GREEN BAY – Dom Capers was delighted by the way his defense performed against the Lions’ running game. The level of competition, however, will increase dramatically this Sunday.
The Lions, last in the league in rushing, gained a scant 45 yards on 26 carries. In Minnesota this Sunday, the Packers will face the league’s No. 1 rushing team, the Vikings, who are led by the league’s leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, who’s gained a not-so-scant 961 yards.
“We know the challenge we have this weekend with Adrian Peterson. That’s what our focus is. We started looking at Minnesota today,” the Packers defensive coordinator said.
How will Capers drive home the stop-Peterson message this week?
“You start the day by putting on the tape. Anybody that’s watched football understands you better have your chinstrap buttoned up. We’ve played against Adrian Peterson enough to know what he’s capable of doing,” Capers added.
After three consecutive rough outings, Capers’ defense played its best football on Sunday in more than a month. It allowed 287 yards and forced seven punts. It kept the Packers in the game on a day when the Packers offense suffered five three-and-outs and nine punts.
“Our guys fought hard all day. We ended up with one big play. When you’re playing against Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, you’re always concerned about them making big plays,” Capers said. “I thought we had good pressure, even though it didn’t show up in our statistics.”
For the third consecutive game, the Packers did not record a sack.
“If you’re not getting quarterback hits and pressures, you’re concerned. I thought we were close yesterday. I felt better about that yesterday than I had the two weeks prior. We were able to get off the field on third down. I feel the sacks will come. I don’t feel we’re that far away. At the end of the season, we’ll have our share of sacks,” Capers said.
His only disappointment was with the 80-yard touchdown drive the Packers allowed late in the fourth quarter, after the offense had cut the deficit to 12-10.
“The thing we’ve got to improve, at crunch time on that third-and-nine, we had Stafford bottled up and he came out of there and made a big play,” Capers said. “I thought we made a positive step until that last series.”
Capers is the Packers’ most veteran coach, a two-time head coach, and he was asked about the task Head Coach Mike McCarthy faces in what has become a three-game losing streak.
“We believe in what we’re doing. In this league, you’re going to hit some bumps in the road. If you believe in what you’re doing, you just have to go back to work and do it better. These games come down to one, two, three plays. It takes a lot of discipline. You just have to put your blinders on and go back to work. We started that process today,” Capers said.
Click here for all Packers-Lions coverage