GREEN BAY – The Packers are, for the most part, good on both sides of the ball every year. Yes, they are like most teams and have issues. However, they usually get solved.
The last few years they have been exceptional on both sides. On defense, they rush the passer very well and have gotten better at stopping the run. Per Pro Football Focus, Rashan Gary’s 10 sacks, and De’Vondre Campbell’s 82 run defense grade are good reasons why.
The pass coverage is also great, with the Packers having an 82 grade in that department, they are seventh in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.
But, with a hopeful breakout season by Darnell Savage, the pass coverage could get even better.
PFF analyst predicts breakout season for Savage
Last season was not Savage’s best. In fact, it was the worst season he has had as a pro. Yes, he only has three seasons under his belt, which is why last year shouldn’t be something to worry about. He also had to acclimate to Joe Barry’s defense, which gave him different responsibilities, in a sense.
In 2019, Savage’s rookie season, he finished with 48 tackles, two interceptions, 26 targets, and only allowed 16 receptions. His PFF grades were 67.1 overall, 49.7 run defense, 49.9 pass rush, and a 73.1 coverage grade.
2020 was his best year, as every single number went up. Savage finished with 65 tackles, four interceptions, 31 targets, and only allows 16 receptions. His grades were 75.3 overall, 65.8 run defense, 79.9 pass rush, and a 76.7 coverage grade.
While yes, last year was down significantly, there is reason to believe the next year will be better, for Savage and the Packers.
Here is what PFF’s Trevor Sikkema thought of Savage:
“He’s flashed quite a bit over the past three years, and 2022 feels like it could be his best year yet of consistently good play.”
This will be Savage’s second year in Joe Barry’s defensive system, which really helps set the foundation for a breakout year. When you switch coordinators it can often times hurt players, and I believe that’s what we saw with Savage last year. Another year in the system should help take care of the inconsistencies we saw last year.
If Savage can take that needed step forward, it could just be exactly what this Packers defense needs to become one of the league’s best.
You can read the PFF article here.
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