Cory's Corner: Aaron & Aaron Lead The Way

Questions remain about the defense. 

It wasn’t a dominating win. 

The Packers were actually outplayed for a half and couldn’t get off the field on defense. 

But a win is a win and that’s all that really matters. The Packers scored 21 unanswered points and beat the Lions 35-17 in a sideways rain at Lambeau Field. 

“It's nice to come out and have a good performance and get the trolls off our back for at least a week,” said Aaron Rodgers, who took plenty of criticism last week after registering a 36.8 passer rating vs. the Saints. 

The Packers didn’t like all of the nitpicking but they opened the season looking listless and didn’t really do anything of note. It especially hurt when the Panthers completely destroyed the Saints 26-7 in Week 2 by allowing New Orleans to convert just two-for-11 third down conversions. 

The reason the Packers looked good is because they continually fed their offensive engine. Aaron Jones, the most important player on offense because he affects so many things, touched the ball 23 times. He rushed for 67 yards and a score and racked up 48 receiving yards and three more scores. The Packers were 5-0 last year when Jones got at least 20 touches. Last week, he totaled a meager seven touches. It was also extra special for Jones because his father, Alvin Jones Sr., passed away on April 8. Jones was wearing a necklace that contained his father’s ashes but it came off on one of his touchdown receptions. 

“My dad’s always taught me as a man, it’s how you respond to adversity,” Jones said. “How you respond is what makes a man really.”

The one wart from this game was how comfortable Jared Goff was in the pocket in the first half. He only had three incompletions in the first half and threw a pass to seven different receivers. Goff completed his first eight passes as the Packers pass rush failed to have any teeth. 

Things changed dramatically in the second half however. And it was almost like former Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who passed away Jan. 20, and was honored with a moving video tribute, had something to do with the downpour. 

The Lions were a completely different team in the sloppy mess. Goff mishandled a snap that was recovered by linebacker Krys Barnes and Goff had the ball slip out of his hand as he was getting ready to throw — something you would see in a football follies video. 

The Packers have the ingredients on offense. They’ve got a solid running game, a thriving passing game with an elite wideout and one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the league. The only thing that will hold this team back is its defense. 

Thanks to Za’Darius Smith’s back issue that will keep sidelined for another two games, the Packers need more help getting to the quarterback. If you cannot make quarterbacks uncomfortable in this league, your secondary is going to get torched — no matter who is manning the controls at quarterback. 

Rodgers cannot be expected to bail this defense out with monster games. The defense has a new coordinator for a reason. It’s time to figure it out. 

 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (15)

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 21, 2021 at 11:21 am

"The one wart from this game was how comfortable Jared Cook was in the pocket in the first half."

Proofread. please. Jared Cook is not a QB, much less a Detroit Lion.

Now to my thoughts.
This game against the Lions was a predictable win, and the still lacking play of the defense, overall speaking, was enough to bring out the phrase ' a win is a win' but that mindset/belief is what has ruined the season for this team for 10+ seasons because a 'win is a win' doesn't play in the playoffs and especially in the NFCCG where that mantra takes the biggest bite out the teams arse. Don't give too much pomp and bragging to this win, it was the Lions.

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

September 21, 2021 at 11:30 am

Thanks for the heads up TarynsEyes.

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 21, 2021 at 11:26 am

Jared Goff was way too comfortable. I think Jared Cook plays TE for the Rams. It is not how this defense starts this season that will matter though, only how it finishes.

Ditto for the OL.

Buckle up. It will be a rocky first half to the season. I'm hoping it all look good by week 9.

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Lphill's picture

September 21, 2021 at 11:57 am

You would think Barry knowing Goff from the Rams would have had a better scheme , Barry better come up with a better plan for the 49 ers .

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scullyitsme's picture

September 21, 2021 at 12:07 pm

I think Barry believed the Rashaan Gary hype, and Preston smith slimed down unstoppable hype. It was hard watching those guys get blocked easily 1on 1 the whole first half. Finally started blitzing in the second have and the lions became the lions and helped us out. Doesn’t bode well for next week. Rodgers can’t have a dud because he’s looking like our only hope( again) . score lots of points.

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Packers1985's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:03 pm

"Rodgers can’t have a dud because he’s looking like our only hope( again) . score lots of points."

This part is really scaring me with our new oline against the studded 49ers defense is going to be hard.Though Rodgers played really good he did miss a few throws and our offense is not at 100% yet.

