The Packers defense ranked second in the league in points allowed in 2010 and second in yardage allowed in 2009.
Since 2012, however, the Packers have only had six total defenders earn Pro Bowl nods. At no area has their defensive decline been more apparent than in the secondary. Injuries and aging phased out a once-intimidating unit, forcing the team to look for help in the draft. Instead of breeding a new generation of ball hawks, Green Bay has gotten limited returns from draftees like Quinten Rollins, Damarious Randall, and Demetri Goodson. The biggest free agent defensive back it signed from 2012 to 2016 was Jarrett Bush.
Further compounding the problem has been the team’s inability to retain valuable contributors. Casey Hayward struggled with injuries toward the end of his tenure with Green Bay and was allowed to walk in free agency in 2016. He earned his first All-Pro selection last season with the Chargers after leading the league with seven interceptions. The loss of other free agents like Davon House (who returned to Green Bay this offseason after two years with the Jaguars) and Tramon Williams didn’t have as big an impact but still cost the Packers valuable contributors in a season they were desperately needed.
That limited output has shown up in the box score. The Packers defense ranked second in the league in points allowed in 2010 and second in yardage allowed in 2009. Since 2011, they haven’t ranked higher than 11th in either category. Last fall, those ranks dropped to 21st and 22nd, respectively, and they managed just four interceptions all year.