“We have to get back to work”. Let’s hope the Green Bay Packers took the words of their head coach seriously this week.
The Lions are never an easy out. ESPN gives the Green Bay Packers a 67% chance to win their home opener Monday night. That’s probably the lowest odds they’ve seen hosting the Lions in quite awhile but it’s fair following last Sunday’s debacle.
But they can’t get that win by simply ‘wanting it’. They have to actually show up. Speaking of showing up – head over to Green Bay Distillery Sunday night and enjoy a fantastic party with your favorite Game On Wisconsin personalities.
Now that we’re past the shameless plug, let’s talk about the game. It’s in Lambeau Field and its the first home game in front of fans in almost two years. The Packers need a victory.
The Green Bay Packers will need to execute on these three key matchups to get their first win of the season.
Billy Turner vs Trey Flowers/Romeo Okwara
I’d like to preface this by stating that Billy Turner was not ‘the problem’ along the offensive line last week.
#Packers o-line PFF grades and rankings:
LT Elgton Jenkins, 89.6 (2nd*)
LG Lucas Patrick, 73.9 (8th*)
C Josh Myers, 71.9 (5th)
RG Royce Newman, 55.4 (44th*)
RT Billy Turner, 69.1 (20th*)
*rankings include both left/right tackles and left/right guards*
— Joe Kipp (@joepkipp) September 14, 2021
We can’t point to any one man along the line but we can say with absolute certainty that they need to perform better going forward. Turner has a history of success with the Green Bay Packers, with most of his reps at right guard. Though he’s been only serviceable at right tackle, and that will be his home for the 2021 season.
It’s at right tackle where Turner has allowed most of his pressures with the Packers – go figure. He’ll get the best of both worlds Monday Night against Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara. The two present drastically different pass-rush styles and Turner will see plenty of both.
Flowers is the compact, powerful technician, while Okwara is the long, athletic edge bender. Turner has a history of struggling against both types of pass-rushers. If he can get his hands on Okwara and keep his hands on Flowers, it will go a long way toward keeping Rodgers upright.
Aaron Rodgers vs Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers looked beaten down and worn out after Sunday’s loss. But more than anything, he looked like he was… in shock… during the post-game interview. The memes do it justice.
We don’t need to relive the entire on-field experience but Rodgers and Co. were incapable of accomplishing much of anything at all.
Rodgers likely went into last week’s matchup expecting to justify his offseason actions. He did the opposite and lost credibility – for now. The fanbase isn’t throwing out the tape anytime soon and neither is the rest of the NFL.
Rodgers CAN use last week’s gaffe as a stepstool to a fantastic season. However, he’ll need to show growth and a changed demeanor. Maybe this offense just needs a spark. Maybe Rodgers needs even longer hair.
I don’t know what the Green Bay Packers need but I know I’d like to see a QB1 that acts like he gives a … (insert your favorite expletive)!
Tackling after the catch
This was one area where the Green Bay Packers actually performed well last week. The unit missed 0 tackles after the catch and just 2 overall against the Saints – 6 less than the Packers’ per-game total last year and 6 less than they missed against the Saints in their 2020 matchup.
The unit did a great job finding the football, making tackles in space, and gang-tackling between the tackles. They’ll have to prove that last week was not a one-game outlier, rather a trend started by DC Joe Barry that we can trust going forward.
The Packers will be given a difficult task against a group of offensive weapons for the Lions that looked very slippery against the 49ers last Sunday. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams combined for 8 missed tackles on the day – 7 of which were after the catch.
D'Andre Swift takes the screen to a house for 42-yards.pic.twitter.com/iD3TLsQruj
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 12, 2021
Those missed tackles led to some big chunk plays for the Lions as they attempted their comeback. Expect the Lions to lean on their short game Monday Night in Lambeau Field.