Lets see how both the aaron's will play against 49ers and that will decide our fate for the rest of the season.

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NJ-RICK's picture

September 21, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Wake up and smell the coffee Cory... The Packers are in trouble their DEFENSE is weak/soft. Yes it was nice to get a win last night but it also exposed the Packers weak/soft defensive play again. Do you think this is really a super bowl team...? Been following the Packers since the late 60's. They are embarrassing on Defense. The 49er's and Steelers will cut them apart. How many times do you have to watch King get beat before making a change...? Packer MGT has failed again to bring in aggressive physical defensive type play makers. Going to be a long season unless Packer MGT can make some trades for Defensive help. Hope I'm wrong but I don't think so.

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:47 pm

I said that questions remain about the defense and the offense is going to have carry the defense. Why do I need to wake up?

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JohnnyLogan's picture

September 21, 2021 at 12:51 pm

One great player, Jaire. Three really good players; Clarke, Savage, Amos. One hopefully good rookie; Stokes. That's five decent players on D. Z. Smith coming back adds a sixth.

The rest?... three average to below; P. Smith, Cambell, Barnes, two truly awful; Lowry and Lancaster. Finally, one overhyped Gute mistake; Gary.

So many holes.

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Packers1985's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:06 pm

With year's of drafting on the d side of the ball and some FO signings still not much improvement. The same holes continues. I feel we had more luck with undrafted picks than the traditional draft picks.

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stockholder's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:05 pm

Every Game were expecting Rodgers to be great. When the Smiths came to Green Bay. The opposite was True. The defensive thought was; were ready to win it. Not anymore. This Defense has lost it's, one for all and all for one. One Goal, one solution. The solution maybe new blood again. Rookies or not. Slayton Tackles. Stokes covers. And Alexander should not be stationary. The freaks are at WR now. And if you can't cover, you Suck. Speed has out muscled the strong. And this trench lacks the animals up front. Killing your opponent is the object. Whats not to understand? Kill them before they kill you. To do that they better make the changes.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:21 pm

"The freaks are at WR now." Except with the Packers. Brady has four truly great receiving options; Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Gronk. Brady already had Evans and Godwin and asked for Gronk. He got him and Gronk killed us in the championship game. Not enough for Brady, he asked for Brown, who was out there and cheap for anyone willing to sign him. Brady got him as well. He scored against us.

The joke is Rodgers asked for Jake Kumerow and the FO told him or didn't even bother to tell him, "We've decided MVS and Lazard are enough." MVS and Lazard in two games so far this year... 5 catches for 33 yards.

As Stockholder said, "Kill them before they kill you. To do that they better make the changes."

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Leatherhead's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:30 pm

17 points. We’ve given up 55 points, one more than Tampa Bay, and several fewer than KC.

And no “monster” games are required from Rodgers. Just run the offense and let the team do their thing.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 21, 2021 at 04:07 pm

It is interesting how people here are ready to glorify guy who scored TD, with no mention that every game is collective effort.

There was not one TD w/o blocking performed by AJ team mates, there would not be any TO if there were not collective effort from all teamates from D. INT came after pressure (I believe it was Gary who produce that pressure!), fumble by Lions center and JG would not be taken if there was no fast reaction of recognition and quick reaction from Barnes, there would not be intentional grounding without RG pressure on JG, there would not be only few runs from Lions if Packers would not stopped it in the second half. All of that would not be possible if there was no adjustment at the half from DC. Many of comments forgot how many times in the past Packers D were not winning fumbles, how many times second half was worse than first half, after opposing team made adjusment, etc...

Today "heroes" were two Aarons. While I agree that Aaron Jones take all the opportunities produced by his teammates, I questions Diva's performance. Alen Lazard was not targeted, but was involved in at least 2 AJ TDs. He made all crucial blocks that allows AJ to score. MVS was targeted several time, with 2 passes behind him and one badly overthrown. None of those 3 incompletions was MVS mistakes.

I agree that this game result was expected, but this wins showed that Packers is still team in work and that is something what brings fear to Packers fans.

Lets hope this second preseason game will finally have positive result in real game that comes next week.

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Bure9620's picture

September 21, 2021 at 06:29 pm

Good Win Both Aarons showed up along with Davante...I like Stokes too... But this Lions team is quite terrible...even for the Lions and their history of terrible...I doubt Detroit wins 3 or 4 games this year. The test is next week...I am not even saying winning, but simply being in the game to the end against the niners on the road...if we are blown out of the building my skepticism remains...

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