Grading the Pack - Week 9 (Defense)

Thirty points allowed, one sack, no interceptions, and not a single player who graded as a +1.0 or better. Take nothing away from Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s offense, but this was a brutal performance by a defense who had to know they were going to be asked to carry more of the load with Aaron Rodgers being out. I fully understand that the loss of Aaron Rodgers can effect just about everything Green Bay does, but it’s incredibly hard to believe that this defense could be a Super Bowl caliber defense even with a healthy Rodgers on offense.

I’ve been watching/grading every play since preseason and I can’t even begin to tell you how bored I am of seeing the same tried and underwhelming stunts, the zone looks that aren’t confusing any opposing offenses, and the lack of communication that continuously plagues the entire defense.

The pass rush is stagnant, the backfield is desperately in need of a number one cornerback, and overall the defense lacks playmakers that are capable of changing the game on any given play. There are a lot of solid individuals on this team, including Daniels, Clark, Lowry, Perry, Clay, Blake, HaHa (when he’s motivated), Burnett, King, Jones, and recently Randall; but this team lacks a consistent playmaker that defenses have to be aware of at all times.

Coming into the season and after week one it looked like that player was Mike Daniels, but his performance has dropped off significantly since his week one injury. It’s tough to tell if it’s related or not but he’s not been the playmaker that Green Bay has needed on the inside, and as of late he’s been outperformed by Kenny Clark.

It’s time for a new scheme, an influx of playmakers, and it’s time for the in-house talent to play up to expectations. There are too many high draft picks and highly paid defenders on this defense to put performances like Sunday on tape. Something needs to change.

Top 3 Performances

Jake Ryan +0.95
Dean Lowry +0.85
Damarious Randall +0.80

Bottom 3 Performances

Clay Matthews -1.30
Davon House -1.15
Montravious Adams -0.85

Defensive Line

Dean Lowry +0.85
Kenny Clark +0.6
Mike Daniels -0.6
Montravious Adams -0.85

We finally got a glimpse of the Dean Lowry who flashed so often during the preseason. This was a big step in the right direction for Lowry and if he can maintain that level of play Green Bay will have three true weapons on the defensive line. Montravious Adams put an incredibly underwhelming performance on tape and was on the ground way too often.

Edge

Chris Odom +0.75
Vince Biegel +0.4
Nick Perry -0.1
Kyler Fackrell -0.8
Clay Matthews -1.3

Chris Odom had a really nice pass rush where he knocked his linemen on the ground and quickly was able to pressure Stafford but it apparently wasn’t enough to get him much more playing time. It was obvious Green Bay wanted to get a good first look at Vince Biegel and he didn’t disappoint. This was a really solid first game for the former Badger and hopefully a harbinger of things to come.

More on Vince Biegel from Zach: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/rookie-debut-a-confidence-builder-for-lb-vince-biegel-324

Linebacker

Jake Ryan +0.95
Blake Martinez +0.25

Jake Ryan didn’t have a ton of snaps in this game but he made the most of them when he was in the game. Blake Martinez continues to fly around the football and make tackles all over the place but I’m not quite as high on Martinez’ performance this year as others have been. It’s clear to see that he has made the second year jump and is playing at a much higher level than a year previous but he needs to be a bigger playmaker before he really becomes a star.

Hybrid

Morgan Burnett +0.45
Josh Jones -0.3

Jones continues the ebbs and flows of an ultra-talented rookie who is still thinking a bit too much on the field. It’s so incredibly easy to see the talent that Jones possesses when he gets himself in a good position and can make a play on the ball or the ball-carrier. His explosiveness jumps off the tape and he’s a superstar waiting to happen. If he can gain a full understanding of the defense he can be one of the playmakers that Green Bay desperately needs. The rest of this season should really be dedicated to developing players like Josh Jones, Kevin King, Blake Martinez, Kenny Clark, and Dean Lowry. These first and second year players are the future of the defense and need every ounce of playing time to develop and hone their craft.

Cornerback

Damarious Randall +0.8
Kevin King +0.7
Josh Hawkins +0.15
Lenzy Pipkins +0.0
Davon House -1.15

What a turnaround for Damarious Randall. After his benching against Chicago who would have imagined that Randall would now grade as my highest rated cornerback on the team. He has done an incredible job of bouncing back and is playing some of the best football of his career over the past few weeks. He’s probably never going to be a great number one or two cornerback but he’s starting to look like he can be a really nice nickel corner in this league.

Safety

Marwin Evans -0.1
HaHa Clinton-Dix -0.2

They didn’t grade out spectacularly but this was one of the better performances of the season by Green Bay’s safeties. For the most part they did their best to limit big plays and they were more aggressive coming up and making plays in the box. It’s not hyperbole to say that Green Bay won’t be the team they want to be on defense until Clinton-Dix gets back to playing at the Pro Bowl level that he’s capable of.

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

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 appears weekly on 107.5 The Fan in Green Bay to breakdown film. This past season he was an analyst on Green Bay Nation on WFRV TV in Green Bay. Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder; follow him on Twitter at @sconniesports.

