With the Packers coming back to Green Bay for their first home game of the season, there are a handful of things you need to know. We'll break down those things and take you through early division standings and an updated injury report, and we'll highlight the areas in which the Packers need to improve before Week 2.
|Detroit Lions||1-0||@ Arizona Cardinals|
|Chicago Bears||1-0||vs. Minnesota Vikings|
|Green Bay Packers||0-1||vs. Washington Redskins|
|Minnesota Vikings||0-1||@ Chicago Bears|
However, there is a good chance all four teams could be 1-1 by the time Week 3 rolls around. It's definitely possible the Packers will beat the Redskins at home, and both the Lions and Bears have losable games.
If there is one thing we've learned about the NFC North in recent seasons, it's that battles will be fought and positions will be exchanged all the way through the final week of the regular season.
The Packers didn't lose any more players to injury in their loss to the 49ers in Week 1, which is good news. The bad news, however, is that both Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward could miss extended time because of their hamstring injuries.
In fact, Hayward will likely miss the first month of the season, according to Bob McGinn and Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. As for Burnett, head coach Mike McCarthy is staying quiet on his status, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.
No further update from McCarthy about Morgan Burnett's hamstring.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 9, 2013
We saw how terrible the secondary was without these two players, and any extended absence will continue to put the Packers in a difficult defensive spot.
What Must Improve
For starters, the secondary needs to improve. Green Bay gave up 412 passing yards and three touchdowns to quarterback Colin Kaepernick last week.
Cornerback Tramon Williams was the only player in the Packers secondary to not finish the week with a negative grade, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). In fact, Green Bay had the worst pass defense in Week 1 by PFF's standards.
The biggest issue with the secondary was the safeties. Neither Jerron McMillian nor M.D. Jennings did anything productive against the 49ers. McMillian was especially bad, giving up six receptions on six targets for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Another area in which the Packers must improve is creating turnovers, which they failed to do in Week 1. As Jason Wilde of ESPN pointed out, the Packers aren't so good when they don't create turnovers:
Also goes to show how utterly dependent #Packers defense is on takeaways. They just don't win when they force zero turnovers.— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) September 9, 2013
To beat Washington, they'll definitely need to create turnovers.
As for the offensive side of the football, the running game needs to improve. It isn't just Eddie Lacy who needs to play better. The offensive line needs to do a better job of opening holes for Lacy to run through.
If the Packers can improve in these areas, they should come away with a win this Sunday.