Despite heading into the playoffs with a 15-1 record and the number one seed in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers lost their first game to the New York Giants. To say last year’s Packers team relied heavily on the offense is an understatement. By the end of the regular season, Green Bay was third in yards per game, third in passing yards per game and first in points per game. The defense was amongst the worst in the league.
Now, as the pre-season starts and a new season looms on the horizon, Clay Matthews is taking a few minutes to reflect on last year’s playoff loss.
“We picked the most inopportune time to play our worst ball,” linebacker Clay Matthews tells Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “The fact is, [the Giants] didn’t beat us; we beat ourselves. We need to play our best ball when it counts. This year, I expect us to be right back where we should be.”
It could be that the defense simply relied too much on the offense last year.
“Regardless of what happened in the first half, nobody thought we would lose that game,” Charles Woodson said of the first two quarters against the Giants, which saw the Packers trailing, 20-10. “With what our offense had done that season, I think we had, especially defensively, a false sense of security about what they were gonna do.
“Maybe we should have panicked. But we didn’t. We just felt like, ‘Hey, at the end of the day, the offense will put up enough points, we’ll win the game and move on.’ That was probably to our detriment.”
This year’s Green Bay team will still rely heavily on the offense to win them games.