It’s been a little over three months since the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers have met. Since then, the Packers have been an entirely different team. They’ve won 10 of their last 12, and appear to be unbeatable at home.
The Lions will be the final team to attempt to hand the Packers their first loss at home this season, and it will be a tough task to say the least.
The Packers are also second in scoring offense (30.4) behind the New England Patriots, who had no trouble lighting up the Lions’ defense.
As a matter of fact, Detroit has benefited from playing weak offenses as of late. They completely failed to bring the pressure against Jimmy Clausen and the Bears last week. Blitzing Aaron Rodgers hasn’t worked well for teams this year, so being able to create pressure with a four-man rush is a must this Sunday.
On the other side of the ball, the Lions will have their work cut out for them. The Green Bay Packers have the ninth most efficient pass defense, and are coming off of a seven sack performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Detroit will start rookie center Travis Swanson in place of Dominic Raiola, who was suspended for one game after stomping on defenseless player’s ankle last week. The Lions may be in for a rude awakening if Swanson is unable to build some chemistry with Matthew Stafford quickly.
CB Davon House – Shoulder – Out
OG T.J. Lang – Ankle – Probable
LB Clay Matthews – Biceps – Probable
LB/DE Mike Neal – Abdomen – Probable
QB Aaron Rodgers – Calf – Probable
OG Josh Sitton – Toe – Probable
The Green Bay Packers are favored by 6.5 points via Vegas Insider.
Keys To Winning
To come away as NFC North Champions, the Detroit Lions are going to need to give it their all and play a perfect game on all three phases.
The Lions will need to do whatever they can to contain Aaron Rodgers, much like they did in their first meeting. The Lions were able to beat Rodgers without blitzing and playing great coverage on defense — a recipe that didn’t quite work well for Detroit vs. the Bears last week.
There is no way the Lions will be able to replicate holding the Packers to just seven points on the road. The offense is going to need to come up big and score at least 21 points.
On special teams, the Lions just need to do their jobs and play a clean game. That means no fumbles, no low kicks, and no missed assignments.
The Lions were able to shut down Rodgers at home earlier this year, but I just don’t see it happening again. The two teams have headed in entirely opposite directions. While the Packers have won 10 of their last 12 and are dominating their opponents in Lambeau, the Lions are scraping by beating mediocre teams by less than a touchdown.
I think the Packers start strong and put the game out of reach early, but the Lions fight back and give themselves a chance late, only to fail in the final quarter.
Final Score: Packers 27 – Lions 17