The Green Bay Packers throttled the Minnesota Vikings last week in what was the sloppiest defensive performance from Minnesota in a long, long time. The Vikings have taken pride in their identity as a defense-first team for several years, and even when things get bad on defense, they never get sloppy. That sounds a lot like a Detroit Lions defense devoid of talent but built upon fundamentals.
Bold prediction of the week: Lions slow down Rodgers’ air attack, hold him to <250 yards passing.
The Lions are already a ragtag team on defense and it’s only Week 2. The losses of Darius Slay in the offseason as well as Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman, and Jeff Okudah to injuries left the Lions’ top three cornerbacks at the end of Week 1 as Amani Oruwariye, Darryl Roberts, and Tony McRae. Just like we all planned, right?
When you look at the Packers’ receiving corps, however, there isn’t much to make note of past Davante Adams. We’ll see if Oruwariye can hold his own against Adams, as he’ll likely have the bulk of safety help throughout the game. Beyond him, however, it’s backup player against backup player—and the likely debut of Jeff Okudah. The Packers’ receiving corps simply lacks the talent to consistently exploit a depleted Detroit defense.
Even if things get going for Aaron Rodgers, those receivers aren’t terribly athletic either. Matt Patricia may suck at game planning a defense, but he’s known to harp on fundamentals—tackling, pursuit angles, and the likes. Those are things the Vikings let slip that caused them to fall into a hole against the Packers in Week 1. If the Lions can hold true to those, their secondary just might be able to match up with the subpar receiving corps for the Packers and keep Rodgers from getting into a rhythm on Sunday.