You can admit it, you were freaked out after week one.
Any Packers fan that says they weren’t even a little concerned would be lying. The defense, with their new coordinator, looked worse than they did last year. Aaron Rodgers looked like he had regressed to 2018, and Aaron Jones, with his huge new contract, was a complete non-factor.
Well, as Gandalf said to Théoden, King of Rohan, “Breathe the free air again.” The Packers are winners, 1-1 on the season. Let’s erase the memory of week one from our minds. Moving forward, it won’t matter much.
Was the defense great against the Lions? No. Was the offense unbeatable? No. Do I think this team can compete for a Super Bowl? Absolutely.
There are 17 games in this new NFL season; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Most importantly, we’re level at the top of the division now, with the Bears. Do you really believe the Bears are a good team? That’s what I thought.
Breaking it Down
I was concerned after the first drive on defense. Hell, I was concerned on pretty much every defensive drive. The Joe Barry hire was inconceivable, and it looks more and more baffling every week. This defense can’t stop the run, can’t rush the passer, and (with few exceptions) can’t break up a pass.
The second half saw better results, with two turnovers and no points against, but that’s not to say all is well. This defense is a work in progress and barring a miracle, it won’t be fixed by the time we reach the postseason.
So where does that leave us? Riding the offense. It’s hard to not improve after the dud that was week one, and they certainly did look better. Aaron Jones found his form, helped by Coach LaFleur not abandoning the run once the team fell behind. Aaron Rodgers was back as well, taking a week to regain his rhythm after an offseason of frivolity.
Real talk: the NFL has been his life since he was in his early 20s, always fighting to prove he belongs. I’ve been in a relationship for more than a decade, so I can’t relate to single life, but to be engaged and happy now must be a great feeling. I won’t fault Rodgers for that. Enjoy yourself, my man.
The time comes, though, when it’s time to get back to work, and Rodgers got back to work on Monday. Slicing and dicing the Lions, as he has so many times, for 255 yards and four TDs. Glad I took the under on yards for A-Rod.
There were still some problems. Of course, an offense can’t be perfect. Three better throws to MVS would have resulted in three more touchdowns. Which, for MVS, who has struggled with drops, is a much better problem to have, but it’s concerning for Rodgers. Also, it took far too long for Cobb to finally become a part of this offense. Like I said before, this is a work in progress.
It’s easy to jump ship after week one, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned myself, but come on. This is Aaron Rodgers. He’s been proving the haters wrong as long as I’ve been alive.
As far as the 49ers are concerned, it’s a difficult game to read. Their defense isn’t as good as it was two years ago, and Jimmy Garoppolo has taken a step back since his injury last year. Heading out west has been a tougher prospect for Matt LaFleur’s Packers than it was for those on the Oregon Trail.
But I don’t know. I feel something after this Monday Night Football win. I trust the Packers. The defense will look bad at times, but they showed again that they can force turnovers when necessary. The offense will make silly mistakes, but as long as they receive to start the game and stick to the script, things can be good enough.
I’m taking Green Bay over San Francisco 31-21.
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