Why Green Bay will Beat Lions and Why They Might Not

There was a time not long ago when the Green Bay Packers used to own the Detroit Lions. But after the past two seasons, that's no longer the case.

Believe it or not, the Lions, who once went more than 20 years without winning at Lambeau Field, have won two in a row on the Packers homefield and four straight overall in the series.

Obviously, the last two seasons were disasterious for the Packers and they didn't have Aaron Rodgers in two of those games, but still, this series isn't one-sided in Green Bay's favor anymore.

The last victory over the Lions came in Week 17 of the 2016 season, when Rodgers and the Packers wrapped up the NFC North. That was the year they ran the table. 

The two teams meet tonight in another big game. The Packers are 4-1, while the Lions are 2-1-1.

The winner will effectively be leading the division in the loss column and for Green Bay, which already owns wins over Chicago and Minnesota, a 3-0 start in division play can't be overstated.

Mike McCarthy used to dominate the NFC North and that's why his teams made the playoffs each year. 

That started trending in the wrong direction with Mike Zimmer and last season, Green Bay fell to the basement.

Now, through five games with Matt LaFleur, they are back on top, with an opportunity to start the season 5-1.

That's a strong starting position and one that would put the Packers in an ideal spot to win the division or at least earn a playoff berth.

It may only be Week 6, but every game is critical in the NFL so here's a look at why Green Bay will win and why it might not.

Why Packers will win

The first thing that comes to mind is that Aaron Rodgers and the rest of his teammates are probably sick of losing to the Lions. 

Now, that alone doesn't mean the Packers will win, it just feels like the team and Rodgers especially will be very motivated. 

Davante Adams is going to be out again, so the offense will be based around Rodgers and Aaron Jones.

Jones was stellar last week in Dallas and it was the kind of performance you knew he was capable of. Now, he just has to be more consistent.

If the Packers are going to win, he will need to reach 100 total yards and against a Detroit defense that is 27th in yards allowed and 27th against the run, that shouldn't be an issue.

The key for Rodgers is patience. He needs to pick his spots, use his legs and at times, make a special throw or too. The rest is up to Jones and the offensive line.

Oh and the defense, which is still in the top 10 in points allowed and turnovers, even though it dropped in the yardage ranks after Dak Prescott's big day.

The defense has been great at two things: sacking the quarterback and taking the football away.

Green Bay has 15 sacks and seven interceptions so far this season and if that trend continues Monday night, the Packers will find a way to win.

Why Green Bay might lose

The Lions get overlooked a lot in the NFC North and Matthew Stafford does too, but he's a gamer and one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL.

So far this season, he has completed 64 percent of his passes, along with nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also has two fourth quarter comebacks.

It's not always pretty, however, he is a fierce competitor and if he gets time in the pocket, he will tear a defense apart.

And while sacks have usually been an issue for Stafford, this season he has been taken down just seven times in four games. 

Tonight, it feels like the Packers need to hit him and hit him a lot to win this football game. That's generally the easiest way to play good defense in today's NFL.

For the Packers to win, they need to get to 3-4 sacks and force a couple of turnovers, which is much more likely when the quarterback is under duress.

If Green Bay pressures Stafford effectively, it will win. If not, it's a toss-up. 

 

 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (19)

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Nick Perry's picture

October 14, 2019 at 05:25 am

I have to think Rodgers is especially motivated to beat the Lions. Last season was the 2nd time the Lions knocked him out...literally... with a concussion, 2010 being the other. I've been vocal about the Packers need to trade for another WR. As good as everyone thinks the young WR group can be, I just haven't seen the proof that can/will happen.

I mean this is Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers couldn't throw a TD in the final 2 drives vs Philly and didn't throw a TD for the entire game against Dallas. Yes, I KNOW they won. BUT 4 for 12 to WR's last week and 0-6 wasn't it in the final 2 drives in the red-zone last week with a pick ain't doing it. As crazy as this sounds teams are going to try and stop Jones and make Rodgers beat them with this group of WR. THESE WR have to show they can beat man to man coverage consistently. Hopefully, that starts tonight.

