5 Things to Watch in Packers at Panthers: Joe Barry’s Last Stand

Barry has three weeks to save his job as the Packers face the Panthers, looking to end a two-game losing streak.

Joe Barry’s last stand

Barry is most likely three games away from the end of his tenure in Green Bay. With rumors circulating that his contract expires at years end, even a late-season hot streak may not be enough to save him.

While he faces a milquetoast Panthers offense this week, Barry’s philosophy is not best suited to them shutting down.

Carolina’s offense does not have a vertical threat, which is what Barry tries – to a fault and often still unsuccessfully – to prevent. Most everything they run is horizontal or short.

The Packers cannot come out and run their usual soft zone defense, allowing Adam Thielen to find holes, and giving Bryce Young easy throws.

Barry has turned Tommy DeVito and Baker Mayfield into All-Pros in recent weeks, he cannot afford to do the same to Young on Sunday.

Tackle!

In order to stop the Panthers brand of offense, the Packers will need discipline, and above all, good tackling. These have not been strengths of Barry’s defense.

If Young is determined to throw the ball short, the Packers need to come up and make secure tackles, preventing short gains from rupturing into big plays. The same goes for bringing down Chuba Hubbard, who is an underrated running back.

When getting after the passer, Rashan Gary and company must take lessons from the Giants game and be controlled in their rush lanes. Young is mobile and can hurt the Packers by escaping the pocket.

Derrick Brown

Brown is probably Carolina’s best player on defense, and like Vita Vea last week, poses a consistent threat from the interior.

Josh Myers toiled versus Vea in Green Bay’s loss to Tampa Bay, and alongside him, Jon Runyan Jr. is having the worst season of his career.

Priority number one for the Packers offense should be stopping Brown from taking over, especially against the run, where he is graded as PFFs third-highest interior defensive lineman on the year.

Kenny Clark

Conversely, the Packers have their own stellar D-lineman in Clark, who tends to take his game to another level late in the season.

The Panthers are unconvincing up front, with undrafted rookie guard Nash Jensen a particular weak spot.

Despite the defense giving up 34 points, the front line performed well against Tampa, racking up five sacks. The rotation of Clark, Devonte Wyatt, Karl Brooks, T.J. Slaton, and Colby Wooden should be able to get pressure from the interior again this week.

Can Love and LaFleur stay patient?

Lost in how bad the Panthers have been this season is how well the defense is playing.

Co-ordinated by Ejiro Evero, who readers may recall was a candidate for the DC job in Green Bay, is showing the Packers what they are missing out on, just as he did in Denver a year ago.

Evero’s defense ranks third in the NFL for yards allowed, and it will be tough sledding for the Packers at times this Sunday.

The key will be to remain patient and not force anything, as Love has done at times when the offense struggles. He and Matt LaFleur must accept there are going to be some punts and avoid fatal mistakes which could be made out of frustration.

The good news is that Carolina’s defense softens up in the red zone and can be scored upon despite their ability to limit yardage. Only Washington and Arizona have allowed more touchdowns on the year.

How patient the Packers offense can be depends on how well the defense holds up its end of the bargain, but it is imperative they play the long game this week.

 

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Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @MarkOldacres

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7 points
 

Comments (20)

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

December 23, 2023 at 03:12 pm

Wandering and wandering
What place to rest the search?
The mighty arms of Atlas
Hold the heavens from the earth

For the mighty arms of Atlas
Hold the heavens from the earth
From the earth

I know the way, know the way, know the way, know the way
I know the way, know the way, know the way, know the way

-1 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 23, 2023 at 03:15 pm

There is absolutely nothing that the D can do against the opponents left that can justify a repeat. All are offensively poor or hindered by key absences. Stopping those Os means as little as the 4 similarly toothless ones that were used to excuse him last year.

That’s why keeping him was so bizarre. There’s no meaningful opportunity for redemption. He can only sink deeper.

6 points
7
1
Bitternotsour's picture

December 23, 2023 at 08:51 pm

Barry is only a symptom of a greater malignancy.

3 points
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Lphill's picture

December 23, 2023 at 04:24 pm

We all know Young will have his best game , why expect anything else the Packers are a hot mess right now which is overshadowing Love having a nice first season starting . I often wonder how this defense would have been if anchored by TJ Watt but some here still support the king over Watt pick .

-1 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 23, 2023 at 04:34 pm

Oddly enough, I expect the Packers to blow out the Panthers. Green Bay is the better team, and Jordan Love is the better QB.

6 points
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Ima Payne's picture

December 23, 2023 at 04:32 pm

With ford and savage out and two guys you never heard of playing safety, this should be a walk in the park for the panthers.
If they can't beat the packers with this d, they are worse then I imagined.
Barry can argue how can I field a defense when everyone is hurt can't blaim me.
I think Campbell is done, attitude issue not injury is preventing him from giving a shit anymore . Wonder how many more like him.

-5 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 23, 2023 at 04:39 pm

You guys are going to be so screwed when Brian Flores gets a head coaching job. Not that you have anything to write home about anyway.

4 points
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MooPack's picture

December 23, 2023 at 04:40 pm

Ode To Sir Barry - By Monty Python minstrels

Brave Sir Robin Ran Away
Bravely bold Sir Robin
Rode forth from Camelot.
He was not afraid to die,
Oh brave Sir Robin.
He was not at all afraid
To be killed in nasty ways.
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin.

