Why Packers Will Beat Detroit and Why They Might Not

For the first time since 2016, the Green Bay Packers own the NFC North, following an epic win in Minnesota last Monday night.

It was incredibly satisfying for this team and especially quarterback Aaron Rodgers to wrap up the division with a win on the Vikings homefield. More importantly, it also kept Green Bay in the hunt for the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NFC and with a win over Detroit Sunday, the Packers can avoid playing on Wildcard Weekend.

For weeks, the Lions have just been playing out the string. Matt Stafford was shutdown a long time ago and the Lions will have rookie quarterback David Blough starting at quarterback. 

Blough hasn't been awful, completing 56.6 percent of his passes to go along with four touchdowns and five interceptions, but he's not Stafford and he certainly will need to play out of his mind to beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

At 3-11-1, the Lions have unquestioanbly been one of the worst teams in the NFL this season and that alone should give Packer fans confidence that Green Bay will win its 13th game and clinch at least a first-round bye.

Yet, here is a little deeper look at why Green Bay might win and why it might not.

Why Green Bay will win

For the Packers, the motivation is pretty simple. Win this game and they are one step closer to playing for a berth in the Super Bowl. If Green Bay wins in the afternoon and then Seattle takes care of business against San Francisco tonight, then all of a sudden, Green Bay would be the top seed and even though the Packers aren't the most feared team, they are tough to beat at home.

If Stafford was playing, Detroit would at least have a chance to win this game, but he's not. Blough will battle and the Lions haven't quit. They just aren't very good right now. 

Only three times in the past seven weeks have the Lions passed for more than 250 yards. They do rank No. 8 in passing offense, however, the offense is a shell of itself without Stafford. 

Defensively, things have been even worse for Detroit which is 32nd in passing yards allowed, as well as 26th in points allowed and 29th in total yards.

Detroit has also lost three consecutive games by at least 10 points. At the same time, Green Bay has won three in a row and while it hasn't been in dominant fashion, the defense is allowing just under 13 points a game during that stretch and that's been the key along with Aaron Jones and Davante Adams making just enough plays to carry the offense with Rodgers. 

The offense shoud have an easier time scoring points in Detroit, against a pass defense that is atrocious and the bottom line is, unless the Packers totally lay an egg, it's hard to see them losing this one.

Why the Packers might not win

It's hard to come up with much here. The fact the game is in Detroit makes it a little more difficult. Kenny Golladay, who has over 1,000 yards receiving in a name to watch. If he could help create some big plays in the passing game that would give the Lions a jolt. Getting some easy scores and some turnovers is the way Detroit can keep this competitive.

Blough is going to have to be just about perfect to take down the Rodgers-led Packers. When you talk about QB matchups, this is a mis-match and while Rodgers hasn't been brilliant, he's been managing the game really well and letting the defense do its thing.

The recipe for the Packers is grabbing an early lead and breaking the will of the Lions. If Blough gets some confidence and the crowd gets in the game, it could be trouble and surely, the Lions would love nothing more than to spoil the second seed for the Packers, who beat them in dramatic fashion on Monday Night Football earlier in the season.

Division games are always more challenging to win and that's why the NFL made every Week 17 game a divisional matchup. 

But in this case, the Lions have been sleepwalking for weeks and unless that suddenly changes Sunday, there shouldn't be much resistance for Green Bay on its march to a top-two seed in the NFC. 

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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 (21)

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Bearmeat's picture

December 29, 2019 at 06:27 am

If GB shows up, they win. The end.

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Bure9620's picture

December 29, 2019 at 06:42 am

The Packers need to come out firing and start hot. They can break the Lions will as they will then be anxious to start their offseason and mail it in. If the Packers make mistakes and let the Lions hang around, do not underestimate how much the Lions would love to wreck the first round bye for the Packers. They will gladly play spoiler. The Lions have been playing hard and playing for pride. Jobs are still on the line in week 17. I anticipate a tougher game than some are predicting. However, the Packers should win, they need to play clean and execute. If they do that, they win comfortably.

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MarkinMadison's picture

December 29, 2019 at 06:45 am

The most important game for the Packers today is in Seattle. Don't tell the Packers I said that, but its true. This team has shown no real signs of the offense getting hot. Without that, they are going to need home field to make it to the Super Bowl.

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Sol's picture

December 29, 2019 at 07:55 am

No injury's please, plus a Win would be fine.

