Last week, the Packers relied on the arm of quarterback Aaron Rodgers to lead them to a shootout victory in Minnesota. This week, after trailing 14-3 in the first quarter, the Packers relied on a different Aaron to propel the team to victory by a score of 42-21. The win was an excellent follow-up to the home opener, and showed why Green Bay just may have one of the most dangerous offenses in all of football.
A TALE OF TWO AARONS
Week 1 saw Aaron Rodgers opening with a strong case for leading early-season MVP predictions, but Week 2 may have made an argument for why he might not even be the most valuable player on his own offense. Running back Aaron Jones accumulated 168 yards and two TDs on the ground, including a 75-yard scamper against the lowly Detroit Lions’ defense to break the game open. Jones led the NFL in rushing yards in Week 2, but what’s more impressive is that, if you only tally his yards after contact, Jones still would’ve been placed second behind the Browns’ Nick Chubb. Adding to his day, Jones had four receptions for 68 yards and a receiving TD, bringing his total to 236 total yards and three TDs on the day. After his huge performance, Jones now leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage through two weeks by a considerable margin of 60 yards.
Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, had himself a modest Sunday by his standards, throwing for 240 yards and two TDs. Rodgers completed 60% of his passes and took advantage of an inexperienced Detroit secondary, picking on first-round pick Jeff Okudah throughout the game. While his numbers weren’t as gaudy as Week 1, Rodgers still leads the league in QBR, has not thrown an interception, and has only been sacked once through the first two weeks.
Aside from a few drops from the receivers, the Packers offense has been firing on all cylinders throughout two weeks. Even Jamaal Williams had 63 yards on eight carries (7.9 YPC) on Sunday.
However, for as good as the Packers offense has looked…
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE DEFENSE
Okay, guys. What is happening? For the first half, and especially the first quarter, it looked like the Packers defense wasn’t awake. Dating back to last week, they had given up five-straight touchdowns on five-straight series after Marvin Jones’ touchdown catch. Had it not been for Chandon Sullivan jumping a route for a pick-six, that game had the potential to be close, or even turn the other way.
The defense was clearly missing DT Kenny Clark, because the defensive line was getting gashed on the ground, especially in the second half. Through two weeks, the Packers rank 30th in the league in yards per carry allowed, giving up a whopping 5.2 YPC. The pass rush has been a bit quiet as well, most notably in the absence of Preston Smith, who has only been credited with half a sack this season. Green Bay got four sacks, but that was largely due to the defense knowing Matthew Stafford had to throw, and the secondary is still one of the best in the league. All-in-all, I don’t see any reason to be too worried about the defense. They tightened up in the second half, for sure, and I expect them to continue to improve as the season goes on.
Next week, the Green Bay Packers head down to the Bayou to face the New Orleans Saints, in a battle between two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Although Brees doesn’t look like the Brees of yesteryear, the Packers defense will have their hands full with Alvin Kamara and the potential return of All-Pro WR Michael Thomas.
We’ll see if the Pack is up to the challenge.
(Featured Image Credit: Packers.com)