GREEN BAY – Occasionally a good defensive play is the result of a singular individual effort, but more often than not, there's a teammate (or two) playing a part as well.
Many important moments in the Packers' 35-17 win over the Lions on Monday showed multiple defenders working in concert to get the job done, and one of those defenders quite often was new inside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell.
Here's a sampling.
Play No. 1: Third-and-9 from the Green Bay 49, second quarter, 14:16 left
Result: Intentional grounding penalty
The stat sheet shows LB Preston Smith (91) getting the pressure that forces Lions QB Jared Goff into the intentional grounding, and appropriately so. Smith makes a great inside move on RT Matt Nelson (67) to a full charge at Goff. But don't discount the coverage on go-to target TE T.J. Hockenson (88) over the middle. Campbell (59) is up on the line like he's going to rush, and he drops back to pick up Hockenson on the front side, while CB Chandon Sullivan (39) is bracketing him from the back. Goff's eyes indicate he wants to get the ball to Hockenson here, but this play has no chance.
Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 25, second quarter, :24 left
Result: 1-yard completion to RB Jamaal Williams
This play helps Green Bay hold Detroit to a field goal on the final drive of the first half. As the former Packer Williams (30) switches sides in the backfield, S Adrian Amos (30) charges up as though he's keying on Williams. Only he's blitzing instead, and it's Campbell trailing behind to make a strong, fast break on Williams in the flat. The pressure by Amos as a free runner forces Goff to throw quickly before any downfield routes can develop, and Campbell's quick reaction and speed get him there to make the play.
Play No. 3: Third-and-8 from the Green Bay 32, third quarter, 6:42 left
Result: 7-yard completion to WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
This is the play right before what turned out to be the defensive play of the game, the fourth-and-1 stop, and it's another creative pressure look to force Goff to take the short throw. This time it's CB Kevin King (20) coming from the slot as the fifth rusher, with Campbell again dropping into coverage, and he's right there to get St. Brown (14) short of the sticks. The Lions eschew the field goal, turn the ball over on downs, and never score again.
Play No. 4: First-and-15 from the Detroit 28, fourth quarter, 10:29 left
Result: 5-yard completion to Williams
Campbell can blitz on occasion, too, and when he does here, he occupies RT Nelson, giving LB Chauncey Rivers (47) a free run at Goff. Once again, the pressure gives Goff no choice but to take the short, safe throw. LB Krys Barnes (51) and CB Jaire Alexander (23) are in position to keep the Lions behind the chains.
Play No. 5: First-and-10 from the Detroit 45, fourth quarter, 3:43 left
Result: Interception by Campbell
Here's the ultimate display of team defense, with a lot going on. It starts with the pressure off the edges by Rivers and LB Jonathan Garvin (53), collapsing the pocket and forcing Goff to flee. Then, after the pause in the video, watch how CB Eric Stokes (21) quickly recovers after falling in coverage against WR Quintez Cephus (87) to get right back on his man. Also, Sullivan takes away the safety valve in the flat, RB D'Andre Swift (32). All the while, Campbell is following Goff's eyes and mirroring him as he shuffles to his right, and when Goff's only option is to try to hit WR Trinity Benson (17) on the run, Campbell snags the pick.