Through three games, the Packers defense looked good. Not great, but good.
This past Sunday, however, was a different story. Saints quarterback Drew Brees carved up the Green Bay defense for 446 yards and three touchdowns. For Brees, it was like stealing candy from a sleeping baby.
Just six days earlier, the Packers gave up only 130 passing yards–106, if not for a certain 24-yard play to end the game. But Sunday’s soft defense brought back some painful memories from last season, when the Packers’ leaky pass defense was continually bailed out by its unstoppable offense.
So, why did the defense look so much worse this week?
Well, for one, Brees is really, really good.
But also, Capers tends to err on the side of caution in regards to his play-calling, rushing only three and dropping eight into coverage, especially against top-tier quarterbacks like Brees. And again on Sunday, his “bend-but-don’t-break” philosophy hurt the team.
In a matter of four plays on Sunday, the Packers pushed the Saints backwards on 1st and 2nd down, but then allowed New Orleans to convert a 3rd-and-17, and a 3rd-and-14. The Packers failed to put any pressure on Brees, allowing him to sit back in the pocket and step up to make timely throws to his receivers.