Besides a ridiculously easy first drive of the game by the New England Patriots, the Green Bay defense looked relatively solid against the AFC juggernaut. The game was tied at 17 after three quarters but the Patriots ended up pulling away and winning, 31-17. Mike Daniels made the first impactful play on the defensive side of the ball for Green Bay by registering his first sack since Week 1. After this play, things were looking pretty good for the Packers. They were able to slow down the potent New England offense and give the offense chances to stay in the game. However, the injury bug hit the defense mid-game with players like, Kevin King, Kentrell Brice, and Blake Martinez going down. Another starter, Jermaine Whitehead, was ejected on a questionable call and all of these unfortunate events left the Packer defense short-handed.
With multiple injuries on the night, other players had to step up. Backup linebacker, Antonio Morrison, was able to fill the gaps and earn this week’s “Defensive Player of the Week.” He ended the game with 8 total tackles and 1 sack. This was the most amount of tackles he has had in a game since December 23rd, 2017. Also, he was one of the only players to provide pressure on New England quarterback, Tom Brady, and this is how he garnered his first career sack. The sack was his best play of the night. When Blake Martinez went to the locker room with an injury, on the very first play Morrison was in the game, he timed Brady’s snap perfectly and flew through a gap between the left tackle and left guard unblocked. He delivered a clean hit on the Hall of Fame quarterback and forced the Patriots to punt.
Last year with the Colts, Antonio Morrison had 108 total tackles and was traded during the off-season for defensive back, Lenzy Pipkins. This is looking like a good trade considering Pipkins has only played in 2 games this season and Morrison was the Week 9, “Defensive Player of the Week.” With a banged up defense, more players are going to have to step up like Morrison next week against the Miami Dolphins.
*Stats according to pro-football-reference.com and espn.com*
*Featured Image via Evan Siegle, packers.com*