Lions at Packers: Recipe for success on Monday Night Football

Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions are the underdogs for their Monday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers. How does an underdog win? Let’s take a quick look…

The Detroit Lions are coming off their bye week and have the Green Bay Packers dead in their sights. Once again, the Lions find themselves in familiar territory as the underdog in the contest.

Detroit has been labeled the underdog in three of their four previous contests. The Lions were supposed to fall to the Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs. After pulling out wins in both the Chargers and Eagles games, the Lions lost to the Chiefs. Still, Detroit brought the fight to Kansas City like no one expected and nearly pulled the upset.

Detroit couldn’t get the win against the Chiefs, but they certainly turned heads. The Lions thoroughly outplayed the Chiefs but left too much room for a comeback with a couple of costly fumbles and late penalties. A lack of discipline lost them this game.

After extra rest during their bye week, the Lions cannot make the same mistakes against the Packers if they plan on winning this divisional matchup. This Green Bay defense is pretty darn good and they are only getting better, like it or not. As for their offense… They still have quarterback Aaron Rodgers and he is always dangerous.

Detroit must own the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball Monday night. The offensive line needs to continue to progress and protect quarterback Matthew Stafford. The offensive line  didn’t give up any sacks in both the Chargers and Eagles games. They need to get back to that. Against the Chiefs, they opened up some monstrous running lanes for running back Kerryon Johnson. They will need to repeat this as well.

As for the defensive line, they must get pressure on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. We all know how good Aaron Rodgers can be, especially if he has a clean pocket with time to boot. The Lions defensive line needs to collapse the pocket and force Rodgers into some costly mistakes. Sacks would be nice, but pressure is key here.

Green Bay had little issues running all over the Cowboys defense last week. Packers running back, Aaron Jones had his best outing this season in Dallas with 107 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns. He also had seven receptions for 75 yards through the air. Detroit needs to account for this man. The Lions offense will have to score early and often while the defense stuffs Jones, forcing Green Bay into a one-dimensional passing game.

Next, Detroit will need to get Kerryon Johnson rolling again this week. The Lions are going to want to control the time of possession. This is always a good idea in any game, especially when you’re the underdog. The best way to control the clock is with a solid running game. Green Bay has a good defense this season, but Kerryon Johnson teamed with his offensive line is better… Let him loose!

Finally, the Lions need to win the turnover battle. A handful of turnovers against this Packers team is not going to draw a win, just as it didn’t against the Chiefs. Detroit can do everything right in this game, but if they lose the turnover battle they will lose the game. Aaron Rodgers is just too good to have extra opportunities.

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Final Prediction

As underdogs once again this season, the Lions prove everyone wrong yet again. Detroit plays it’s best and most complete game of the season. I think this will turn out to be the Lions premier statement win of the season and it comes on primetime for millions of football fans to witness. The Detroit Lions win this one big with a final score of 34-17.