The Green Bay Packers are coming off a statement win on Thanksgiving Day against the Detroit Lions. After looking back at the film, here are five takeaways from this past game.
The Offense Stacked
The Packers have seen their offense take a leap over the past few games. It continued this week with the Packers putting up twenty-nine points.
Even though one of those touchdowns was on defense, the scheme has improved quite a bit recently, and more playmakers are being put in positions to make plays. The playcalling using speed to their advantage has also been much better, and they’re seeing the results with going over the middle, especially with play-action calls.
Without Aaron Jones and Luke Musgrave, the passing game especially hummed right along. Christian Watson led the team in receiving with ninety-four yards, including a fifty-three-yard reception on the first play of the game and a touchdown later on.
Watson wasn’t the only one in the young receiver room to have a good game, though, as Malik Heath had forty-six yards (his career high), as well as Jayden Reed, who tacked on another touchdown to his impressive rookie year, Romeo Doubs continued to be solid with thirty-seven yards on three receptions, and Tucker Kraft went on to catch his first touchdown from rookie year. The scheme has improved, and this offense is rolling right now.
The Defense Forced Turnovers All Day
The same Packers’ defense that got torched in the run game against Detroit last time they matched up stood up this time. David Montgomery, who had over one hundred yards on the day and three touchdowns in the first matchup, was limited to seventy-one yards as the Lions’ offense fell flat.
While the yardage in the box score won’t show how good the Packers’ defense was, the fumbles tell the story. Jared Goff was under pressure all day behind an offensive line that came into this game as a top-five unit. Goff, who would throw for three hundred thirty-two yards on the day, also went on to fumble three times due to the pressure of the Packers, and he wasn’t able to recover any of the three. That, along with the Lions going zero for five on fourth down and seeing one of their fumbles returned for a touchdown by Jonathan Owens, capped off a great day for the Packers’ defense.
Jordan Love… Yes Again
This was one of my big takeaways from last week’s game as well, but I couldn’t leave Love off of his own takeaway again this week after the game he played. He would throw for another nearly three hundred yards again, as well as three more touchdowns and no interceptions. The receivers and Love seem to have found a groove together, and the offense is running relatively smoothly compared to a few weeks prior. Love was able to stack multiple excellent performances on top of each other and now has the Packers back in the playoff picture. He will look to continue to boost the offense forward this upcoming week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Defensive Line Won The Trenches
Against a top-five offensive line in the league, the Packers’ defensive line would go on to have quite a day. It all starts up front, and the defensive front did their thing. While the unit was highlighted by a three-sack day from Rashan Gary, various people stepped up in a big way. Rookies Lukas Van Ness and Karl Brooks were among the defensive linemen with a good day, with Van Ness totaling three tackles, including a tackle for loss, while Brooks recorded two tackles of his own. Multiple pressures included with the tackles would result in Brooks being the highest-graded defensive lineman across the league this past week with a 91.0 grade by PFF.
The Offensive Line Held Up
While the offense has been humming, the offensive line has been a big part of that as well. After getting shredded by Detroit in the trenches in the first meeting, the Packers took back control this time around. After multiple impressive performances, when the dust settled, the Packers had given up zero sacks. That was one of the many keys to the game, as they had given up five sacks in the previous matchup. If the offensive line can continue to keep Love as clean as this past week, the offense will look to maintain momentum.