Detroit Lions 2020 Week 2: Learning more about the Green Bay Packers

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The short-handed Detroit Lions are heading to Green Bay to take on the Packers Sunday.  Here is what we need to know about the Packers leading up to the week two matchup.

The Detroit Lions will travel to Green Bay without their top pass-catcher, best two corners, and starting left guard in what many consider to be a must-win situation.  Losing Golladay hurts, but it’s not nearly as devastating as losing both Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman in the secondary as Detroit will try to slow the red-hot Aaron Rodgers led Packers offense.  Detroit will also be without starting left guard Joe Dahl.

Before Sunday’s matchup, I spoke with Paul Bretl of Diaryland Express to learn more about this 2020 Green Bay Packers team.

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The Green Bay Packers traded up in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to select quarterback Jordan Love. How do you feel about that choice, and could it be a way to motivate Aaron Rodgers?

I won’t pretend that I wasn’t shocked by the pick or a little disappointed, but I understand why the selection was made. Everyone wants the first-round choice to come in and contribute right away, and in a perfect world, that would happen. But what’s forgotten is that the draft is about projecting who the player will become, not who they are at that moment.

And for the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers has a few years left on his deal, and Jordan Love has the tools, but he needs the time to develop, which he will have. This is truly an ideal situation for Love, and while we don’t know what kind of player he will develop into, the Packers have put themselves in a position to be successful at the quarterback position for another 10 to 15 years if Love can become the player that Brian Gutekunst expects him to be.

As I said, of course, I wanted a big-play receiver, but at that point in the draft, all of the receivers that the Packers had first-round grades on were gone, and I understand Gutey’s thought process behind the pick. Quarterback is the most important position in sports, and the Packers are planning for the future.

After Rodgers’ vintage performance against Minnesota, many are saying that the Love pick has remotivated him. However, I’m not one of those people. I don’t believe that Rodgers has flipped a switch because Love is in the building. Instead, he made some adjustments to his mechanics at the beginning of camp, and he has been on fire ever since.

During the first week of practice, Rodgers certainly didn’t look like what he does now, but during his media availability, he mentioned going back and watching film from Green Bay’s Super Bowl season in 2010. While he wouldn’t divulge what adjustment he made, he’s been on fire ever since. So I attribute his fantastic play to that, rather than Love’s presence.

Last season Green Bay quietly produced a 13-3 season while all eyes were on Kansas City, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Baltimore. What is this team’s expectations in 2020?

It’s extremely difficult to improve on a 13 win season, and with as many one-score wins as Green Bay had in 2019, statistically, they won’t be as fortunate this time around. So I believe the expectations of many are that the Packers will have fewer wins, but overall they’ll be a better team.

It’s Year 2 of the Matt LaFleur offense, and this is a very young team overall that now has another year of experience under their belts. And oh yeah, Aaron Rodgers has looked fantastic all summer. While they may not reach 13 wins, it’s Super Bowl or bust for this team.

The Green Bay Packers have quite the stable of running backs led by Aaron Jones. But what will the rookie A.J. Dillon bring to the table in 2020?

A.J. Dillon brings a change of pace to this running back room. While previously, Williams was seen as the “bruiser” compared to Jones, at nearly 250 pounds, Dillon is a load to bring down. However, despite his size, he brings some added explosiveness to this offense out of the backfield, and his addition will free up LaFleur to utilize Jones and Williams more in the slot and out wide, knowing that he has Dillon in the backfield to lean on.

The Packers have a star receiver in Davante Adams, but who else at that position should the Detroit Lions take note of heading into week two?

Allen Lazard had two of his better games of the season in 2019 against Detroit, and in Week 1, both he and Marquez Valdes-Scantling had two outstanding performances. The duo would combine to haul in eight receptions on ten targets for 159 yards with two touchdowns.

Lazard is an excellent blocker in the run game, and in his short career, he’s been an uber-reliable target for Rodgers, especially on third downs. Meanwhile, Valdes-Scantling is a burner with 4.37 speed that can take the top off of defenses, but by all accounts, in training camp, he looked much improved on the intermediate routes as well.

Who from the Detroit Lions are you most intrigued to watch on Sunday?

The Wisconsin Badger fan in me cannot wait to see Quintez Cephus. He was never going to impress at the combine with his speed, but he’s a physical receiver that knows how to go up and get the football and create separation, despite not being the fastest guy on the field. However, if I’m not being a homer, it’s Matthew Stafford.

Next. 2 free agent corners to sign before heading to Green Bay. dark

Stafford is an excellent quarterback, and with him under center, the Detroit Lions have that home run ability on just about every play. Last season and even into Week 1, the big play has been an issue for this Green Bay defense, and if Stafford can do Stafford-like things, this game could end up being closer than what it should be.