Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be on the “back nine’’ of his career, but as long as he keeps hitting ‘em straight off the tee and scrambling for birdies, the Packers will always pile up the points.
The question that has to be asked: Will those points on the back nine be enough to win on Sunday, specifically the major championship known as the Super Bowl?
Oh, that defense.
Unlike its Rodgers-led counterpart, the Packers’ defense hasn’t played at a championship level since Green Bay last went to the Super Bowl in 2010. This defense is coming off a 2016 season in which it shot way over par for the year.
The Packers finished the regular season ranked 22nd in yards allowed and 21st in points allowed. They didn’t get any better during a playoff run. Their ordinary pass rush and lack of speed were badly exposed in a dreadful 44-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game.
Packer general manager Ted Thompson responded in a way that for him is unusual — he signed free-agent cornerback Davon House, a former team draft choice, before augmenting the group in more typical fashion through the draft.
The results have given the Packers the footspeed they were lacking, at least in the secondary, where House, second-round rookie cornerback Kevin King, and second-round rookie safety Josh Jones have all run 4.4-second 40s. Just how fast the rookies will actually play, though, is hard to gauge.
Rookies tend to struggle in defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ scheme because it’s a complex plan that requires…
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