LA Rams Behind Enemy Lines: Week 12 recon re: Packers at Lambeau Field?

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Question I

Ramblin’ Fan – The Green Bay Packers have been remarkably effective this year on defense. What is the biggest (positive) surprise about new defensive coordinator Joe Barry? The biggest disappointment?

Dairyland Express: Overall the biggest surprise I’d say is just how good they’ve been–I mean at times they’ve been downright dominant. With Joe Barry’s track record as defensive coordinator, many were skeptical of the hiring, and then Week 1 happened where Green Bay gave up 38 points to New Orleans—so confidence wasn’t exactly high among the fan base.

But since then they’ve improved each week and now rank 5th in points per game allowed and 7th in yards per game given up. Recently, Green Bay would hold Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson to 34 total points, just 601 combined passing yards, and force four interceptions. Not to mention that the defense has played at this level without Za’Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander for much of the season.

It’s not a coincidence that role players like Dean Lowry, Chandon Sullivan, and others have all had some of the better performances of their careers this season–Barry’s defensive scheme, which Rams fans will be very familiar with, is playing a huge role. Players are being put in positions to succeed.

There really isn’t one big thing that I can point to and say I’ve been disappointed in this. Now, of course, there are decisions here and there that could have been done differently or plays that weren’t made — it’s not like it has been perfect by any means — but overall coming into the season, I really didn’t know what to expect so my expectations were tempered. However, those expectations have now been surpassed.

This defense ranks top-10 in two key categories and while the offense has struggled to click at times, it’s been the defense who has helped Green Bay secure a few wins–which has been a pleasant surprise.