Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers entered their NFL Week 3 game against the Detroit Lions in major need of a win. After suffering an embarrassing loss last week against the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers needed to find their identity, especially on the offensive side of the football.
There was criticism all week long about the Packers’ offense and many speculated that something was wrong with Rodgers. Some in the media went so far as to suggest that Rodgers was never as good as some made him out to be. Obviously, those media members were quieted with Rodgers’ first-half play.
Green Bay started off the game strong, leading 31-10 at halftime. Unfortunately, Mike McCarthy decided to go with an ultra conservative play-calling system in the second half and nearly gave the game away. The Packers ended up winning the game by a final score of 34-27.
Even though the second half was an embarrassment in and of itself, the Packers still improved to 2-1 on the season. Defeating an NFC North division rival is always a major plus as well.
All of that being said, what five things can be taken away for the Packers from their Week 3 win over the Lions?
Aaron Rodgers Is Just Fine
It was obvious that Aaron Rodgers came into the game looking to prove a point. He did a much better job of throwing the football quickly, rather than holding on and allowing the defense to put pressure on him. Rodgers threw for four touchdowns in the first half, which proves that he is just fine and fans shouldn’t be worried about him.
Eddie Lacy is Back to His Old Self
In addition to the strong play from Rodgers, Green Bay saw running back Eddie Lacy prove himself. He carried the football 17 times for 103 yards, although he wasn’t able to get into the end zone. Even though he didn’t score a touchdown, going over 100 yards was a huge step for Lacy, and it shows that he is back to his old self and can be relied on.
Mike McCarthy Must Stay Aggressive with a Big Lead
After seeing the complete collapse in the second half, Mike McCarthy must evaluate his play-calling in the future. He cannot continue to “play not to lose” moving forward. McCarthy must stay aggressive with big leads, or else he will cost his team wins in big games, like he did two years ago in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Damarious Randall Has a Lot of Work to Do
Perhaps the biggest disappointment for the defense this season has been second-year cornerback Damarious Randall. After a promising rookie season, Randall has not shown signs of improvement and has actually shown a couple signs of regression. Randall has to get his head on straight and has a lot of work to do moving forward.
Young Talent Is Stepping Up for Green Bay’s Defense
Ted Thompson and the Packers addressed their defense in the 2016 NFL Draft and their rookies are stepping up. Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell, Kenny Clark, and Dean Lowry have all carved out roles. Add in the young talent at the cornerback position, and Jake Ryan, and the Packers’ defense has a ton of young players who are living up to the challenge.
The fact that Rodgers can do this and the Packers have no offensive speed is why they should make a move for Desean. https://t.co/KNR7BaXzG4— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) September 26, 2016
Expect to see the Packers play much better from this point forward. Rodgers and company may not end up winning a Super Bowl this season, but they are certainly serious contenders if they play to their full potential.
What did you take away from the Green Bay Packers’ win over the Detroit Lions? Do you think they are serious Super Bowl contenders? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Mike Roemer/AP Images]