Maggie's Pre-Game Six Pack - 2021 Week 2

It’s a division matchup at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football, and that could be just what the doctor ordered for the Packers. Here are six things to consider heading into Monday’s matchup:

1. There’s No Place Like Home

While the Packers looked less than stellar, to put it lightly, on the road in the opener against the Saints, historically, they’ve played much better at Lambeau Field. Per the dope sheet, the Packers are 13-1 in home openers at Lambeau since 2007, including winning eight straight from 2013-2020. Now that fans will be back in the stands, expect Lambeau Field to be rocking on Monday Night. Just remember if you’ll be at the game, you make noise when the Packers are on defense, not offense. 

2. Kickin’ It In the Record Books

Mason Crosby is closing in on his own franchise records, entering Week 2 having made 19 consecutive field goals. This ties his second-longest streak in team history, a record he set in the 2013-14 seasons. He’s only four field goals away from tying his own longest streak of 23 field goals, set during the 2010-11 seasons. In his 15th season with the Packers he continues to make history, tying linebacker Ray Nitschke for most seasons with the team by a non-quarterback. 

3. Williams (Running) Back at Lambeau 

Fan favorite running back Jamaal Williams returns to Lambeau on Monday night. He and fellow running back D’Andre Swift make up an electric tandem in the Lions backfield. In Week 1 against the 49ers, Williams and Swift combined for 214 scrimmage yards, both eclipsing 100 individually. Green Bay gave up 171 yards rushing against the Saints, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. If the defense can’t contain the run on Monday night, it’s going to be a long game. 

4. Secondary Options 

The Lions are stretched thin at cornerback, but the same was true of the Saints last week and that defense made it work using heavy Cover 2 against the Packers. With former first-round pick Jeff Okudah lost for the season with an achilles injury, the Lions will be relying on plenty of youth going into Monday night. Three of the team’s corners are rookies, including third-round pick Ifeatu Melifonwu who’s projected to start opposite third-year pro Amani Oruwariye. 

5. Potential Changes Along the Line

In Week 1, the Packers started Lucas Patrick at left guard with rookies Josh Myers and Royce Newman at center and right guard, respectively. Head Coach Matt LaFleur spoke to the media Thursday and noted that Patrick is currently going through the concussion protocol. While he’ll have an extra day to clear protocol with the Packers playing Monday night, it’s possible he won’t be available against the Lions. Jon Runyan Jr. is currently listed as his backup, and that was one of the more notable position battles all preseason. If the Packers are going to bounce back on offense after putting up an abysmal three points in Week 1, the offensive line is going to play a big role, both in pass protection for Aaron Rodgers and run blocking for Green Bay’s own running back tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon (who combined last Sunday for only 28 yards on the ground in nine attempts). 

6. History Lessons in Losses 

If there’s any reason to be optimistic going into Monday Night Football, it’s that LaFleur has yet to lose back-to-back regular season games in his tenure with the Packers. After a tough 26-11 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019, LaFleur’s team responded with a 24-16 win against the Carolina Panthers at home. A few weeks later following a 37-8 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers bounced back with a 31-13 win over the New York Giants. In 2020, Green Bay’s toughest regular season loss came on the road against the Buccaneers, 38-10. The next week, the Packers responded with a 35-20 victory over the Houston Texans. There seems to be a clunker every season, and while that’s perhaps its own concern, LaFleur knows how to get his team ready to bounce back. Hopefully, Monday is no different. And while of course we can argue that the Packers have had some fairly cushy matchups to bounce back against, don’t the 2021 Detroit Lions fall into that same category? It’s going to take more than one win to get the Packers on track, but MNF could be just the springboard the team needs to get its confidence back.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (10)

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Packerfansupreme's picture

September 17, 2021 at 07:57 am

I hope Patrick plays. I dont want to go in this game with two rookies and a second year player that got beat out by a rookie on the interior. Rodgers better scramble for his life

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PeteK's picture

September 17, 2021 at 08:31 am

I hope this game turns out like last season's first meeting when Jones ran all over the Lions, not the later meeting. No reason to believe that this will not be a a well balanced win. This team has too many good players to not contend.

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t-wrecks's picture

September 17, 2021 at 08:48 am

I’d like to point out that we played horrible teams after our losses. So I wouldn’t put any weight into that trend. But maybe the lions fall into that category too. Gpg

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CheesyTex's picture

September 17, 2021 at 01:32 pm

As to 5., Potential changes along the line:

After his strong showing in pre-season, I wonder if the Pack might give Nijman a shot to start if Patrick is out. IMO that could produce the best match-ups vs. Lions, because I believe Jenkins (sliding back to LG) has the capacity to elevate both Nijman on his left and Myers on his right. It seems to be the perfect time to see what Yosh can do when live bullets are flying because he's healthy and basically played 3 full games in preseason.

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Coldworld's picture

September 17, 2021 at 04:27 pm

Nijman would probably have to play RT. That would likely mean moving Turner to LG not RG as we aren’t likely to mess with Newman and I don’t see us moving Jenkins. For that reason, I’d think they would insert Runyon and elevate Braden. Runyon looked to me like a guy who perhaps coasted through the off season. Perhaps he is more ready now.

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ricky's picture

September 17, 2021 at 02:53 pm

This sounds like a copy of last week's game. The Lions secondary is hurting, so Rodgers should be able to pick it apart. The rush should get to the QB. The running game should be improved. The only difference is the team will be playing at home, where they have a winning streak going. So, what could go wrong? The Lions could commit to the run, be effective, and the DL could get blown off the ball repeatedly again. The pass rush might well be ineffective again. And the Lions, after watching the Saints game, should have a good plan for frustrating the Packers passing game. And a winning streak is only as long as your last win. Will LaFleur abandon the run again? Will Rodgers hold onto the ball too looking for chunk plays? Until these things actually occur, I'm going to be skeptical. And if the Packers do win, what have they accomplished? A home win against an inferior team. Hardly a ringing endorsement for a team that was supposed to be a SB favorite. And with two very good defenses coming the following two weeks, they're going to have to get their house in order very quickly.

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TXCHEESE's picture

September 20, 2021 at 04:35 pm

Definitely have to play way better than last week, but the Lions' defense is not in the same league as NO. If GB takes care of the ball, they should win by a couple of scores.

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PeteK's picture

September 17, 2021 at 03:09 pm

Z Smith placed on IR. Gary and Smith will have to step up for a few games.

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Coldworld's picture

September 17, 2021 at 04:29 pm

I’d be more worried about OLB 3. One of them needs to show up against at least one of the run or the pass. Last week Garvin again look like a guy who only shows in practice (of the closed door type) and Rivers was not much better.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 20, 2021 at 10:37 am

In the 15 games played this week, the average winning score was 28 points. Over 1/ 3 of the 30 teams scored 30 or more. Only one team that failed to reach 20 won.

Moral of the story? Three points isn’t going to cut it. The offense needs to keep itself on the field until it scores.

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