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Peak Performances of 2015: Defense

Posted Feb 9, 2016

Vote for your favorite from the top five

GREEN BAY – As a new way to review the recently completed season, Packers.com has compiled a select list of “Peak Performances” in various categories.

Here are the top five on defense, recapped in chronological order. Be sure to watch the video highlights package, and vote for your favorite in the poll at the bottom of the page.

(Last week’s winner on offense was Jeff Janis in the divisional playoff at Arizona.)

Quinten Rollins vs. St. Louis, Week 5

On a day the Packers picked off four of Nick Foles’ passes, the rookie second-round pick was the star. He got his first NFL interception late in the first quarter, returning it 45 yards for a touchdown to give the Packers a 14-0 lead. He got his second in the final minute of the game near the goal line as the Packers were protecting a two-touchdown lead.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix vs. Detroit, Week 10

The second-year safety’s huge effort came in defeat, but it was a performance worth remembering. Clinton-Dix recorded 12 tackles, including 11 solo, season-best numbers in both categories for any Green Bay defensive back in 2015. He also beautifully undercut a seam route by Lions receiver Lance Moore in the red zone and made a diving interception, which kept the Packers in the game and gave them a chance to rally in the fourth quarter.

Defensive front at Minnesota, Week 11

There were too many standouts here to single out any individuals, as the Packers held the eventual NFL rushing champ, Adrian Peterson, to just 45 yards on 13 carries. The group also combined for six sacks of Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater in Green Bay’s biggest road victory of the regular season.

Julius Peppers at Oakland, Week 15

Defensively, this game will be better remembered for two early interceptions that helped stake the Packers to a 14-0 lead. But it was Peppers’ play the rest of the way that helped protect that advantage. The ageless wonder had 2½ of the defense’s three sacks, and in the process moved into the top 10 on the league’s all-time sack list. Peppers went on to finish the regular season with a team-best 10½ sacks, and he added one more in the playoffs.

Clay Matthews, Mike Neal and Nick Perry at Washington, NFC wild-card playoff

The pass rush came fast and furious at Redskins QB Kirk Cousins, as three Packers recorded multi-sack efforts. Matthews had 1½ to extend his all-time franchise playoff record, while Neal and Perry had two sacks apiece. One of Neal’s produced a fumble that Neal himself recovered, and Perry beat highly regarded left tackle Trent Williams on both of his takedowns.


 
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