Hmmm Interesting. I'm bored so lets debate.
The Packers D was strong last year because overall they were solid in every defensive category. However there are some interesting things I noticed.
Packers 14th in Run Defense last year. Not great, you could be run on, but not terrible 424 attempts. Teams weren't afraid to run on you but passed a little more on you,especially early in the year when Bigby finally settled down.
Vikings 1st in Run Defense. Nobody could run on them. They were dominant. 379 attempts. I see teams refusing to run against them because they were so dominant as opposed to teams passing on them because the pass defense was so weak. The run defense is that strong in Minni.
Packers 11th in Pass Defense last year. Struggled early but got better as the season went on. However, one injury to Woodson or Harris and I think this secondary as any secondary would be is in trouble. Packers have been incredibly healthy beyond belief on defense the last 2 years aside from a few knicks of Woodson and KGB.
Vikings 32nd. One could argue the running game is so dominant that teams only pass on the Vikes. 646 pass attempts on Minnesota. 534 pass attempts on Green Bay. 100 more passes and your secondary is bound to give up that many yards.
Its pretty much 53 yds/game more for Minnesota from 11th ranking to 32nd ranking. However, there were 6.25/pass attempts more per game on Minnesota because of the run dominance by the Vikings. If the QB only completes 3 out of 6.25 passes, which is about 50% the NFL average, then 3 completions would probably equate to that 50 yard difference. Conversely, there was a 28/ yard per game advantage for the Vikings. There were 45 more attempts rushing on GB last year than on Minnesota. At 4.0 yards per carry that is 180 yards more on the Packers. That would reduce the Packers ranking by only 11 yards/game not 28 yards/game.
Another interesting fact. Detroit(37 sacks), Chicago(41) and Minnesota(38) last year(bad pass rush?) had more sacks defensively than the Packers(36). Obviously this doesn't account for pressures(which Detroit didn't have many especially in the second half of the season) but its an interesting stat none the less because sacks are the biggest game changers.
Turnovers, Pack had 19 ints and 13 FF. 32 total. Vikes had 15 ints and 22 FF. 37 total. Detroit had 17 ints and 25 FF. 42 total. Chicago had 24 FF and 16 ints. 40 total. Again the Pack were last in the division in turnovers forced. Obviously, offensive turnovers were the biggest difference as the Packers didn't have as many last year with Favre.
So statistically aside from pass defense with 100 more pass attempts on the Vikings, the Vikings win out defensively in every category.
Points per game is where the Pack defense clinches it last year. Having a high power offense that can take off clock helps and not putting your D in bad situations also helps(which the Vikings O didn't do).
18.2 pts/game for Pack compared to 19.4 pts/g for the Vikings. Not too shaby considering the Vikings inept offense and turnovers by Jackson.
The Pack are good in every category but not dominant. We'll see on that top 5 defense for the Pack in 2008. Plus Harrell has to match this.