Packers: 3 players who must improve in Week 2 vs. Bears

Green Bay Packers, Eric Stokes (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Eric Stokes (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers, Darnell Savage (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

2. Darnell Savage

Eric Stokes wasn’t the only player in the Packers’ secondary to struggle last week. Safety Darnell Savage also had a bad game.

Savage missed a big chunk of training camp due to injury, so he didn’t have many valuable reps over the summer to prepare for the season. Still, he needs to improve in the coming weeks for the Packers’ secondary to reach its potential.

On one play, Justin Jefferson made Savage completely lose his balance, leading to a gain of 64 yards.

This comes after a 2021 season in which Savage struggled somewhat in coverage. According to Pro Football Reference, the former first-round pick allowed 64.9 percent of passes in his coverage to be completed for 496 yards, eight touchdowns, and a passer rating of 117.4 last season. They were all career-worsts for Savage.

Following last season, this wasn’t the ideal start to 2022 for Savage.

But he has proven throughout his career that he is a talented starting safety, and we can’t write him off based on just the opening game. If we judged the Packers’ defense on Week 1 a year ago, it wouldn’t have given a fair reflection on what turned out to be a strong year for Joe Barry’s unit.

Savage will improve, but the Packers need him to play well this week.