The Green Bay Packers are fresh off of a huge 17-9 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1, but the road doesn’t get easier for them in Week 2. Aaron Rodgers and company will be facing off against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season, the Atlanta Falcons.
Needless to say, this game has the potential to be the best game of the week. Both of these teams are viewed as serious Super Bowl contenders and have high-powered offenses. They also both feature defenses that have question marks surrounding them.
Green Bay’s defense looked extremely strong last week, frustrating Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense all game long. Atlanta, on the other hand, struggled a bit with the Chicago Bears. Matt Ryan and company did not look as sharp as they were last season, but they were able to knock the Bears off by a final score of 23-17.
Mike McCarthy will need players to step up this week in order to come away with a 2-0 record. Rodgers will not be able to power the Packers to this win by himself.
All of that being said, which three players will be major X-Factors for the Packers’ chances to defeat the Falcons?
Martellus Bennett, Tight End
In his debut with the Packers, Bennett ended up catching just three passes for 43 yards. Green Bay will need him to be a much bigger impact player this week against the Falcons. Bennett will need to force mismatches all game long, and Green Bay needs a big play or two from him.
Davon House, Cornerback
Figuring out how to defend against Julio Jones is a nightmare scenario for any defensive coordinator. Dom Capers has his hands full this week, but Davon House will be a major key for the Green Bay defense. He had a solid outing last week but will need to step his game up in a big way against the Falcons’ aerial attack.
Kenny Clark, Defensive Tackle
Atlanta’s offense may be known for their passing, but they also have a deadly running back duo in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Kenny Clark is the big man in the middle of the Packers’ defensive line and will be asked to clog the holes that the Falcons normally open up for their running backs. He can’t do it by himself, but the run defense will start with Clark.
All of that being said, the Packers are an improved team from last season. Whether their defense plays as strong as it did last week against Seattle or not, they should look better against the Falcons this time around. Whether they come out with a win will depend on execution and players stepping up.
Do you think these three players are the main X-Factors for the Packers this week? Who would you add to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Jack Dempsey/AP Images]