Green Bay Packers: Three Keys To Victory In Week Two

Sep 20, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers season opener was nothing short of a disappointment, but the beauty of a 17 game season is that they have ample opportunities to get back on track. A date against Jared Goff and the Lions in Lambeau Field should be just what the doctor ordered to help the Pack find their footing in the young season.

The Packers have dominated their matchups against the Lions in years prior, especially under Head Coach Matt LaFleur. Since 2019, when LaFleur took command in Titletown, his team’s are 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 8 points against Detroit.

This year’s Lions team looks drastically different than in years prior. The staple of Matthew Stafford has been replaced by Jared Goff, and firey new head coach Dan Cambell is trying to shift the culture in the Motor City. So have no doubt, this game will be a challenge for the Pack.

The Green Bay Packers have to play much better than they showed in week 1 to avoid an 0-2 start; let’s look at three keys to coming out victorious on Monday night.

Get In a Rhythm on Offense
The Aaron Rodgers-led Packer offense looked plain out pathetic against the Saints in their season-opening loss, but there is no time to dwell on the past in the NFL. In week 2, it is imperative that the Green and Gold find their groove on the offensive side of the ball. The key to this very well may lie in the hands of running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.

The Green Bay Packers’ running back duo was limited to 9 total carries and 28 rushing yards in the season opener. Some of this can be attributed to trailing for the entirety of the game, but abandoning the run game cannot become a trend in the young season.

When watching the Packers’ offense work, it is very evident just how important the run game is for them. Not only does it keep the chains moving, but establishing the run opens up the passing game up for Aaron Rodgers. Look at the 2020 season; for instance, the Packers averaged a league-high 31.8 points per game, had an MVP quarterback, and still rushed for the 8th most yards per game with 132.4. Running the football is the key for another year of offensive dominance in Green Bay.

Running the ball is a good first step for getting in a rhythm, but the Packers need Rodgers and his receivers to get on the same page as well.  With some reps under their belt after week 1, there are no excuses for this unit not to dominate opposing secondaries.

Pressure the quarterback

The Green Bay pass rush, along with the defense as a whole, struggled mightily against Jameis Winston and the Saints. After having zero sacks, and struggling to really deter Winston at all, Joe Barry’s edge rushers get another opportunity against Detroit this week.

With  Za’Darius Smith headed to the IR, more pressure will be applied to Preston Smith and Rashan Gary to dominate their matchups. Similar to the run game’s effect on the offense, a persistent pass rush makes the game much easier for the rest of the defense. Not allowing Jared Goff to feel comfortable in the pocket and rushing him into throws will generate turnovers and crucial stops for the Packer defense.

First-year defensive coordinator Joe Barry promised their performance would be better going forward, and there is no better way to do that than by sacking the quarterback. Look for Barry to dial up some blitzes early and often to keep Goff and the Lions out of their comfort zone.

Win the turnover battle

Turnovers in the NFL can make or break a team. Luckily for the Green Bay Packers, they have Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback, a guy who has a career touchdown to interception ratio of 4.53. However, you would not have guessed that based on his play in their season opener.

The quickest way to shoot yourself in the foot and give your opponent the momentum is to turn the ball over. In the modern NFL, if you win the turnover battle, your chance of victory grows exponentially.

The Packers got behind in the turnover department in their matchup with the Saints, and it ended all their hopes of mounting a comeback. In a contest against the Lions, where the Packers are the more talented team, the Lions can really only stick around if they force the Green Bay offense into turnovers.