Packers

Packers vs Lions Recap

3 Surprises and 3 Disappointments

The Green Bay Packers faced off against the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football as they looked to secure their first win of the season, and boy did Packer fans get some pleasant surprises.

Following an extremely disappointing performance last week against New Orleans, the Packers looked to improve on both sides of the ball against Detroit. Especially since Detroit is still rebuilding and missing key defensive players.

Following a 35-17 win, here are three surprises and three disappointments from tonight’s game.

Surprises

1.) Aaron Rodgers Looks Like Himself Again

After an embarrassing Week One performance that included multiple interceptions, Rodgers began to redeem himself in the first half against Detroit. Following two short touchdown passes to RB Aaron Jones, Rodgers found Tonyan for a spectacular TD early in the third quarter. It was one of his iconic passes that had such a small window for completion, and Rodgers made it happen. For Packers fans, these types of throws are really encouraging for an offense that couldn’t muster up more than three points against the Saints.

2.) Aaron Jones Living Up to His New Contract

Back in March, the Packers signed Jones to a 4-year, $48 million deal. This was a big move for the Packers since they’re notorious for letting their high-value free agents walk. Jones had already established himself as a top 10 running back in NFL following the 2020 season, but after a game like tonight, he has established himself as a top five RB. Jones is the first Packers RB to have three touchdown catches since Andy Uram did in 1942. In addition to those receiving TDs, Jones scored a rushing touchdown to cap off a four TD night. If he keeps playing like this, we might look back at this contract and think we underpaid him.

3.) Eric Stokes

Just like Rodgers, the Packers defense had an embarrassing showing last weekend. The Packers knew going into this week that there would be some struggles at first. They were without Za’Darius Smith and are still establishing a system under Joe Barry. Despite the question marks, rookie cornerback Eric Stokes made some outstanding plays and showed why Kevin King better work his tail off to keep that CB2 spot. Stokes rarely blew coverages and showed flashes of a young Jaire Alexander. I know Packers fans were loving it every time Stokes stayed on his man and denied them of catches.

Disappointments

1.) Kevin King

Just as Packer fans expected, Kevin King was the biggest hole on the Packers defense once again. He opened the game with a blown coverage and missed a few tackles throughout the rest of the night. While he did show that he knows how to play the cornerback position when breaking up a pass to the endzone to Lions WR Quintez Cephus, he still got outplayed by rookie Eric Stokes all night. Lions RB D’Andre Swift added insult to injury by hurdling King late in the fourth quarter on what should’ve been a tackle for a short gain.

2.) Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Throughout the game, MVS was targeted four times by Rodgers. Unfortunately, he didn’t bring any of those targets in for a catch. What made it even more disappointing is that MVS is known for his speed and ability to break plays open and catch those deep throws from Rodgers. Although the Packers were able to make big plays on offense without MVS, he has to step up and bring in some of those big throws. He and Rodgers need to find a way to re-establish that chemistry that made them so dangerous on deep throws last season.

3.) Pass Rush

The Packers ended the night with a whopping sack total of one. Throughout the entire game, the pass rush had multiple opportunities to get to Goff and dismantle the Lions’ offensive scheme. In a really disappointing fashion, the defense was unable to sustain any pressure against Goff until garbage time late in the fourth quarter. If there isn’t any significant progress next week against San Francisco, there are some real concerns for this Packers defense.

Wrap Up

The Packers travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers next Sunday at 7:20 pm CT. Stay on the lookout for next week’s game preview here on Wisconsin Sports Heroics!

Follow me on Twitter at @BJarumbo and follow @WiSportsHeroics as well! To keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin Sports click here!

BrandonJarumbo

Brandon is a Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Elementary Education. As an avid sports fan, in his free time, Brandon enjoys writing about all things Wisconsin Sports. Brandon joined the Wisconsin Sports Heroics team in September 2021.

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