Here we are Lions fans. It’s Week 2. How’s everyone feeling after last week? You still mad? You feeling okay now or are you indifferent? Well, get ready to be sacred. The Lions are playing the Packers on Sunday. They haven’t beaten this team in 628 days. In fact, they haven’t beaten any NFC North teams in 628 days. But that’s a different story for a different day.
Last week, the Packers looked really good against the Vikings. But are they for real? Or did they take advantage of a bad Vikings team? To answer that question and more, we brought in my friend and evil twin Matt “Matub” Matonich from ACME Packing Company. Here’s what he had to say.
1. The Packers has a great performance Sunday against the Vikings, was the talk of their step back overreaction?
“This question is so incredibly loaded that I could probably write an entire long form on it. I’ll do my best to summarize. And here. we. go: Yes and no. The Packers went 13-3 off the back of a statistically improbable record in close games. They were basically a 10-6 team that got REALLY lucky. (in before POD commenters say they only won because their line holds)
With most people predicting them to be a 9-7 team, the “step back” would have really only been a regression to the mean. Now with THAT said, basically every analyst, film grinder, or Packer fan with even a slight grasp on film knew that there was something very wrong with Aaron Rodgers last year. Literally every complaint we all had about Aaron Rodgers was non-existent against the Vikings. He planted his feet. He threw on time. He threw at the top of his drop. He threw to the middle of the field! He threw to schemed open guys instead of holding on to the ball for eight seconds waiting for something magical to happen. And last but not least, he really only threw two bad balls the whole game. He was consistent.
Excuse me, I’m getting a little worked up writing this. Give me a second.......
Ok, I’m back.
Aaron made a note that everyone has been picking apart that he “watched his 2010/2011 film” and he noticed certain things were missing from his game. If I had to guess what that was it was “all of the above”. So basically, what I’m saying here is if the 2010 Aaron Rodgers is back under center not only will the minor “Step back” that everyone expects NOT happen, but they might even step forward and decisively have a good record instead of lucking their way into one.
However, I am also a very big advocate of saying “I have no idea” until about Week 8. Maybe the Packers will actually be good? Maybe the Vikings are actually terrible? Maybe we’ll all experience an unforeseen heat death of the universe and none of this actually matters?”
2. What’s the team’s strength right now?
“Like I said in my rambling, incoherent, mess above: if 2010 Aaron Rodgers is back, that will far and away be the team’s biggest strength.
Aaron Jones appears to be the same person he was last year, so that’s been pretty neat.
Even with the musical chairs they were playing on the offensive line because of injuries and losing Bryan Bulaga (IIIIOWA) in free agency, that unit also seems to be a strength.
On defense the Smiths continue to do work and Rashan Gary appears to be not terrible. He was credited with QB pressures on 12.5% of his rushes last week.
Jaire Alexander remains pretty dang good and Kevin King seems to have turned a corner (heh) as well.”
3. What’s the weakness?
“...basically everything else. Rush defense, especially if Kenny Clark is out, will continue to be atrocious. If either of the boundary corners goes down they will be heckin boned. A lot has been said about the receivers stepping up against the Vikings but I will go to my grave swearing that besides Davante Adams everyone else is replacement-level.
So yeah, there’s a lot of weakness within the Packers.”
4. Can Aaron Rodgers take the day off?
“If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t play, the Lions win by 30.”
5. Who’s winning this thing?
“The Lions play more man than anyone else and they will have, from what I can recall, only one healthy corner. The Packers continue to have struggles defending the run and anything over the middle.
Adrian Peterson will rush for 120. T.J. Hockenson and Danny Amendola will both have 80+ yard games. The O/U on the game is 47.5. I’ll bet the over all day. But I still think the Packers run away with it.”