Week one for the Packers could not have gone much worse. From the opening kickoff, the entire team looked disinterested in playing football on Sunday. It’s deeply concerning that they couldn’t find the energy for the first week of the regular season. Luckily, Green Bay has their next game at Lambeau Field against the Lions in primetime. If the Packers want to even their record at 1-1, then there are three critical matchups will absolutely need to win Monday night.
Packers Running Game versus Detroit Linebackers
Against the Saints the Packers managed a paltry 43 rushing yards. Even worse, they seem to give little effort to establishing the run, even before the score got out of hand. With a dynamic duo in the backfield in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion, that cannot be the case against the Lions. Matt LeFleur’s offensive scheme truly opens up when he has the running game rolling. The Lions are a favorable team to try to get the run game moving. They were gashed for 131 yards and gave up 4.7 yards a carry to the 49ers in week 1. Look for the Packers to run early and often to try and overpower Detroit’s linebackers and set up play action once they start cheating up in run support.
Packers Defensive Line vs Lions Offensive Line
From the first snap to the last, the Packers defensive line looked overpowered and outmatched against the Saints. Particularly, Tyler Lancaster and Dean Lowry were repeated blown back to the second level or flat out put on the ground giving the Saints time to pass and huge running lanes. In week two, the defensive line will need to hold their own to right the defensive ship. Kenny Clark can’t do it all himself and the Packers coaches need to find a functional combination at defensive line. Luckily this is an advantageous matchup against the Lions. While they didn’t allow a sack in week one, Lions QB Jared Goff was under pressure all game. This will be a get-right game for one of these lines.
Kevin King vs Jared Goff
This is the most critical matchup of the game. Unfortunately for Kevin King, he seems to have picked up right where he left off in 2020. At times he looks lost and hasn’t found his confidence that he oozed in 2019. Whether by design or choice, King repeatedly gives a massive cushion to receivers and then surprisingly lets them run past him at the same time. Goff will definitely look for #20 early to try and take advantage. King needs to wash his hands of his past couple performances or his tenure as a starting corner for the Green Bay Packers will come to a quick end, giving way to first round pick Eric Stokes.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.