The only way for the Green Bay Packers to go from here is up. That starts this week against the Detroit Lions.
So, that happened. Week 1 was well below everyones expectations. Now it’s time to turn the page and respond in a big way. It just has to happen. I also don’t think there’s a better week to bounce back for the Green Bay Packers and showcase what both sides of the ball are capable of.
Monday Night Football, at Lambeau Field, against a Lions team that is easily less talented than the Green Bay Packers. Not much went right (if anything at all) on Sunday, and they can right some of those wrongs in less than a week. They will be out of the Jacksonville heat, and Detroit’s defense is already banged up.
The #Lions are searching for CB help after losing Jeff Okudah for the season to an Achilles injury. They've spoken to CB Quinton Dunbar, according to sources. They'd actually talked to him about returning before Okudah's injury. Dunbar has a few options he's sorting through.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 14, 2021
The Green Bay Packers offense should have more than enough opportunities to look more like they did in 2020. But they can’t just make Aaron throw the ball 35+ times. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon HAVE to get involved early. It’s understandable why at times the ball was not being kept on the ground on Sunday, but we all know the team is much more successful when the run game is there.
Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers talked about the lack of a run game with the Saints in so much two-high.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for 28 yards on 9 carries but Dillon averaged almost 5 YPC.
He’s not as explosive as AJ but he’s a walking 4+ yard gain
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) September 14, 2021
In the passing game, we saw a side of Aaron Rodgers that was not seen at all last season. Forcing balls down the field, making the wrong decision, and holding onto the ball too long. He had players open underneath often, but was still trying to gamble for the bigger play. Some of the plays are there, and Aaron has to settle for those sometimes going forward.
I’m not sure what got into Aaron Rodgers that made him want to play hero ball on literally the first drive of the season…
3 plays. All easy dump offs. All throws he made all last season. Why’s he holding onto the ball? pic.twitter.com/TuL4OfblSZ
— Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher) September 14, 2021
Like Daire says here, these are throws he made in 2020. I am not worried that he will make the same mistakes come Monday night. The Lions defense looks to be just as bad as last season. They gave up 31 points in the first half alone to the 49ers. This is a prime opportunity for the Green Bay Packers offense to get some confidence back and look similar to what they were capable of last season.
Not only has the #Lions defense given up three touchdowns in the past three drives, but in that time, they've only forced ONE third down.
Just utter dominance from the 49ers offense right now.
— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) September 12, 2021
The offensive line (outside of Elgton Jenkins) is yet another group that has to step it up in Week 2. Lucas Patrick struggled often, and the rookies had their share of issues as well. While that is expected, if this team wants to continuously win football games and score points, they have to improve.
The Lions defensive line had no sacks against San Francisco and had no response to their rushing attack that produced 131 yards, with 104 of that coming from rookie Elija Mitchell. The Green Bay Packers front needs to establish running lanes for this offense to run on all four cylinders.
Josh Myers has the highest pass-blocking grade of any rookie OL per @pff, and the highest overall grade of any Rookie IOL.
Pass pro matches the eyeball test. He was good.
Overall grade? Idk – I thought he struggled in the run game.
All in all: he is a keeper
— Jake Morley (@JacobMorley) September 13, 2021
Aaron Rodgers said he thought the offensive line played well Sunday against a New Orleans front that can (and definitely did) cause problems for opposing quarterbacks. It seems the line will likely be just fine when Rodgers is dropping back, but need to pick things up to allow the backs to get going on the ground for the Green Bay Packers.
Now, about that Green Bay Packers defense. Giving up 38 points to anyone is never good. The defensive front struggled to get pressure on Jameis Winston. When they did, apparently it is a penalty. They were unable to generate a single sack on Jameis Winston, and that has to change. They had all of their weapons available and did not get the job done.
Jaire Alexander calls the defense a bunch of dogs, but they definitely did not play like it Sunday. The Green Bay Packers need to improve in every facet. Pass rush, run stop, and pass coverage.
Jaire Alexander on #Packers defense: "If you're a dog, you're going to be a dog. If you're a kitten, you're a kitten. I don't think anybody on our defense is a kitten."
Alexander is reminded some people actually like cats.
"I like cats too, but not on gamedays."
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) September 10, 2021
One player that looked promising in his very limited snaps was first round rookie Eric Stokes. In the only play he was targeted by Winston, Stokes was able to break up a pass intended for Adam Trautman. He showed off his explosiveness and speed in the play. Unfortunately, he played just a fraction of the snaps in comparison to Kevin King.
That single pass breakup was more than what Kevin King did all day for the Green Bay Packers defense. Matt LaFleur and Joe Barry have to give Stokes more opportunities. They sat him during preseason, and now he isn’t being utilized and getting quality game reps or experience. Kevin King right now is hurting the defense, so it’s time to start giving him the hint that Stokes can take CB2 from him if he continues down this path for the Green Bay Packers.
Eric Stokes is probably going to be a determining factor for the Packers in 2021. Kevin King is who he is. Nothing about Sunday's performance was surprising or uncharacteristic. Stokes is the great unknown.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) September 14, 2021
That opportunity needs to happen Week 2. We all want, and need, to see Eric Stokes playing football and not sitting on the sideline. As of right now, he cannot be any worse than how Kevin King played this past Sunday. You made the pick in round one, so let’s see what he can bring to the table. The Detroit Lions are a great team to get Stokes more involved in this defense.
It is just one week of football, but when it’s Week 1 it is deflating to say the least. Now it’s time to move on. It’s now Week 2 and the Green Bay Packers have a prime opportunity to get to .500 and gain back some confidence and momentum. They are going to need these divisional games with how difficult their schedule looks to be in 2021.
A Monday night at Lambeau for their home opener is a great time to get the wins coming. The fans will be loud and it’ll be a nice fall night. Oh, and a lot of the Game On Wisconsin crew will be there, too. The Green Bay Packers will figure this out, and it starts with Week 2.