Go Pack

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flackcatcher's picture

December 29, 2019 at 08:00 am

Chris has covered the waterfront so there is not much more to be said. (But I'll think of something... :-) Time for the Short Flacky... See Bearmeat above. Division games are dangerous, you snooze, you lose. Packers at this stage of the season are not that kind of team. The self awareness of their strengths and weakness have been pounded into this team. They know they have very little margin of error to work with. Defense: Lions are a wreck. Holes everywhere. Injuries have gutted this defense and their secondary is in bad shape. Packers are healthy across the board with their preferred starting unit intact. (Will there be enough fresh quarterback for the Smiths to feed on. And what about Kenny. He would like some fresh QB too... :-) Offense: Lions OL is intact. Can the lions generate enough of a run game to keep the Packers front 7 honest enough to generate a passing game. (NO) Packers only question is can they keep Aaron Rodgers from going rouge. It will be tempting to go deep early and often with how damaged the Lions secondary is. If the Packers run their system, the deep shots will be there for Rodgers. Run the ball. Run to daylight. Run to Victory. Do that, and everything else will fall into place. Kickers: Both have had outstanding seasons. Mason (Money) Crosby should have been an All Pro.... Special Teams: Please, PLEASE don't do stupid today....(I pray etc etc....) Packer WIN 31-13 (I can't believe I cheering on the Seahawks...)

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 29, 2019 at 09:11 am

If Rogers goes rouge and adds lipstick, pearl necklace accents, and high heals, they still win by 14.

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 29, 2019 at 09:38 am

LOL, Doug. Your posts make my day.

Have you seen Rouge One: A Star Wars Story? I believe it was nominated for best makeup and costume design.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 29, 2019 at 10:00 am

Thanks Leotis. Drive safely and be sure to tip your waiters and waitresses.

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murf7777's picture

December 29, 2019 at 08:03 am

I think the only way we lose this game is if we have multiple TO’s that lead to Detroit TD’s. Blough just isn’t good enough especially with the amount of pressure we are putting onto QB’s now. Take and early lead and make them one dimensional on O and make it a blowout.

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Lare's picture

December 29, 2019 at 08:23 am

With home field advantage, the Lions will be getting the benefit of officiating calls. The Packers need to limit mistakes and not beat themselves.

The main goal in this game to to keep key players healthy. If the Packers get a good lead, they need to get the second-stringers in.

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cpabandit's picture

December 29, 2019 at 01:35 pm

If the Packers get a good lead?
Packers won't win. At the half they are down by 14 because :
a. They have a tight end that catches like he's Stevie Wonder
b. Packer d-backs corners have talent but no brains.
c. Aaron Rodgers should look at the tapes of Blough after the game so he can learn how to complete a pass.
1. And not with 00 on the clock
2. And not when the receiver is out of bounds

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Spock's picture

December 29, 2019 at 09:12 am

BALL SECURITY. I hope MLF and his assistant coaches have been hammering on that this week. Last weeks film is out there and other teams will be looking to see if Detroit can punch out more TO's. The Packers need to ignore the records and go for the throat so they can sweep the division. Win the game first. Stay healthy. Hopefully, get ahead early so we fans can enjoy a stress-free game. :)

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4thand1's picture

December 29, 2019 at 10:24 am

The old Packers defense would make Blough look all pro. This defense will not. Packers holds the lions to 13 maybe 10 points. Packers 34 - 10.

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stockholder's picture

December 29, 2019 at 10:25 am

Why the packers might win: The Force is with them. Why the packers might not win: "It takes strength to resist the dark side. Only the weak embrace it!"

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PatrickGB's picture

December 29, 2019 at 11:05 am

I agree with Spock on this. I watched the the last time we played them and we had a lot of turnovers and Golladay looked good. So, protect the ball and be methodical on offense. Pressure the QB and limit the big plays when we are on defense. Stay focused on ST and don’t commit penalties. And one more thing, watch out for trick plays.

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Lare's picture

December 29, 2019 at 11:05 am

The Packers might lose because according to Mike Florio and Colin Cowturd their offense & defense sucks, Rodgers is all washed up and he & MLF are still fighting over play calling responsibilities. Meanwhile, Tyler Dunne is busy trying to make up another conspiracy theory to explain why they won't be successful.

Personally, I think they're all full of crap and the Packers win easily, 31-13.

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Qoojo's picture

December 29, 2019 at 11:31 am

As long as they don't make a bunch of stupid mistakes or "phone it in" , Packers will win. Packers have a big talent advantage and coaching advantage.

So go up big, get Rodgers, Jones, Adams, Clark, Z Smith, Alexander, etc... out of the game and resting.

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cpabandit's picture

December 29, 2019 at 03:29 pm

?

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GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

December 29, 2019 at 01:39 pm

AR is stinking it up!! GB looks horrible. Absolutely unbelievable

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GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

December 29, 2019 at 01:51 pm

And the misery continues with #12. He is not playing good in fact this the worst I have ever seen him play. Time to draft a QB.

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jsb937's picture

December 29, 2019 at 04:13 pm

Who is the better rookie? Max Crosby or Rashard Gary?

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