams)

This is all according to NFL.Com as of 11/19/17

Bonus Stats

Look at the 3rd and 4th down percentages.

GB allows 42% of 3rd down conversions. Pittsburgh 33%
GB allows 75% on 4th down conversions Pittsburgh 27%

BTW... GB has allowed 6 of 8 4th down conversions. Christ why would anyone punt??

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

November 18, 2017 at 07:37 am

How many times have we screamed for new LBs. TT totally refused to draft a ILB or even OLb when Mathews moved inside. Think about bringing Peppers in, and playing OLB. Yes some things worked for a pass rush Only. Moss has had so many draft picks and they failed. He prefers to keep Free Agents. Why is it Pittsburgh and even Minnesota have no problem? Capers and Moss have all this experience, but TT just keeps throwing them a bone heads. Slow,small, and just squares being converted to a round BIG hole.

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

November 19, 2017 at 04:56 am

This is right on the money, why the dislikes? Pittsburgh has absolutely NAILED 13 or their last 14 1st round picks. The ONLY bust was Jarvis Jones and they drafted Laveon Bell in the 2nd round to make up for it in the same draft.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 19, 2017 at 07:59 am

I didn't give Stockholder a dislike, but he contradicts himself. He can't blame Moss for failing to develop so many LBs and at the same time criticize TT for failing to draft enough LBs.

I think your point about TT not being a good drafter in the first round is spot on. Using PFR, since 2006, Pittsburgh has drafted on average 22.36, and those draftees have produced 347 career Av, or 15.52 points on average. Since 2006, GB has drafted on average 23.00 and those players produced an aggregate Career Average of 253 points (94 pts. less than Pitt) for an average of just 11.35. Including 2005 (AR has an enormous Car Av), GB moves to averaging 23.08 in average draft spot, aggregate Car Av jumps to 385. Including 2005, Pitt aggregate is 393, and Car Av is 17.09.

TL;DR - W/O including 2005 and AR, Pittsburgh has drafted much better in the first round than GB despite having roughly the same draft position and the same number of Super Bowl wins. Even with AR, Pittsburgh has drafted better.

Worse, Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004 and has 113 Car Av pts. Sherman drafted Ahmad Carroll, Car Av 14. IOW, the large discrepancy between draft prowess rears its ugly head again.

MN hasn't been good in the first round. But then, PFR grossly undervalues defensive players, IMO. It gives OT Matt Kalil 33 Car Av Pts to Harrison Smith's 30 points despite being drafted the same year.

0 points
0
0
Denver's picture

November 17, 2017 at 10:07 pm

It's not just TT, though he is obviously in charge...when he isn't on the road 'scouting' (which seems to be always).
The Packers are going to have to make some major changes and soon to fix things up top (including Capers) or it will be another 1 and done with a HOF QB.
Over a 24 year span.........

0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

November 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm

I hate our defense, and even if we get to the playoffs, this defense WILL give up 40 to a good offense AGAIN. I want TT and Dom gone. NOW.

MM I'm still on the fence about.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 18, 2017 at 02:04 pm

So, Mr. Herman, is GB limiting Ryan to situations that suit his strengths? Or is he earning these grades playing in all situations expected of a GB ILB?

I expected Ryan to make the jump this season, not Martinez. Looks like Martinez has made a jump, but I thought Ryan was the ILB of the future.

0 points
0
0
AndyHerman's picture

November 20, 2017 at 08:19 am

Reynoldo,

I'd say it's a bit of both. They are putting Ryan in positions to succeed, usually on early downs and not on obvious passing downs for the most part. That said, in those situations, he is earning the grades, quickly diagnosing the play and being aggressive. We will see over time if Ryan has the ability to be a 3-down linebacker but right now he's doing a great job int he situation he's in.

Thanks for reading!

-Andy-

0 points
0
0