The Packers defeated the Lions on Monday Night behind a second half shutout from Joe Barry’s defense. The Packers had two takeaways in the second half as they went on to route Jared Goff and the Lions 35-17. However, one item that stood out was how soft the Packers defense looked against a, for the most part, weak Detroit offense. The Packers allowed the Lions to get off to a hot start as they went into the half with a lead. Matt LaFleur called for a change in the second half that hopefully becomes a norm moving forward.
The Packers are without Za’Darius Smith for at least three weeks as he has been put on the injured reserve. Obviously, losing the best pass rusher on the team will have a negative effect on the pass rush, but not to the level the Packers experienced in the first half.
Preston Smith and Rashan Gary started the game at edge rusher. Preston Smith and Rashan Gary were both productive in creating pressures, but, like the rest of the defense, struggled in the first half. In the first half Joe Barry consistently rushed four players and was hoping his coverage could hold up. However, the pass rush was so innefective that coverage was breaking down continuously.
In the second half Matt LaFleur told Barry to either send some pressure towards Goff or drop more into coverage. Barry chose to bring the heat. In the second half Goff was consistently pressured. The pocket was collapsing much quicker, and as a result coverage was better. The Packers pass rush in the second half forced Goff to fumble for a loss and throw a pass straight to De’vondre Campbell.
A relitively quiet day from the superstars of this group. Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, and Jaire Alexander had quiet nights and were barely targeted. However, the Lions did there best to test Kevin King. King gave up a big play to former Badger Quintez Cephus to start the game. King was also out of place later the same drive when Cephus was able to score. The Packers quickly made a change. King only missed one snap, but was not seen playing outside as much. Rookie firts round pick Eric Stokes played outside, and played great. Stokes played great coverage all night man to man and came up with a big stop on fourth and one in the fourth quarter.
Similar to the rest of the defense, this unit also struggles early. However, the second half was a different story. Obviously, the game script helped with this as the Lions were forced to pass more when they fell behind. However, coming out in the second half the Lions were unable to really find any success on the ground.
The Packers play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football this week. The 49ers offense is far better than the Jared Goff led Lions. Kyle Shanahan will have his way with the Packers defense if they come out and play like they did in the first half against the Lions. Joe Barry can slow down Garoppolo by bringing constant pressure like he did in the second half on Monday Night.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @Aaliyan525 and follow us @WiscoHeroics1 for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here. Check out our shop for new merchandise. Use promo code WISCO at checkout for $1 off! To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here.