Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via Zoom. This week it was Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. I also scanned the Green Bay media websites and the Packers website to see what else Green Bay players and coaches are saying about this week's matchup with the Lions.
Here's what they had to say:
1. The Packers' offense has been humming all year long -- they're No. 1 in scoring and No. 2 in overall offense. But LaFleur told packers.com on Monday that the last two weeks in particular have been really impressive to him because they've had the fewest mistakes on offense.
He said they had five mental errors two weeks ago and four last week against the Eagles. His benchmark for that is typically trying to keep it under 10 in each game. He said everyone on offense is playing on the same page right now.
View photos of the starters for the Green Bay Packers.
2. LaFleur is pretty high on Detroit's offense, especially after the performance they had in Chicago last week. He said Detroit has playmakers, and he thinks their offensive line is playing at a high level like the quarterback.
"Anytime you go up against a guy the caliber of Matthew Stafford, I think he's one of the elite players in this league," LaFleur said. "There's not a throw he can't make and he's capable of throwing for 400 each and every week. So, our defense is going to have a great challenge in front of them. It is an explosive offense, one of the better offenses in the league, we have to come ready to play."
3. If there's been a crack in the Packers' armor this year it's been special teams, especially their punt coverage. Green Bay ranks last in the NFL in punt-return coverage. Opponents are averaging 19.4 yards per return. Green Bay has allowed punt-return touchdowns in two games, including last week, and they face one of the more dangerous punt returners in the game this week in Detroit's Jamal Agnew.
LaFleur said they have to be better on special teams moving forward. According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Green Bay ranks 32nd in punt coverage, 19th in kickoff coverage, 28th in punt-return average, 31st in kickoff-return average, tied for 19th in punting average, 28th in net punting average, 23rd in extra-point percentage and tied for first in field-goal percentage.
4. LaFleur said he got to know Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell at the NFL Scouting Combine over the years running quarterback drills. LaFleur has a ton of respect for Bevell, not only as a coach but as a person too.
5. The Packers didn't lead until the final play of the game in either contest against Detroit in LaFleur's first season as Packers head coach last year. They found themselves down 14-3 before rolling to a big win in Week 2 this season. LaFleur said it's easy not to look past Detroit for those reasons alone.