Offensive performance has taken the heat off the defense – for now

When a team goes out and puts up over 1,000 total yards across the first two games of an NFL season, scoring over 40 points in both games and running divisional foes out of the stadium, that typically means that that team is best looked at as a offense-first team.

But for the Green Bay Packers, their calling card has consistently been how their offense, specifically Aaron Rodgers, has carried this team to their success over the years, all while their defense has struggled to be average. 

In the year where anything can happen, it looks as though there may have been a closing of the gap between the two units this offseason, even if playing the Vikings and Lions to start the year isn’t a challenge.

Rodgers has been putting up MVP-like numbers for this team, Aaron Jones has made his pending contract extension price shoot up in value, Davante Adams (even with his injury concerns after Week 2) is his dominant self, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling seems to be on the doorstep of finally becoming a WR2 option. All of these factors have helped keep this team undefeated to start the heat, but their defense is going to be tested a lot more Sunday night against the Saints.

New Orleans, even without star receiver Michael Thomas, boasts a stout offensive attack that starts with Alvin Kamara, who just got paid recently. Kamara has been the catalyst in keeping this offense going with the MT injury through both the air and the ground.

Drew Brees has not looked like himself at all to begin the year, as his inconsistencies with accuracy have kept the team buried even as they tried to sustain drives, especially against the Las Vegas Raiders on MNF. For NO’s first loss of the season, the gap from MT to WR2 Emmanuel Sanders was quite evident, even if Sanders is a more-than-average WR option.

The Saints’ offensive line is pretty stout and will give the front seven of GB a tough task Sunday night, especially with DT Kenny Clark looking likely to miss the game. The Smith Bro’s, Preston and Za’Darius, along with Rashan Gary, will need to do damage against Ryan Ramczyk and others on that strong OL.

Getting Brees uncomfortable can and will cause miscues, something that the GB secondary will need to take advantage of. The reliance on the offense needs to wind down a bit, and showing that the defense is strong on a prime time game would go a long way to showing that Green Bay is for real in the NFC.

Sunday night boasts the biggest test for the Packers team so far in 2020, but with how they’ve come out of the gate up to this point, they may very well continue their strong start – it all depends on how the defense looks and if they decide to take on the role of game control from the offense.

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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23

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