After Week 1 in 2020, the Packers look like a team that is on a push to be a changed team. They put up 43 points in the season opener behind a huge Aaron Rodgers passing effort. With that in mind, and combined with a Lions injury report heavy on the defensive backfield, the team will have their work cut out for them this coming weekend.
What more is there to know about the Packers? Here’s a closer look at breaking down what’s new and old coming into the first installment of the rivalry in 2020.
Packers Player to Watch: Davante Adams, WR
Adams had a big Week 1, exploding for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did that against a decent secondary in Minnesota, so for the Lions, the pressure will really be on to shut Adams down. The fact that the Lions could be without Desmond Trufant will be huge. If Trufant does play, he will likely be hobbled a bit, so that could be a huge advantage for Adams. Otherwise, rookie Jeff Okudah will get his first crack at the elite wideout. Okudah might be excited for such an outcome, but it would likely be trial by major fire for the youngster. The bottom line? Adams could be in line to have another huge week at Detroit’s expense if the Lions cannot get it together and also find some health on the back end for Week 2. He is perhaps the most important player of all this coming week.
Packers Key Personnel Group: Running Back
Detroit’s defensive line didn’t do a great job of stopping the run in their dismal Week 1 effort allowing 149 yards to Chicago, and that should be music to the ears of the Green Bay front in addition to running back Aaron Jones. Jones only had 66 yards rushing, and his counterpart Jamaal Williams didn’t do much with 21. Rookie AJ Dillon only had 14 yards on the ground. Obviously, these stats mean nothing this week, as the Lions will have a big challenge in trying to stop the run. If they cannot, it could only get uglier against the Packers given their elite passing game down field. Detroit’s chances on defense could start in the trenches against a solid running back crew.
Can Packers Defend?
Yes. They nearly allowed a frenzied comeback to the Vikings, but amid that, still had a very solid afternoon racking up 2 sacks, 1 interception and not allowing much in the way of explosive plays for the Vikings until the late stages. There’s a chance for Detroit’s offense to move the ball given the Vikings did rush for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Adam Thielen went for 110 and 2 scores in a losing effort. Still, the Lions have to prove they can deal with a defense they struggled against last year. Protection will have to be spot on and the Lions will have to deal much better with a backfield that made a few big plays in last year’s contests.
Biggest Packers Injury: Lane Taylor, G
It was bad news for the Packers to lose Taylor, their starting guard, for the season during the blowout in Week 2. Taylor is solid up front and the Lions defensive line needs all the help that they can get to put some pressure on the quarterback. He will be missed as the Packers deal with a defensive line that’s desperate to get pressure and also snuff out the run.
Headset Heads Up
Matt Patricia has struggled as a Lions coach, but as a whole, he’s done a nice job against Aaron Rodgers since coming to Motown. Rodgers redeemed himself with a couple late wins in 2019, but his statistics have hardly been impressive. Since 2018, Rodgers has only 1,074 yards, 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions against the Lions. Those numbers are hardly bad, but they aren’t as gaudy as Rodgers is accustomed to. Matt LaFleur will have to get Rodgers going against the Lions like he’s used to doing.