He was not in the least bit scared
To be mashed into a pulp.
Or to have his eyes gouged out,
And his elbows broken.
To have his kneecaps split
And his body burned away,
And his limbs all hacked and mangled
Brave Sir Robin.

His head smashed in
And his heart cut out
And his liver removed
And his bowls unplugged
And his nostrils raped
And his bottom burnt off
And his peni-

"That's... that's enough music for now lads, there's dirty work afoot."

Brave Sir Robin ran away.
("No!")
Bravely ran away away.
("I didn't!")
When danger reared it's ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
("I never!")
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
("You're lying!")
Swiftly taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Barry!

-1 points
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dblbogey's picture

December 23, 2023 at 07:15 pm

Merry Christmas. I have two lists:

1. Fire Barry at the end of the Bears game. Announce it to the GB crowd as they leave victorious over the Bears.

2. I want Gute to hit the jackpot as he did in '23 in the upcoming '24 draft. Draft the best players available with the first 4 rounds (7 picks! ). as long as they include two OL, a RB, ILB, a DL, CB and a safety. I don't want to see guys like DeGuara and Royce Newman on the team, or Josh Myers starting.

6 points
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mnbadger's picture

December 23, 2023 at 11:02 pm

don't forget about Jon Runyan Jr.
gpg!

2 points
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Qoojo's picture

December 23, 2023 at 07:25 pm

JB's defense has been the cure for a couple of ailing offenses. Bucs scored the second most points of their season last weekend.

Don't turn the ball over and wait for the Panthers offense to self-destruct.

4 points
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stockholder's picture

December 23, 2023 at 07:26 pm

My Five-
1. Owens- Valentine, Nixon
2. Slayton 1st sack?
3. Play Van Ess
4. McDuffie
5. Love's accuracy

5 points
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Oppy's picture

December 23, 2023 at 08:28 pm

When you look at QBs the Packers Defense has done quite well against, and the QBs the defense has been absolutely torched by, what it suggests to me is that Joe Barry can only do one thing at a time.

What I mean by that is; When Barry is facing a top QB talent, all his efforts are towards limiting or shutting down the pass game and he seems to achieve that goal- however, it's at the expense of giving up big yardage on the ground. When Barry is facing a less-than-stellar QB, it seems to me he may call his game with an emphasis on stopping the run- but the pass defense suffers immeasurably, giving ho-hum and scrap heap QBs career days.

It seems there is no middle ground. The talent is there to shut down top 10 QBs, we've seen it. The scheme can be tailored to do so as well- but it has to be the focus. If it's not, it's a sieve. The issue is seems to be an ability to produce a cohesive, balanced plan of attack. I do not know if it's a scheme flaw, poor game planning, or one-dimensional talent that is the root cause... but it can't stand as it is. There needs to be balance and consistency in the defense.

7 points
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cheezyone's picture

December 24, 2023 at 09:09 am

What bothers me the most is Barry can't or won't make adjustments when things aren't working.

2 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 24, 2023 at 11:31 am

Neither will MLF, so at least they have "continuity"

1 points
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SinceLombardi's picture

December 24, 2023 at 12:05 am

The Packers have played four good games this year out of fourteen. The first objective is to play a good game. This would naturally rely upon having a good game plan.
That is what worries me. It’s hard to get excited for this game as the season appears lost. And I incorrectly assumed this would be the first game of the post Joe Barry era.
I think after last weeks game and the retention of Barry, my beloved team is now a border line clown show. The talking heads are ( correctly) in disbelief of how MLF does business.
It’s no longer about the players.. unless they are being thrown under the bus.
I don’t really care what happens in these three games. This team stinks, is hard to watch, and not because of the players. Although I wish some of them, Bahktiari, Alexander, Campbell, Stokes, Watson, Runyon and Savage would not be here next year.
I would not be upset to see a new staff either. I hope the people in the executive board room feel the same way.

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 24, 2023 at 11:33 am

How does getting rid of #9 help? His rookie contract is too expensive? On IR he still takes up a roster spot?

1 points
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golfpacker1's picture

December 24, 2023 at 09:36 am

The Panthers QB is the BUST of the 2023 draft. If he has a breakout game against the Packers, Joe Barry should not even make it to the Bears game. Bryce Young does not even look like an NFL QB at this point. But then Devito is a nobody and lit us up. Mayfield looked like a Pro Bowl QB against our defense and below average against everyone else since coming into the league. We have absolutely nothing to lose at this point. As bad as it sucks to lose games, its now more about evaluating young talent and getting the best draft picks we can.

0 points
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coolhand's picture

December 24, 2023 at 11:34 am

My 5 things to watch:
MLF will run heavy the 1st series then abandon the run and throw 99% of the time
The O line will be poor in pass pro
The D will play soft zone and miss tackles turning short passes into long gains
The pass rush will be like against the Giants and give up big gains on the scramble since the LBs will be 25 yards downfield
This game will come down to our D needing a stop for the win and will fail

1 points
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golfpacker1's picture

December 24, 2023 at 05:30 pm

I really wish I didn't call the fact that Joe Barry's Packer defense would make Young look like an Pro Bowl QB today, but it really wasn't that surprising of a result after the last 2 games. There has to be some defensive coach on this team that could take over immediately if they fired Barry. Make it happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 points
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