After a quiet offseason in the NFL, The Green Bay Bay Packers kicked off their season against their division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. Aaron Rodgers quickly quieted the successor talk for now, with a dominant week one performance against the vulnerable Vikings secondary. Rodgers finished with over 300 yards and four touchdowns. He was the highest rated player in week one by Pro Football Focus. Davante Adams was Rodgers’ favorite target, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard came up with big plays that helped the Packers be as dominant as they were. Week two brings the Detroit Lions in for the Packers home opener. Who can be x-factors that will help the Packers to victory?
Valdes-Scantling made a big impact in week one with over 90 yards and a touchdown, but also made two costly drops. His stat line could have looked even better. Against the Lions, he could have the same production with the attention, once again, on Adams. Valdes-Scantling will constantly be overlooked by defenses this year with Adams and Lazard opposite him, and he could make defenses pay for it. He showed it against the Vikings the deep threat he could be and help this offense become that much more explosive.
The Lions do not have the same secondary as they did last year. Losing Slay and Coleman hurts the Lions depth. Valdes-Scantling and the other receivers opposite Adams will have ample opportunities to make big plays throughout the game. The question is whether Valdes-Scantling will be able to hold on to the ball when he gets his chance.
Head Coach Matt Lafleur recently announced that Kenny Clark will miss the game against the Lions. The mentality “next man up” comes into fruition. Clark anchors the line and the entire defense. That mantle will fall on Lowry against the Lions. No one expects Lowry to produce like Clark, he will have to step up and play a big role along the line and help stop a potent Lions rushing attack headed by long-time veteran Adrian Peterson. Peterson joined the Lions prior to week one and had an effective game against the Chicago Bears. Third year back, Kerryon Johnson and rookie D’Andre Swift join Pederson in the backfield. The tandem offer the Lions a constant threat in the backfield. Lowry will need step up and play a key role on the inside. He could help stop the run and help the Packers focus on quarterback Matthew Stafford.