Green Bay's D will take huge leap

The Packers' defense must improve against the pass this season. Nelson Chenault/US Presswire

After last season's debacle that saw the Green Bay Packers' defense tie for last in the league in yards per play allowed on its way to giving up the second-most yards in a season in NFL history (and the most passing yards ever), it's easy to forget just how dominant this defense was in 2010.

That season, Green Bay tied for sixth in yards per play allowed (5.1), fifth in overall yards allowed (4,945) and second in points allowed (240). That platoon gave up 17 points or less in nine of Green Bay's last 13 games and was therefore just as, or maybe even more, responsible as the offense for the team's eventual Super Bowl title run.

If the Packers could find a way to combine the overwhelming strength of their offense with a return to the shutdown defense the team displayed two seasons ago, they could truly be on the verge of establishing the next NFL dynasty.

That is bad news for the rest of the league, because there are at least five reasons to think the Green Bay defense is going to see a return to something close to its 2010 form this season.

An elite ability to force opposing quarterbacks to make mistakes

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers builds game plans predicated on getting opposing quarterbacks to commit errors, and his defense was better than any other in the NFL at doing that last season.