Cory's Corner: You Can Trust This Defense

 
Defense wins championships.
 
The Packers' defense just clinched the NFC North title by manhandling the Vikings 23-10 in their building. It was the first win for the Packers inside U.S. Bank Stadium. 
 
"Winning is always beautiful and defense wins NFC North championships," said a smiling Aaron Rodgers in a postgame ESPN interview.  
 
Aaron Jones, Rodgers and Davante Adams owe that unit a debt of gratitude after those three fumbled, threw an interception and fumbled again in the first half.
 
The defense looks ferocious right now. The highest amount of yards the Vikings put up in all 13 of their drives was 31 yards, and that drived ended up being intercepted by Kevin King. Minnesota only managed 2.6 yards per play and only had seven first downs, which is the fewest amount of first downs in a Vikings home game since 1971. 
 
I will say it again, Mike Pettine was the most important offseason piece. Retaining him and making him the Czar of the Green Bay defense was exactly what this team needed. 
 
On a night when the Minnesota front four was the more respected bunch, Za'Darius Smith just made everyone rethink that. He had 3 ½ sacks and 5 tackles for loss and was an absolute animal. And even when it wasn't him, it was Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry that were chasing Kirk Cousins all over the place. 
 
"Our defense really dominated tonight," Rodgers said. 
 
Despite being hassled all night from an impressive defensive line, Rodgers still completed 65 percent of his passes for 216 yards. Did he hold on to the ball a touch too long? Sure. But what I liked from Rodgers is that he took some chances. He threw into tight windows and was snake bitten by an interception to start the second quarter.  
 
The defense just proved on a national stage that it can stop a team that was scoring 29.6 points a game over the last three. And the only reason the Packers allowed 10 points was because the Vikings were given a short field. Minnesota had first-and-goal from the 10 and had to settle for a field goal. Cousins threw a perfect 21-yard pass on third-and-5 for the Vikings' only touchdown. 
 
"We got a resilient group," said Packers coach Matt LaFleur. "A group that doesn't blink, doesn't flinch."
 
The Packers are now a whisper away from getting a first round bye in the playoffs. And with a defense that just blows everything up, it's going to be hard to beat these guys at home.  

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (25)

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

December 24, 2019 at 02:09 pm

The defense started the season strong, then slumped and now finishing strong. Just what we need

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Cubbygold's picture

December 24, 2019 at 02:21 pm

This group ranks 9th in points allowed now. Even better when Sullivan and/or Greene are available. Both potentially being healthy for a playoff run is awesome.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 24, 2019 at 02:30 pm

I think this defense is probably better than the overall #9 ranking. When you factor in our red zone defensive rankings, and our takeaway ranking, and our opposing QB ranking, I think we’re probably a top six defense.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 24, 2019 at 02:41 pm

I wonder if they bring Greene back this week. They have one more IR recall to use.

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Lare's picture

December 24, 2019 at 02:52 pm

It was a signature win for Jones, Adams, Smith and the defense.

Zimmer's pouting brushoff of MLF at the end-of-game handshake shows he's the perfect coach for a classless organization.

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ricky's picture

December 24, 2019 at 02:59 pm

Great game by the defense. But that's all it was- one game. Can the defense consistently bring that kind of pressure every week? Especially since once they're in the playoffs, it's win or go home, and the pressure gets dialed up to 11. This game came just after the Pro Bowl picks, and it could have given some players (like the Smiths) some extra incentive. We'll see what happens against the Lions, and if they can carry this momentum to the SB. Here's hoping.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

December 24, 2019 at 03:01 pm

They didn't have Dalvin Cook. Why do writers have make the Packers defense sound better then they are. The defense is pretty good, but not great.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 24, 2019 at 03:28 pm

He would not have mattered. They would shut him down as well. The D was Dialed IN.

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Samson's picture

December 24, 2019 at 03:29 pm

"The defense is pretty good, but not great."

And you know this because......

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ironman3169's picture

December 24, 2019 at 04:16 pm

Agreed. Just need them to be good each game. If the offense can play complimentary football, Packer football will be an awesome force in the NFL.

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Adorabelle's picture

December 24, 2019 at 04:29 pm

Holding an NFL team to 7 first downs and under 150 yards is awesome no matter who plays. Doing it to a playoff team on their home field while your offense is struggling is freaking amazing. You can not take away what a great effort this was.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 25, 2019 at 04:29 am

Dalvin Cook might have made a marginal difference. Perhaps he breaks one more tackle or makes one more guy miss, but most of the night there was a second Packer in place to make the play. Cook's presence as a receiver might have been more useful since it would affect the defense laterally. Still, every RB needs a decent OL and MN's got manhandled.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 24, 2019 at 03:55 pm

The defense we seen last night,regardless of who didn't play for Minn, was the type of defense that can carry a team with offensive lacking, to confidently navigate the stepping stones (playoff games) that is the stream to the SB.

Now, if the offense can get a couple more ticks of adjustment/consistency along with the defense, this could be a.... 'Hold my beer ' in regard to the other designated threats.

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 24, 2019 at 05:29 pm

Taryn, I mean no disrespect, but need to ask a question. Is English a second language for you? You've generated some very interesting sentences in this post; both chosen word usage and sentence structure. Are you bilingual?

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 24, 2019 at 07:03 pm

No I'm not but would like to know what you believe to be ' interesting sentences ' or not understood and why.
I will admit though, I do try to make the reader think at times. Since saying the Packers are great is just boring.

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 24, 2019 at 07:19 pm

I appreciate your reply. It was just a feeling from your sentence structure. Use of "seen" rather than saw, and an error in noun-verb agreement with your stream analogy, and the reference to "with offensive lacking."

I understand the "hold my beer" statement as intent to outdo another, but am lost at what "other designated threats" means.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 24, 2019 at 07:50 pm

I admit I make errors in grammar but I'm not writing a book etc.

As to ' other designated threats ' it's a reference to teams like Balt,NO,KC etc, who the pundits constantly banter about as being the cream of the crop of Offenses and what they can do.

Made you think,didn't I. : )

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 24, 2019 at 08:04 pm

Thanks for your replies.

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PatrickGB's picture

December 24, 2019 at 10:24 pm

While I am not from Wisconsin, I grew up there. My grandparents were from Kentucky and I lived around kids to whom English was a second language. I picked up a lot of grammatical errors. Soooo, She makes perfect sense to me. But then, what do I know?

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murf7777's picture

December 25, 2019 at 08:52 am

Taryn....I would add the way the D has played the last 4 games. A lot of yards giving up in those games was with prevent Defenses and opposing Offenses taking higher risk to make a comeback. Run, stop the run and win the TO battle is a recipe for a deep playoff run.

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atundraman's picture

December 24, 2019 at 04:43 pm

Zeeee-Fense!

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 24, 2019 at 04:52 pm

Well played, aturndraman. That'll be on t-shirts soon.

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Lare's picture

December 24, 2019 at 05:06 pm

Perfect way to silence Vikings fans and their childish foghorn.

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nostradanus's picture

December 24, 2019 at 05:16 pm

Merry Christmas my Packer fan brethren!

And a Happy Super Bowl Run!

Win ugly Baby!

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Polski's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:22 am

I must have been watching a different game. The Packer Defence was unable to stop the short pass over the middle. Had the Vikings been willing to settle for 5 yards per play it could have been a very different game.

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