The W Report: Rashan Gary and the Packers defense

The “W” Report: Rashan Gary puts cheese on everything in Packers win

  • Detroit Lions
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Jaire Alexander
  • mike pettine
  • NFC North
  • NFL
  • Rashan Gary
By Nathaniel Scott September 23, 2020 0 Comment
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Rashan Gary is the Packers X Factor

The Green Bay Packers allowed 24 points in the 4th quarter last week, but Sunday was a different story. It was reported Matt LaFleur tore into his defense at the half, demanding they step up, and the team would respond!

Who (stood out): Rashan “Bane” Gary, bringing the juice and the cheese

Much to the dismay of fans everywhere, Green Bay selected a highly talented, but underachieving prospect out of Michigan with the 12th overall pick in last year’s draft. Many questioned the selection at the time, and more so as the season closed in 2019. Causing bitter fans to construct the narrative, Rashan Gary was the biggest bust in the draft. After yesterday however, Gary would make doubters eat those words with a heft helping of cheese on top! Gary dominated in the game! Recording 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a lost, and 2 QB hits! On top of all that, for the second straight week Gary pressured the quarterback into making a costly interception. Gary got the defense going, and looks like he is developing into the game changer Green Bay believed he could be.

What (happened in a nutshell): Defense started sloppy, but cleaned up in the end

Green Bay started this game much like the last one. The defense allowing Detroit to get up by two scores early, and fans wanted Pettine’s head! Game reporters even noted that Matt LaFleur had a fiery speech in the locker room at the half, not pleased with their efforts. They looked out of sorts. Allowing big plays all over the field, yielding big runs and long completions in the passing game. TJ Hockenson and Kerryon Johnson were the early culprits. However, as the second quarter came to a close, and early in the third, things turned around. They started to make plays, consistently tackle, and the pass rush came alive; they would four sacks on the day. The d-backs were stingy in coverage, and they forced several punts on the day.

When (was the turning point): The start of the second half

The defense started to turn things around in the second quarter, but Detroit was still hanging in the game. As the third quarter began Green Bay nursed a 10 point lead. That’s when Rashan Gary and Chandon Sullivan linked up to make the play of the game defensively! With the Lions backed up on their own end zone, Gary showcased his athleticism to beat a would be blocker, forcing Matthew Stafford to throw a pass that would be intercepted by Sullivan, and returned 7 yards for a touchdown. This is the play that really opened things for the team and got the flood gates flowing.

Where (They looked good and/or bad): Front seven made plays, still got beat deep

Green Bay showed marketable improvement in their defensive performance this week, over last week. They had multiple sacks and generated pressure on Stafford at key moments in the game. The defensive line, minus arguably their best defender, Kenny Clark, showed up. Even though they allowed Stafford time early, and let Kerryon Johnson score, on a run the first drive; to which he would  mock the Lambeau Leap celebration afterwards. They went on to let Detroit score again relatively easy, and they still gave up way too many big plays. A few runs, and a couple deep shots, but just looking at the telecast live, there was definitely improvement. Jaire Alexander for example, was not only stingy in coverage, but had several incredible tackles in the run game.

Why (they ultimately won): They were able to adapt, and play makers made plays

The defense showed that they could clamp down, get pressure, and get off the field on third down when locked in. Could the Packer’s early lulls been a result of no real home field advantage, seeing as there were no fans in the stands? Or perhaps they are still knocking off the rust from a shortened off-season? Be that as it may, the defense started slow in two straight weeks. However, unlike last week Pettine’s unit really stepped up in the second half of game. Once the pass rush got going, it was relentless, with both Smith Bros and Gary, all registering sacks and pressures. Pettine adjusted his scheme through out the game and the run defense improved as the game unfolded. Instead of settling for a soft prevent defense down the stretch, Pettine stayed aggressive and that was encouraging.

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