On D the Packers are going to need to get to Stafford quickly and control the Lions run game on early downs. And for the love of God PLEASE keep Marvin Jones in check. THAT dude has been killing the Packers the last 2 years.

Packers 27 Lions 16...

5-1 and 3-0 in the division...

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Tundraboy's picture

October 14, 2019 at 08:37 am

All I know is the Lions game has been on my calendar since the beginning of the year and I hope that's true for the team as well. Go Pack Go!

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Lphill's picture

October 14, 2019 at 05:33 am

It’s new Territory for the Smiths ,just go after the QB doesn’t matter who it is. I think we see more blitzing as well .

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Guam's picture

October 14, 2019 at 07:35 am

It looks like D. Adams is going to be out awhile. Podiatrist friends of mine have opined that turf toe is a very incapacitating injury and takes some time to heal. If the young Packer WRs don't have a good game against Detroit, expect Gute to make a move. I just don't see Gute having much more patience when a promising season might be jeopardized. The question is who and at what cost.

I just don't see Dez Bryant or similar older WRs helping that much. I think it will take a trade for a younger but established WR like Saunders or Tate to make a real difference. That might cost the packers a third or fourth round pick. I don't watch other teams that much, so I would appreciate others with more knowledge of prospective WRs to weigh in.

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lucky953's picture

October 14, 2019 at 03:37 pm

There are several teams that have to be looking to next season already. A trade is definitely on the table. I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t happen, given Gute’s commitment to giving this team the personnel to contend NOW.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 14, 2019 at 08:16 am

I agree with you guys.
Our WRs leave a lot to be desired.
Either they're just not good enough, not ready, or 12 just doesn't trust them. Or a combination.
It has to get better.

Now tonight: what makes a coach good is versatility. Like Belichick & Josh McDaniels. The gameplan changes all the time.

This writer is saying Jones Jones Jones. Well guess what, Jones is also going to be the Lions main focus tonight. If we come out & try to feature Jones early & often, their defense will bottle him up. Like the Eagles did. And like the Broncos did.

No, you open tonight utilizing Jones success by using him as a decoy early.
Play action on play #1.
Fake screen to him to the left on play 2, then throw to a crosser to the right on play #2.
Play 3 is another play action.
Play 4 line him up in the slot, have him go in motion to the left, fake the jet sweep to him and feed Vitale to the opposite direction.

Get the Lions D all confused & make them throw their whole defensive playbook into the trash after 2 drives.

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 14, 2019 at 08:27 am

This may be the hardest game so far for Rodgers and LaFleur. The Lions,once you forget that game against the Cards in week 1, have played some tough football and are surely up for this one and coming off a bye.

This is a game where Rodgers will need to play like he was 30 or younger and make the non-luster looking WR corps look shiny and new as Aaron Jones won't be enough.

Packers 27-24 in a battle.

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sam1's picture

October 14, 2019 at 08:30 am

Have a feeling some new plays not seen before plus a gadget or two plays coming forth from GB tonight, because of exactly what said above. The Lions will try to bottle up Mr Jones and thee WR are still suspect w/o Mr Adams! { For me thanks for no Aikman and Buck}Packers by 10 points or more!

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PeteK's picture

October 14, 2019 at 08:33 am

Spread the ball around formula will work even better tonight. Savage availability worries me ,but our consistent pressuring of the QB will continue. 27-17

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Favreisgod's picture

October 14, 2019 at 08:36 am

If the Packers force Stafford to throw the ball I think the Packers win. Our D line and secondary are solid and can carry the day. It would be nice to see 4 solid qtrs. out of the offense.

I'm going to take the Pack 23-17 - Solid defensive performance but still choppy on offense.

I can live with that given the fact that Adams is still out AND it would push us to 3-0 in the division

Go PACK!

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 14, 2019 at 08:39 am

Article is a good take.

