It was Throwback Week for the Green Bay Packers as they squared off against the Buffalo Bills at Lambeau Field last Sunday. It was a throwback in more ways than just the uniforms they wore. It was a throwback to the dominant defenses of the past. The Packers shutdown and shutout the Bills, 22-0. Yes, you read that right. The Packers defense pitched a shutout, their first since October 31, 2010 versus the Jets.
The Packers defense flat out confused Bills rookie quarterback, Josh Allen. Allen was 16-of-33 for 151 yards with two picks and zero touchdowns. The Packers defense took advantage of the rookie’s inexperience in just his third start. The Packers were also able to overwhelm the offensive line of the Bills and drop Allen for seven sacks.
The Packers defense just didn’t allow the Bills offense to get going. Tight Charles Clay lead the Bills in receiving with just four catches for 40 yards. The DBs for Green Bay stuck to Kelvin Benjamin’s hip all day allowing him just one reception for 34 yards. The domination wasn’t limited to just the passing game. The running back duo of LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory were made non-factors. (11 carries for 39 yards. Paltry.)
Some will poo-poo this defensive shutout by pointing out the level of competition faced this week. They would be wrong. This is the NFL, I don’t care who you’re facing, a shutout is impressive. Let’s go with the the theory of poo-pooing on this shutout, though. Going back to second half of last week’s game versus the Redskins, the Packers defense has only allowed six points the last six quarters of football. SIX! (That’s going up against a good veteran quarterback in Alex Smith and future HOF running back who was hot in Adrian Peterson.) When your defense has only allowed six points over the last six quarters of football, that’s saying something.
The Packers and their (now) sixth ranked defense (up from 23rd the week prior) will face a stiffer test in Matthew Stafford and much more potent Detroit Lions offense this Sunday. I don’t believe it will be another shutout, but I believe this defense will take another positive step forward. The offense on the other hand? Well, that’s a different story for a different day.