Three Things to Know about the Packers

The Green Bay Packers lost to the Seattle Seahawks 36-16 in the NFL season opener  Sept. 4.

After the loss, the Packers prepare for the New York Jets to come to Lambeau Field in week two and here’s what everyone needs to know about the Packers after week one.

 

  1. The offense will get back on track: During training camp the hype of the no-huddle offense the Packers would run was hyped all offseason. The belief was the offense would be able to move fast, not allowing the praised Seattle defense to be set the entire game, but the offense was stopped most of the night. Aaron Rodgers called the Seahawks’ defense “a great defense” after a rough night that saw him held to an average of 5.7 yards per attempt. It didn’t help that they only threw the ball to one side of the field, as Rodgers avoided Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman all game. Don’t expect similar results this week against the Jets; the Packers will be at home where crowd noise will be in their favor, and their opponent’s defense is not the best defense in the National Football League. The no-huddle will look smoother as Rodgers throws deeper passes, and hopefully get more from his wide receivers. If healthy, expect Eddie Lacy to have a better day, but if not, James Starks will pick up the slack.
  2. The defense has work to do: There’s been hope for the last couple seasons that the Packers defense fixed their problems and are capable of being a top five defense again. In Seattle, that wasn’t the case. The Packers gave up a total of 398 yards to the Seahawks. Missed tackles was the biggest flaw for the defense as Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch ran the ball 20 times for 110 yards with two touchdowns making the defense look inadequate. The inside linebacker position has been a problem for a couple seasons and it was non-existent in Seattle with only eight tackles total. Brad Jones had one of the worst games of his career by missing tackles, dropping an interception and having an ill-timed penalty. The other starter AJ Hawk only tallied four tackles, and was rarely mentioned during the game. For the defense to succeed, the linebacker position needs to make plays, and the defense needs to make tackles or else teams will run over them just like Seattle. The loss of nose tackle, B.J Raji, showed as Letroy Guion was dominated most of the game, and Guion’s play will need to improve for the defense to succeed. For all the  negatives there were some positives. The duo of Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers had some good pass rushes throughout the game. Cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams played solidly, while rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made some rookie mistakes, but showed great potential with his awareness for the ball because he was in the right spots all game.
  3. The season is a marathon: It’s always nice to start the season with a win, but the Packers have now lost the season opener three years in a row. The worst thing about that statistic is those losses have come to Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers who are the teams the Packers need to beat if they want to win a Super Bowl. With that being said,  the Packers are in a good position because they’re one of the best teams in the NFL. After losing week one last season the Packers dominated the Washington Redskins at home 38-20. Don’t be surprised if that happens again. Injuries will still be a problem as they have already begun with B.J Raji  out for the season, and injuries suffered to Bryan Bulaga and Eddie Lacy in week one. The injuries to Lacy and Bulaga seem to be short term, but injuries will always affect the team and the philosophy of next man up continues. The loss in Seattle wasn’t good, but the Packers can learn from playing the defending champions and make adjustments for the rest of the season to make sure they’re not dominated again.

Mary Kauffman

mkauf036@uwsp.edu

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