3 Packers x-factors in Monday night win vs. Lions
Joe Barry’s defense continued to look miserable in the first half but the offense was firing away for the Packers especially in the second half.
Here are three Packers x-factors from their Monday night win vs. Lions.
The first-round rookie selection out of Georgia balled out for the Packers in a big way on Monday night when the secondary needed it.
Kevin King struggled early yet again and Stokes ended up playing 44 snaps and put in work. Stokes gave up only one catch which was a breakdown between him and King on the backend and it was put on Stokes’ tab.
While he still appears to be a raw talent in some spots, the blazing speed and the bulldog mentality he brought to the field more than made up for any part of his game that still needs fine tuning.
Stokes absolutely earned a crack at the No. 2 cornerback spot after his outing for the Packers and it will be interesting to see how Barry and head coach Matt LaFleur approach Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers with that in mind. Stokes has already shown he deserves more reps if not the starting spot over King altogether.
It’s still early, but LaFleur saw all the makings of a future lockdown corner earlier this summer from the rookie, per ESPN.
“There were a couple times I saw him run through the ball and it looked easy, so that was encouraging,” LaFleur said. “And you know, he’s going to have to continue to work on that because he could be an elite corner in this league, no doubt about it. And when you find corners that can take the ball away, there’s nothing more valuable than that.”
Stokes looked the part for the Packers in Week 2 and was a big reason why the defense was able to post a shutout in the second half against the Lions.
Every stat in the world will back it up and it sounds so simple: when the Packers feed Aaron Jones the ball good things happen.
In Week 2, Jones posted four touchdowns, including three receiving and finished the game with 23 touches for a combined 105 yards.
Green bay bizarrely abandoned their run game super early against the Saints in Week 1 but fed Jones early and often against the Lions.
Jones had plenty of success early on ripping off one long run after another for the Packers and it helped setup the passing game wonderfully.
It’s hard to constantly run and feed even a great back like Jones when the reigning MVP is your quarterback, but it’s crucial for the Packers to continue to find the balance on offense between the air attack and the ground game. Jones shouldn’t ever have less than 15 touches in any game regardless of what the score is. Green Bay got away from that identity in the opener but figured it out again against the Lions.
Jones was a massive reason the offense posted a 35 spot on the Lions.
There were questions about how the offensive line would hold up for the Packers early on in the season with David Bakhtiari starting the year on injured reserve and Corey Linsley signing with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Two rookies are starting up front including center Josh Myers, who has been phenomenal for the Packers.
Green Bay hasn’t skipped a beat under center which is incredible considering Linsley was NFL First-team All-Pro and Myers is a rookie. The stats back it up.
According to Pro Football Focus, Myers has graded out as the No. 1 rated rookie offensive lineman and the No. 4 overall center so far this year for the Packers.
Often times as an offensive lineman it’s better to not have your name brought up and Myers hasn’t had his mentioned for any protection breakdowns or costly penalties. The rookie third-round pick out of Ohio State has been sensational so far and the Packers will hope that theme continues on through the season.
It’s an offensive line still trying to find its groove at times but it helps having a center who feels abundantly confident in what he’s doing and it certainly has a trickle down effect to Aaron Rodgers and the trust that the MVP has in the rookie.
It may be hard to believe it but, the Packers had two rookies who played huge roles in the Week 2 win over the Lions. Rodgers was phenomenal, Davante Adams had over 100 yards but those were two performances that were expected. Myers and Stokes as rookies already proving their worth is as encouraging as it gets. And they can’t forget about their bell-cow back in Aaron Jones.