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Mike McCarthy backs Green Bay Packers' scheme on D

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy called Thursday's 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions "embarrassing" in all aspects.

While Aaron Rodgers is viewed as a the eventual savior for a struggling offense, there is no one offering similar salvation for the defense.

The Packers' run defense has clearly crumbled. In the last six games, Green Bay has allowed 1,037 yards on the ground, including a season high 241 on Thanksgiving. At one point Thursday, the Packers were outgained 563 to 56 in net offense.

McCarthy defended defensive coordinator Dom Capers after the loss.

"Scheme is not a crutch," McCarthy said, per "When you're in run defense, you play with leverage. You've got to get off the damn block and tackle the ball carrier. You can cut it any way you want, and we're not doing that right now. We haven't done that in a month."

The Packers lack playmakers on defense. This team never has had a shutdown unit -- even during its Super Bowl runs -- but in 2013 it hasn't created turnovers at the same clip as in the past.

Recent performances have left players grasping at straws.

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"That's the thing. I don't have any answers for you," linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "I wish I did, wish I could point to something -- one thing, at least."

The problems are multiple: can't stop the run, can't stop the pass. The solutions are few: They don't have lockdown secondary players or run-stuffing thumpers in the middle.

"That's obviously very difficult to comprehend and come to the realization," outside linebacker Clay Matthews said. "But the only place we can go from here is up. At least we're hoping so."

Without Aaron Rodgers under center, praying is another option. The Packers need No. 12 to return soon and allow Green Bay to play in shootouts, because the defense doesn't look poised to shut down any team this season.

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