The strength of the Packer D is indeed pass D. An identity of the O has been fast starts. Coach Matt has been very good scripting his first few series of plays. If the Pack can get an early double digit lead and force Detroit to abandon the run (Packer D weakness) and get pass happy, the sacks, pressure, and INTs should come.

If the lions have success running the ball, we will have problems.

I do like our O line vs the Lions D front. Jenkins has been a great addition to a strong group.

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PatrickGB's picture

October 14, 2019 at 10:09 am

“Why they might not”- the Lions will take away our WRs and in effect take away Rodgers. They will be ready for our run game and have a plan to stop it. It doesn’t matter if Rodgers has time to throw if he doesn’t have anyone to throw to. They have a very good special teams unit and take away our return game. If the Packers don’t get a lot of turnovers, pressures and sacks the Lions will win the time of possession. Our Tight ends and running backs need to have a great game and catch a lot of balls in order to move the sticks. If we don’t it’s going to be a long night. I would not be surprised if this becomes a tough loss at home under the lights.

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Sol's picture

October 14, 2019 at 10:23 am

I think the pack wins on offence, if we can make Detroit think we are going to run when we pass and pass when we run. The team seems to be doing much better at it this year. Every opponent is different but the goal is the same keep them off balance and you always look great.

On defense we need to continue to keep setting the edges first and pass rush second that hasn't always happened over the past few years, if you can narrow the field you have a higher density of defenders to make plays this will be our two edged sword because it helps in both running and passing plays.

A few three and outs would be nice and maybe a turnover also. I know many of us packer fans are worried about big passing plays but I am just so happy that at least there is always a defender close and ready to make a play. That my friends is about all you can do with all the rule changes that have put in place to encourage the passing game.

Couto's to the Players, Coaching Staff and Management for making the necessary changes to achieve what many of the so called talking heads on the Network Channels said was impossible for our team so far this year.

Go Pack!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

October 14, 2019 at 11:04 am

We need to trade for a WR

On a side note, I think I would offer a trade fo RB Joe Mixon. He is on one of the WOIRST offensive lines in the NFL and is HIGHLY DISSATISFIED.

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stockholder's picture

October 14, 2019 at 11:44 am

We got rid of Randall and his contract. You win championships with defense. Not Wrs who cost you picks. Doug I'm surprised you don't remember Bad Moon Risen. John Jefferson. And how many continue to think Graham is over-paid. The window of a reciever just won't give you a Trophy. The Trash into Treasure only goes so far. The Packers are scoring with what they have. More isn't always better.

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Somedumbname's picture

October 14, 2019 at 01:14 pm

Joe Mixon is a dirtbag. I personally would never want him on our team. Punching a woman in the face and breaking her jaw is excessive and repulsive. I don't care what she said to him. There is also reports of him punching another girl in the face when he was in highschool and getting away with it.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 14, 2019 at 11:57 am

Kerryon Johnson is the guy to worry about.
Kerryon my wayward son.
Stop #33.

But Marvin Jones has hit us before deep. And we've seen Amari Cooper just hit us deep. I miss Darnell Savage already.

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Lphill's picture

October 14, 2019 at 12:43 pm

the Packers were not supposed to beat the Bears and Vikings, Packers were not gonna beat the Cowboys in Dallas , the Packers were not gonna be 4 and 1, so nobody thinks the Packers can beat the Lions at home? Lions have the 30th ranked pass defense and no pass rush, this will be a good time for Rodgers to be Rodgers. plus this is not last years Packers defense, pressure Stafford and he will throw it up just like Dak.

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JQ's picture

October 14, 2019 at 03:59 pm

On Offense: If Jones and the return of Jamaal can provide some run game, I look for Geronimo and Kumerow to step up and make some plays in the absence of Davante. It’s time.

On Defense: Stafford will cough up the ball on fumbles and picks, and I see this improved QB pressure will cause a couple turnovers tonight.

On Special Teams: Mason Crosby SHOULD NOT be making any tackles on kickoffs tonight, Please!

I like the Packers by 27-17.

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