Lions Defender Names Key to Packers Loss: ‘They Just Put It on Them’

Alim McNeill

Getty Alim McNeill during the Lions' preseason game against the Colts.

The Detroit Lions have struggled against the Green Bay Packers historically, but in Week 1 of the 2021 season, there were some potential cracks to exploit that showed up on tape.

Green Bay was drilled by the New Orleans Saints 38-3, but why did that happen? After watching the tape and formulating the gam plan this week, a few things stood out to Detroit defensive lineman Alim McNeill that could help the team.

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Speaking to the media on Thursday, September 16 in an interview posted to, McNeill was asked how the Saints were able to bully the Packers so much from the start of the game to the finish. After watching the tape, McNeill hinted it was an easy answer in terms of physicality and finding a way to get nasty.

“We looked at the ways New Orleans attacked them and what worked for them, and what worked for them was physicality,” McNeill said. “They just put it on them all game every snap. But you also have to take into account who’s over there. Aaron Rodgers, great quarterback, speaks for himself. We know he can make plays with his feet and arm, so we’re not just going to look at it like ‘oh, they’re gong to have another bad week.’ We’re prepared for them as well, but we definitely looked at what worked for New Orleans.”

On offense, the Packers had a bad day only scoring 3 total points and putting up 229 total yards on the day. It was an embarrassing performance and the team was outmanned most of the day physically. According to McNeill, it isn’t hard to get something like this done on the field as it comes from the mind first and foremost.

“That’s just a mindset thing, that’s just a mindset. Knowing you’re going to get hands on somebody, making plays, stuff like that,” he said.

The Lions just have to find a way to be tougher and bring it to the Packers from start to finish. As McNeill hints, doing that could keep the Lions in good shape to win the game.

Alim McNeill Excited for First Lambeau Field Game

As a rookie, McNeill is getting set for his first NFL road game, and it comes at one of the league’s cathedrals of football in Lambeau Field. That’s something which the defender was well aware of when speaking about the game this past week.

“My excitement level is through the roof whether it was a Sunday game or not. For this being Monday Night Football vs. Green Bay, my first one, it’s going to be a crazy game so I am really excited,” he said.

Environment figures to be a big issue, and McNeill seems to understand what he is getting into with the game.

“I expect it to be super loud in there. I’m going to be in shock when I first get there. ‘Oh wow I’m playing at Lambeau now.’ I expect it to be really loud in there, exciting game,” he said.

Keeping to fundamentals and bringing the physicality will help McNeill and the Lions weather what figures to be a decent-sized early storm that the Packers could bring.

McNeill’s College Stats and Highlights

Entering his first season in the NFL, McNeill is bringing production with him to the big league. While playing for N.C. State, McNeill collected 77 tackles, 17.5 tackles for-loss, 10 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 5 passes defended. He also scored 1 touchdown in his career. Obviously, those are the type of numbers that point to a guy who can move around and make a lot of plays along a front, which is just what he will be asked to do with the Lions and their very needy defensive line no matter what role he plays.

Here’s a look at some highlights of McNeill:

The Lions are hoping the athleticism that is shown in these clips shines through to help him become a star at the next level. With his play and his positive mindset showing through, it’s more than possible that can become the case in the end. In Week 1, McNeill had 2 tackles to start his NFL career.

After doing his homework this week, the Lions will want to see McNeill step up and practice what he preaches against the Packers.

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