Detroit Lions: Packers game feels like a must-win, but is it?
Obviously, at 1-3, there are also some areas that are underperforming. The run defense has been poor, ranked 32nd, giving up almost 158 yards per contest. For reference, the next worst team gives up 141 yards on the ground.
If the Lions hope to get back on the winning track, the run defense is going to have to find ways to slow down opposing runners. The Lions still have to contend with three top ten rushing attacks: Chicago Bears (2), Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Rams.
In general, the defense has given up too many points, as well. In points per game, the Lions check in at 24th, averagely giving up 28.5 points per game. The yards the defense surrenders is deceiving because, in yards, the Detroit Lions defense is eighth; that sounds much better than looking at how many points that translates to.
Also, although the pass defense isn’t allowing big yards thus far, the passer rating of opposing quarterbacks is over 104, with a 65% completion rate. The Baltimore Ravens hold opposing quarterbacks to a league-best 69.1 passer rating, for contrast. If a quarterback finishes with a rating of over 100, they had a great season. Six NFL signal-callers accomplished the feat in 2017.
All teams have to do is avoid Pro Bowl cornerback, Darius Slay, and they seem to have few obstructions to success.
Is the Packers game a “must win?”
It sure feels like the Lions need to win this game to have any shot at any big, team goals. The Lions consistently get put down by the national media for the exact kind of reasons that fans get frustrated; we lose too much and when we have talent, we seem to squander it. Think Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson, and maybe Matthew Stafford?
The Green Bay Packers are without their three best wide receivers: Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Geronimo Allison. Perhaps that gives the Lions some help to go into their bye with a win! At 1.5 games behind the Pack already, a win would put the Lions back into the hunt.
Check out the other players who missed or were limited at practice here. T.J. Lang, right guard, and Ziggy Ansah are the biggest Lions’ names who look to be out.
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