By: Bill Tewes, Mark Prott, and Jim Boyce
There has been a lot of angst in Wisconsin following last weeks ugly loss in Minnesota. Despite the return of Jordy Nelson, Rodgers and the offense as a whole still look out of sorts. This week the Detroit Lions are in town and they haven’t lost in Green Bay since 2014! Here’s what we think will happen.
Packers 30 Lions 20
If Aaron Rodgers, and the offense in general, is ever going to get back on track it has to be this week. The Lions will be missing some of their top players on defense, most notably Ezekiel Ansah and DeAndre Levy. Matt Stafford looks much more comfortable playing in OC Jim Bob Cooter’s (what a name) system than he has at any point in his career. I expect the Lions will exploit the secondary enough to score some points, but Detroit’s lack of a running game will hurt them too.
This is a game Green Bay really needs to win going into their bye week. The offense needs to play consistent, winning football. Hopefully there will be more of a balance between the run and the pass than there has been through two weeks. If they are unable to pick up first downs consistently against a depleted Lions defense then there are going to be a ton of questions about the legitimacy of this team moving forward.
Packers 27 Lions 10
After a disappointing loss to Minnesota last Sunday night, the Packers are destined to bounce back and what better way than to face the Detroit Lions for their first home game of the season. Aaron Rodgers has faced more criticism in one game than he has faced in years following an atrocious performance where he fumbled three times and threw a game ending interception to a player who he had exploited all night (Trae Waynes). Rodgers will look to silence critics (even though he says they do not care about the outside noise) and handle Detroit.
It seems as if the entire Lions defense is questionable for this game. Detroit will most likely have no pressure upfront, and that will give Rodgers all day to pick apart their secondary, which is not that impressive to begin with. Even though Stafford and company put up 39 points on a god-awful Indianapolis Colts defense week 1, they struggled to get into double-digits against a Titans defense that is about middle of the pack as far as rankings goes. I cannot imagine this Lions team putting up a lot of points on the Packers and Green Bay will look to crush any talk that they are highly overrated just two weeks into the season.
Packers 26 Lions 17
After the offensive debacle against the Vikings, it’s difficult to have supreme confidence in this team right now against any opponent. If the offensive hangover from last year continues to linger into this game, it’s time to P-A-N-I-C. I think the Pack needs to get away from the no huddle attack at least for awhile and get back to basics. How about some smash mouth football with your bruising back Eddie Lacy, who looks great in the limited opportunities he’s been given. He has only 26 carries through 2 weeks so far. I would have no problem giving Lacy 26 touches in this game alone. Let him punish defenders to set up play action, which is desperately needed right now for Rodgers and the receivers to get back into sync.
With 5 key contributors on the defensive side likely out, headlined by Clay Matthews, the Packers will likely be relying on some inexperience to stop Stafford and his crew. The Packers have been down right dominant stopping the run in 2016 and that should not stop today as the Lions possess little threat at running back. The key again will be to harass Matt Stafford and count on the secondary to play to their capabilities after a not good enough start to the 2016 season.