The Detroit Lions game went right down the field to start the game on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a one-yard shovel pass for a touchdown from Matthew Stafford to T.J. Hockenson. Yet another slow start for the Green Bay Packers against Detroit. But before fans even had a chance to voice their displeasures, the Packers had already scored. They went 75 yards on three plays and Aaron Rodgers connected with Davante Adams on a back shoulder that ended up going for 56 yards and a score.
Green Bay won 31-24 with an offense that kept Detroit guessing. There was that quick drive, but there were many time-consuming drives that allowed them to control the pace for much of the game.
It seems odd to be saying this when playing the Lions, but it was difficult not to think Here we go again after they scored on their opening drive. Detroit had jumped out to quick starts and double-digit leads in most of the matchups between the two teams dating back to 2017. This time though, Green Bay fired back, quickly. They did it by going pass-pass-pass and by Rodgers showing why he should be the front runner for the MVP award. It was as quick and surgical of a drive as you could draw up to start a game, and Green Bay didn’t really have to show its hand since it went quick hit to Adams, crosser to Equanimeous St. Brown (yes I had to google search the spelling leave me alone), and back shoulder to Adams for the touchdown.
The Packers’ offensive variety was on display in the first two drives of the second half.
It was 14-14 at halftime. The Packers offense went on a 14-play drive (nine passes; five runs), that took up 8:49 of game clock and ended in a Rodgers six-yard scamper to the end zone. Dude is 37 but he can still get the wheels turning, let’s not forget that folks. The Lions big boys up front looked gassed and their offense didn’t help matters by immediately going three-and-out on the ensuing drive.
That’s the thing about this offense, it beats defenses in a variety of ways:
- The short drive to start the game.
- The excruciatingly long drive to start the second half.
- The jet motion that involved Tavon Austin yesterday.
- All the play-action and moving of the pocket, the running game late to put the final dagger in Detroit.
Rodgers is the pulse and the engine for this offense. Hell, he is for this team. But the scheme, the cast of characters, the guys embracing their roles — that’s what makes this offense so dynamic.
And it’s exactly why this offense can carry this team a long way come postseason time.
Green Bay’s defense forced the aforementioned three-and-out after an 8:49 drive by the offense to start the second half that featured heavy doses of the passing game. The Packers followed that drive up with a 12-play (nine runs; three passes), 79 yard drive that chewed up 7:49 off the clock. It concluded with Rodgers finding Robert Tonyan in the end zone and Green Bay going up 28-14. There was no masking of their intentions on that drive, no tomfoolery. They fed Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams and ran it down heart of the Lions defense. It was vastly different from the other scoring drives they had throughout the game. And they did it with only one negative run on the drive.
It’s easy to numbers and see that the Packers offense ranked No. 1 overall according to PFF and think, Wow they’re good. It’s easy to see they have the most points and the most touchdowns in the league and give a tip of the cap. It’s fascinating to see how they do it and the different methods they use to keep defenses off-balance.
It’s a No. 1 offense, a defense that is getting better but remains flawed. And it has a special teams unit that has been utterly miserable at multiple junctures throughout the season (including the near kick return yesterday with Green Bay up 10 late).
The question here is: If this Packers offense plays at this high of a level the rest of the way, is it good enough to win it all and hoist the Lombardi Trophy?