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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
BBAO: On Nick Collins and Cullen Jenkins

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Green Bay Packers' defense isn't identical to the one that collapsed in the playoffs two years ago, but there are some similarities. That's the upshot of Pete Dougherty's measured analysis of the situation in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

A key line: "The 8-0 Packers are different now than in '09 -- their offense is better, and their defense, though giving up more yards than in '09, is making at least a couple of big plays a game. But there's the similar sense that a team with a good quarterback has a good chance to put up a boatload of points, and though it hasn't happened yet, get a score with the game on the line."

The loss of safety Nick Collins and the free-agent departure Cullen Jenkins have impacted the Packers even more than expected, Dougherty notes. The Packers rank No. 22 in sacks this season, and Dougherty suggests that quarterbacks are stepping up easier to avoid linebacker Clay Matthews' outside rush without Jenkins pushing the pocket from the inside.

Continuing around the NFC North: