Packers put opening loss behind them as they host Lions
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers don’t believe a lopsided loss to start the season should impact their sky-high expectations for what they can accomplish this year.
But it sure raises the stakes as they prepare to face the Detroit Lions in a Monday night home opener.
Green Bay’s string of six straight season-opening victories ended with a thud when the Packers fell 38-3 to the New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville, Florida. The Packers now will try to win their home opener for a ninth consecutive season.
“It’s not acceptable, but it’s just one game,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “We’re not going to be held prisoner mentally by that poor performance. Like I said, we’re not going to change a ton of things. I don’t think there needs to be wholesale preparation changes, schematic changes. We had a clunker and we’ve got to play better. I expect that we will on both sides of the ball.”
Rodgers threw two interceptions without a touchdown pass in the season opener. Green Bay’s 35-point defeat marked its most lopsided loss in any game Rodgers has started.
The reigning MVP will try to bounce back against a team he traditionally has dominated, particularly at Lambeau Field. The Packers have gone 9-2 in Rodgers’ 11 home starts against the Lions. Rodgers has thrown 21 touchdown passes with only four interceptions in those games.
Rodgers will be facing a Lions secondary that must regroup after losing starting cornerback Jeff Okudah for the season to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Detroit’s likely starting cornerbacks will be Amani Oruwariye and Ifeatu Melifonwu, a rookie third-round pick from Syracuse. They understand the challenges of facing Rodgers.
“He’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Oruwariye said. “A great quarterback who can make all the throws, really controls that offense. But this game is about us. It’s about a mentality we come with, the physicality we bring.”
The Packers have won their past four meetings with the Lions overall and are favored this time by 11½ points, according to FanDuel SportsBook. The Lions delivered a better performance than the Packers on the season’s opening week, even though both teams lost.