With the added depth on defense in the off-season, the Packers’ defense was able to swarm the Vikings’ playmakers. This title was well deserved by the rookie linebacker.
In the first half of the game against the Minnesota Vikings, defensive coordinator Joe Barry couldn’t have written up a worse defensive scheme. The defensive scheme played well against every Vikings player except star receiver Justin Jefferson. Jefferson lined up everywhere on the offense and was able to find the holes in the zone. It was a game of pass and catch between quarterback Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. Jaire Alexander was told to shadow JJ in the second half and that’s when the big plays got cold. The Packers need to gameplan better on defense going forward to limit the big plays.
Packers Defensive Player Of The Game: Quay Walker
This was a toss-up between three players and they were all linebackers. Quay Walker got the nod as he played extremely well in his debut for the green and gold. Quay Walker is a former University of Georgia linebacker that was drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Packers. Walker was a part of Georgia’s number one ranked defense last season. Walker had seven solo tackles and one assisted tackle before his departure in the second half with a shoulder injury. If he could’ve stayed healthy, he could’ve easily gotten ten tackles and joined teammate De’Vondre Campbell with ten-plus total tackles.
Speaking of De’Vondre Campbell, he was also in contention for defensive player of the game. Campbell has been going crazy since he joined the team last year. He has been a forcefield on defense for the Packers and will now be a part of an elite linebacker core with Walker and Rashan Gary. Campbell had five solo tackles and six assisted tackles in the game. Hopefully, Walker can return next week and help Campbell take down the Bears. Coming out of college, Quay Walker was compared to current linebacker De’Vondre Campbell based on their size, speed, and tackle ability.
The third linebacker that was in contention was fourth-year linebacker, Rashan Gary. Rashan has been a force since the Packers drafted him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft from the University of Michigan. Rashan was a sack machine last year and he’s already looking to beat the 9.5 sacks that he posted last year. He was able to burst through the Vikings’ offensive line several times but was only able to obtain one sack. His ability to get through the line helped force some quicker releases by Kirk Cousins. In addition to his one sack, he also had three solo tackles and four assisted tackles.
Packers Defense: What To Look For Next Week
Even with the heavy rain and damp field that the Chicago Bears played on in Week one, they didn’t seem to have any chemistry on offense. The Chicago Bears played the San Francisco 49ers in a slippery matchup on the muddy field in Chicago. The Bears, in what seems like a rebuild year, should give the Packers a much-needed boost at home. Next Sunday night, September 18, the Packers will play the Bears during primetime. This will be the game that decides the direction of the Packers this year. On paper, this should be an easy victory for Green Bay but we’ll see.
The game plan on defense will be for the edge rushers and nose tackle Kenny Clark to pursue quarterback Justin Fields and flush him out of the pocket or sack him. Next, the linebackers will need to keep one as a spy on Fields since he can run while the rest create a brick wall for opposing running back David Montgomery. With the lack of receivers, Green Bay can get creative with the defensive schemes or just play ball. Jaire Alexander should shadow wide receiver Darnell Mooney while Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas play zone or play man against Byron Pringle and former Packers wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown.
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