Three weeks ago, the Packers eeked out a crucial win in Detroit that should have crushed the lowly Lions’ playoff hopes. Despite two hard-fought games against Houston and Indianapolis, the Lions have two more losses under their belts and are most certainly out of the NFC North conversation. Yet, in a prime time Lambeau Field environment with division rivals in town, anything can happen. The Packers haven’t lost a division game yet this season and love to move to 4-0 with a win over Detroit.
There is no question that the Packers could use sack artist Clay Matthews against an electric Lions offense. The league’s number one passing attack going up against a depleted Green Bay pass defense should only mean bad things for the Packers. However, the forecast points to snowy (albeit, not blizzard) conditions that could make it more difficult for Matthew Stafford to hook up with his primary target, Calvin Johnson.
Johnson has more receiving yards on the season than the Lions’ next three leading receivers and will be the focus of the Packers secondary tonight. Expect D coordinator Dom Capers to give cornerback Tramon Williams some help on Johnson after the Lions wide receiver erupted for 143 yards and a touchdown in their last meeting.
With the looming cold-weather conditions, the Packers would have loved nothing more than a healthy James Starks to chew up yardage inside the tackles. Unfortunately for Green Bay, Starks suffered a knee injury last week against Minnesota, leaving hit-or-miss Alex Green and recently-added Ryan Grant to carry the load against a tough Detroit defensive front.
That same defensive front could pose big problems for the injury-ridden Packers offensive line that has already given up 39 sacks this season. It will be important for Aaron Rodgers to get the ball out of his hands quicker to lessen the pressure on his O-line. Further, Green Bay’s receiver must get separation from one of the worst secondaries in the NFL.
Packers 31 Lions 27