Green Bay Packers Defense Looks to End Troubling Streak in Week 14

Eric Evans@ericjrauCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2012

Nov 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) runs after a catch against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Packers beat the Lions 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

As the Packers' defense prepares to host Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on Sunday, they have a streak going of which they are not particularly proud.

The Packers' defense has allowed a touchdown to the opposing team's leading receiver in four consecutive games. The last top receiver who failed to score on the Packers was Cecil Shorts of the Jaguars back in Week 9. Let's be honest, Cecil Shorts isn't exactly a name that comes to mind when you think of No. 1 receivers. 

No other team that is currently in playoff contention has allowed touchdowns in five consecutive weeks to opposing top receivers.

The Packers will be looking to avoid that distinction this week against the top receiver, in terms of yards, in the league in Calvin Johnson. The last time the Packers' secondary faced Calvin Johnson was in Week 11. Johnson recorded five catches for 143 yards yards and a touchdown in a 24-20 Packers victory.

So far this season, the Packers have allowed touchdowns to the opposing team's No. 1 receiver in seven out of 12 games. In total, Green Bay has allowed 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns to opposing teams' top receivers this season. By comparison, the Baltimore Ravens (a team with a similar record, scoring offense and scoring defense) have allowed just 957 yards and four touchdowns to opposing top receivers.

Out of the four losses the Packers have suffered this season, the opposing team's top receiver scored a touchdown in three of those games. Two of those touchdowns (Reggie Wayne for the Colts and Golden Tate for the Seahawks) ultimately were the game-winning scores for the Packers' opponents.

While the current streak of touchdowns allowed may not seem like a large problem given that the Packers have won three out of four of those games, this trend will only become a larger problem as the playoffs arrive and teams begin to rely even heavier on their top play-makers.

Part of the solution could lie in the health of the Packers' secondary. The Packers have been without starting safety Charles Woodson for the last five games with a broken collarbone. They have also missed cornerback Sam Shields for the last two games.

While the injuries cannot take all of the blame, getting these players back into the lineup will certainly be a step in the right direction. Whatever the ultimate problem truly is, the Packers will need to address the issue before January and the real season begins.