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Why the Packers will Beat Detroit and Why They Might Not

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Why the Packers will Beat Detroit and Why They Might Not

After getting back on track with a 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills last week, the Green Bay Packers will turn their attention to the NFC North Divison Sunday as they visit their old rival the Detroit Lions.

The Lions are under a new head coach this year with Matt Patricia taking over. And so far, the former New England defensive coordinator has not had a ton of success. Detroit is 1-3 and with Green Bay coming to town, it's kind of a must-win game for the Lions.

For the Packers, it's also a critical contest. Green Bay is sitting in a decent position at 2-1-1, however, the schedule gets very tough, very soon. Next week, Green Bay takes on San Francisco, followed by a bye week. After that though, the Packers play four road games in five weeks against the Rams, Patriots, Vikings and Seahawks. That stretch also includes a home game against Miami, another playoff contender.

With four very difficult road games looming, Green Bay needs to rack up as many wins now as possible. In fact, winning the next two weeks could be extremely important for the Packers playoff chances. Wins over the Niners and Lions would put Green Bay at 4-1-1 going into the bye, which is a prime position.

For that to happen, Green Bay needs to start with a win on the road this week, which is never easy. However, when you have Aaron Rodgers, the task is always more manageable. With that in mind, here are some reasons why Green Bay will win, as well as one or two why it might not.

Why Green Bay will win:

As I said, having Rodgers on your side is a good thing and against the Detroit Lions, it's a really good thing. In 16 career starts vs Detroit, Rodgers is 14-2. He has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards against Detroit, has 34 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. His career passer rating against Detroit is also 109. So if you are looking for reasons why Green Bay will win, start with Rodgers.

Even though the game is at Ford Field, the Lions shouldn't feel any more comfortable. Rodgers is 6-2 as a starter at Ford Field, and one of those losses came in 2010 when he was knocked out of the game due to a concussion. Thus, only once in his career has he started, played the full game and lost to Detroit. Will today be the second time? I don't think so.

While the Lions have been solid against the pass, they are 24th in the NFL in points allowed and 32nd in the NFL against the run. That means that Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery should have a field day. Green Bay will be without Randall Cobb for the second straight week, however, Davante Adams looks like he will go. Again, Adams, Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham will have to carry the load in the passing game, although some more targets for Montomgery would be a welcome sight (more Jones carries would be too). 

The Packers offense, which ranks 19th in yards and 17 in points scored, really needs a good week to get going and maybe this is it. But if not, the defense should be able to help carry Green Bay to a win.

Green Bay ranks 11th in points allowed and sixth in yards allowed after shutting out the Bills. The Packers also have 13 sacks and four interceptions. In terms of takeaways, they rank 11th. Green Bay also ranks in the top 10 in pass defense and run defense. It will get tested by Stafford and guys like Golden Tate, but with a healthy secondary and a blitz scheme that has been as effective as any in the NFL, the defense should be able to help the Packers find the win column.

Why Detroit Might win:

The one reason Detroit has a hope to win this game is Matthew Stafford. Simply put, Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks the Lions have ever had and if he plays out of his mind, the Lions could certainly knock off Green Bay.

So far this season, Stafford hasn't been spectacular. His passer rating is pretty good at 92.7, however, has just six touchdown passes and five interceptions. Kerryon Johnson has helped provide some semblance of a running game and getting him going against the Packers will also be important. 

If the Lions can stay in manageable situations, it will be hard for Green Bay defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to dial up some of his blitzes. With time to throw, Stafford is as good as anyone in the NFL and through four games, he has been sacked only six times. 

Stafford also has two very good receivers to throw the football too. Marvin Jones has been a Packers killer since he arrived in Detroit and the Lions will certainly try to get him the ball down the field, testing Green Bay's secondary. Covering Tate is also imperative. It will be interesting to see if he draws Jaire Alexander or not, who seems to have the quickness and man cover skills to stick with the Pro-Bowl wideout.

Essentially, if the Lions are going to win, Stafford needs to play like an All-Pro. He needs to avoid turning it over and getting sacked. If he can find a way to lead Detroit to 27-30 points, then they will find a way to win the game. Otherwise, it might not be enough, because after Rodgers complained that the offense was poor a week ago, we should all expect a big day from the two-time MVP, which means Stafford will need to special to give the Lions a shot at the upset. 






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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (18) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Its a win for the Packer fans if we don't have to see those ugly blue and yellow uniforms again. Yak!

