The Green Bay Packers pulled out a win in their home opener with a final score of 34–27 against the Detroit Lions.
While the score tells the story of a good, hard fought game from both teams, what actually transpired is quite different.
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The Packers came out of the gates swinging. They scored on every possession in the first half with four touchdowns and a field goal.
They went into halftime with a 31–10 lead.
So what happened?
They just lost what energy they had in the first half and it led to mistakes, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
His task was covering Marvin Jones Jr., who had 6 receptions for 205 yards. That includes a 73-yard touchdown.
Overall, the Lions had 385 passing yards. The early burst from the Packers is the only thing that really saved them this game.
In the second half, they only scored 3 points, while the Lions scored 17.
To be fair, Randall isn’t the only one to blame.
Yes he made mistakes, but he’s a young player and that’s going to happen.
Micah Hyde didn’t do the best job covering Eric Ebron at crucial times and it led to extended possessions for the Lions. The offense couldn’t get things going in the second half, either.
Receivers kept dropping passes and the Lions were stopping Lacy at crucial times. Thankfully, the Packers’ last possession got them just far enough to run the clock and win the game.
The Packers came out ready to play. Rodgers was clicking with Jordy Nelson, who caught two TD passes.
Lacy was getting some nice runs in to break up the passing game. The defense was able to get stops and Randall did have a great play where he ripped the ball away from Ebron for the sole turnover of the game.
While the second half looked nothing like the first, it’s hard not to be happy with how the Packers came out for this game.
They just need to figure out how to preserve that energy and keep it going into the second half.
In the second half, the offense took out Jordy Nelson for the most part, since they had a comfortable lead.
It’s clear now that keeping him in a bit longer would have been beneficial.
Trevor Davis, a rookie, lined up more in the second half, but couldn’t connect. Justin Perillo came in and had a single catch for 13 yards. It was a good pick up, but they couldn’t consistently get the passing game going without Nelson.
Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) catches a touchdown pass in front of Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Packers have their bye week coming up.
During that time, we hope that they gain back some of those key defensive players like Clay Matthews and Morgan Burnett, who were missed in the second half of this game.
Quite a few younger players were on the field today and they didn’t have the discipline they needed to continue to perform in the second half.
Missed coverage was routine in the second half and those things just can’t happen, especially against teams that have great receivers.
Could the Packers have been better today?
But the Packers came out with the win and that’s a positive on which to focus.
They’ll undoubtedly be making improvements over the next two weeks before they encounter Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants.