2011 Green Bay Packers Mid-Term Grades: Defense and Special Teams

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2011 Green Bay Packers Mid-Term Grades: Defense and Special Teams
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Dom Capers is the architect of the Green Bay Packers championship defense

Having already prepared the mid-term grades for the Green Bay Packers' offense last week, it is time to focus our attention on the defense and special teams. Just like that article, each unit is graded separately and the grade of each player of any significance is listed within that slide.

Overall, the Packers went into the bye week 10th in points allowed, but rank a disappointing 28th in total yards. Still, it is points that the team is worried about, and any good grading system looks beyond the numbers for variables affecting them.

For one, a lot of yards and even points are yielded by this defense in garbage time because the Packers are the highest-scoring team in the league. The defense has also faced the only two quarterbacks ahead of Aaron Rodgers in passing yards, though they certainly contributed to that number.

The disparity between the yards and points is also attributable to the Packers' "dare you to pass" approach. While an opposing quarterback can rack up passing yards on the Packers, they do so at their own risk: Green Bay is one interception behind Buffalo for the league lead, and therefore has the ninth-best opponent passer rating.

Thus, this defense clearly does not compare to last year's second-ranked unit, but is better than some numbers might suggest. No qualified analyst, scout or coach without a bias would find this unit in the bottom half of the league.

But, with 32 teams and five grades, where do each of these units place?

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