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Comments (19)

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Hematite's picture

November 11, 2017 at 03:51 pm

Ted Thompson and the entire coaching staff need to be replaced.
Everything about this team has been stagnant and predictable.
Time for a major change.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 11, 2017 at 04:18 pm

I'm not dis missing Biegel but that video and the comment don't reflect truth. 72 of Detroit is clearing ignoring Biegel and Biegels veteran arm move was nothing but a tap on the back shoulder after he was passed,though Biegel does get to the runner but not from any great effort other than being ole'd.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 11, 2017 at 05:15 pm

Grades

O
M
G

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Andy Herman's picture

November 11, 2017 at 07:17 pm

Not a fan of grades?

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GBPDAN1's picture

November 11, 2017 at 05:58 pm

Packers Defence grade: F-

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Free agent's picture

November 11, 2017 at 06:25 pm

Agree Totally. F- ..... They suck; game after game, year after year. I could make some easy money the rest of the season taking the opponent and giving up the points.

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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

November 11, 2017 at 06:29 pm

GOD LIKES ME!! HE REALLY LIKES ME!!

I'm not 100% sure that we are there yet, but I'm having a Great Week. It looks like Most of you are Finally off GB.

I think it (Might) be time to jump on GB. Wish the Line would move up. I'm going back to GVR tonight to get another Parlay with GB Circled. Don't know what I'm going to do yet with the 37 1/2. That's a Tough one to pick. Normally I would go UNDER that number, but I think that's what Most of you would do. It looks like an Under, so I think I'm going OVER. I'm going to stand up for all of you & play the Redskins + 1/2 to Beat Minn. That really doesn't look right to me, but somewhere I have to Win a Minnesota game. May as well be this week. The Number is 42 1/2. I can't see it. Think I'm going UNDER. So while all of you are Arguing about this guy & that guy, I'm Kickin' Las Vegas's ASS. Hope I can do it for all of you tomorrow!!
LVT

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Free agent's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:35 pm

Have another drink. Buy some Bitcoin Cash if you want to make some big money.

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Free agent's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:50 pm

You’re taking Green Bay +3? Good Luck, I think you’ll need a lot more points than that.

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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:15 pm

Free agent, I wish it were +3, it-s Currently +4 1/2 +5. Haven't done it yet. You could very well be right, but the time to Bet is when the Money is off of them. Like Wis today @ - 12 on IOWA. I'm up almost $600 this week. How much are you up? I didn't guarantee a win, I said you have to give them a chance in this one. If I get a little Lucky tomorrow, it's another $1,000 week. When is the last time you had one of those? In order to have one, you'll have to get the Fish Hooks out of your pocket. I'm only betting $50 on a 4 Teamer. I doubt you know what that is? If I lose it, So What?? If I get Lucky it's another $600. I just hope everyone that goes up to the window feels exactly as you do. I'm hoping all the money goes on Chicago, but even in this case I'm not sure it will. Good Luck to you on your Bets tomorrow.
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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:26 pm

P.S They are +5 1/2 on the card. After talking to you, I just might Bet them Straight Up, but I don't like the fact that the Line is Moving Down.
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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:39 pm

Tarynfor12, If you are there, What do you think on the GB - MINN games? I don't have much time.
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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:57 pm

Ok, I'm backing off. I've got Detroit & the Rams tomorrow. That's enough. I don't have a Good Track Record with GB & MINN. I'm on a Hot Streak, but this one could Cool it off. So I'm leaving this one alone. Years back I probably would have Bet this one with both Fists.
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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

November 12, 2017 at 12:59 am

Just got back from GVR. Went to the sports book. Sat there an hour. Looked that card up & down. Finally took a small $25 3 team Parlay. It's only worth $162.50 if it hits. Just for you guy's I've got GB +5 1/2 on the card. Walked over to a machine I Play. Stuck a $20 in & hit Double 7's for $200. I am on Fire!! Cashed out & went to Valet, & drove home. These things run in streaks. I am Smokin' Hot right now. I've got 2 Parlays for tomorrow, a 3 & a 4. If I don't win a game I've had a Great Run, but it wouldn't surprise me if I win them all. I didn't play the Minn game, but I probably should have. I Am Burning UP!!
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Since '61's picture

November 11, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Fire Capers!!! Thanks, Since '61

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al bundy's picture

November 11, 2017 at 10:21 pm

I'm giving hundley been of doubt. I m o he is not very good and was passed up by 31 GM's for a reason. I he sucks tomorrow and the d does also, put a tork in this season

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dobber's picture

November 12, 2017 at 06:47 am

Tom Brady was passed on by every GM how many times?

I'm absolutely not saying that Hundley is Tom Brady. What I am saying is that good players come out of just about every draft round and as UDFAs (where every GM passes on them every time). The "X many GMs passed on a guy so how good can he be?" is a tired argument doesn't mean very much once the draft is over.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 12, 2017 at 08:54 am

Good Lord this defense is awful. The entire defensive staff needs to go and Ted needs to retire. Mike needs to be put on notice.

There's talent on defense. It's just not being utilized or coached properly. Dom should have been fired by the end of 2012 at the very latest. Ugh

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Bearmeat's picture

November 12, 2017 at 08:55 am

Oh, and does anyone else get weirded out seeing a Packers player in #27 running fast? I still halfway expect to see Phat Ed rumbling around down there.... IF only he would have taken care of himself!!!

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