Tarynfor12's picture

I leaned Detroit in this game for some obvious reasons.

Packers run game becomes irrelevant by MM and AR.
Packers WR's will need huge plays.
Packers defense is still an unknown.

Detroit isn't as bad as the Jets game which the Packer fans hope true.
Stafford-Tate-Jones..bad history for GB vs Tate and Jones.
Detroit run game-watch out for Kerryon
Home field

This game is close and turnovers or lack of will be the difference . Det is more prone to dumb turnovers than the Packers and that can mean a 10= point difference. However, if Det doesn't do the dumb things, it could be a 27-24 win for the Lions.

The point is the Packers haven't separated themselves from any division team no matter what PFF or any stat sheet analytic site prints out.
Seeing is believing and what we have seen is still quite suspect. Another chance today to see otherwise and allow me to throw some 'optimistic' hope that we do.

The TKstinator's picture

I think Kerryon is what vultures feast on.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Perhaps he's a wayward son?

The TKstinator's picture

There’ll be peace when he is done (for the rest of the game due to ankle injury).

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"I leaned Detroit in this game for some obvious reasons."

The obvious reason. Yeah, we know what your obvious reason is.

Tarynfor12's picture

" The obvious reason. Yeah, we know what your obvious reason is."
I hope so...I posted them.

packergal's picture


Better get your flak jacket on.

Yes, you will be majorly dissed later today and tomorrow on CTH for being correct about Pack 2018 team being "suspect"....

AROD and MM lead the "suspect" performance:
-Multiple missed reads/throws to wide open receivers,
-Multiple turnovers (2 AROD fumbles) for holding onto ball too long with "sandlot" strategy on offense,
-Multiple FG kicks missed (3 by halftime),
-Poor leadership by AROD for calling out the offense post Bills game versus looking to improve own performance,
-Poor leadership by MM for not insisting AROD STOP looking for home run throws and START controlling the game!


Lphill's picture

Packers lose if McCarthy uses his pee wee football play sheet , Packers win if McCarthy uses an actual NFL play sheet .

PatrickGB's picture

Because Rodgers has been limited, so has MM been limited. If Aaron had all his WRs healthy then this game would not be in question. The Lions expect the run and will game plan accordingly. Patricia knew how to game plan against BB and will do so against the Packers. Stafford will make some good throws to his very good wide receivers. Our defense will do ok. Our run game will be good but not great. But if the Packers cannot overcome the loss of our top receivers then we lose. On defense not having Alexander does not help.

RobinsonDavis's picture

Thanks, Chris for the write-up! I am with you that we could see Monty and the backs used more in the passing attack this game, and even might TRY to have a sustained running attack. I don't think Geronimo will play, and for Detroit, I think Marvin Jones is injured.

I am of the belief though that we must get sustained pressure on Stafford with our banged-up secondary. Detroit has had difficulty with Daniels and Perry in the past, so I am hoping our front 4 can do just that. GO PACK!!

Since '61's picture

Reasons Packer will win:

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Aaron Jones
3. Kenny Clark
4. Kevin King
5. Packers OL
6. JK Scott

Potential reasons for a loss. Packers beat themselves by not playing solidly for a full 60 minutes especially on defense, dropped passes and/or stupid penalties.

Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Archie's picture

Both teams have top QBs and balanced offenses. Packers offense has been sputtering this year. Stafford has 6 TDs and 5 INTs. Both teams have suspect defenses. DET is home. First time this year Pack plays on a fast surface. Game is a pick'em in Vegas.

Should be a fun game to watch. Could be low scoring or high scoring. Either way, I see DET on top by 7.

Chris Peterson's picture

Both Allison and Alexander out. That doesn't help. King is playing though. No Breeland. Need corners to stay healthy.

Lphill's picture

So off subject I just watched something on Tom Brady , he battled Drew Henson at Michigan to start his last 2 years , he had several comeback wins and set school records in passing categories, he was drafted in the 6 th round . Now did Belichik take a average QB and make him successful as opposed to Rodgers who was a 1 st rounder who maybe made McCarthy seem like a successful head coach , Their are several interviews with Brady who gushes about Rodgers and even says how much more successful Rodgers would be in New England. Thoughts?

The TKstinator's picture

Stirring the pot.

The TKstinator's picture

Smoke it instead?

ILPackerBacker's picture

so much for the gift of prophecy

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