So far, we have seen two fairly different results from the Detroit Lions. They won handily in their season opener, and then were defeated pretty roundly in their second game of the year. However, I will say that my opinion on the team probably leans a bit more toward that first performance than the second, which saw them be a bit unlucky on the road. Now, though, it’s time for the Lions to get down to brass tacks. The Green Bay Packers are in town for the first intradivisional game for Detroit. Which Detroit Lions team was real? And which one is the impostor that gets shot at the end of the movie, because the real one said something only they would know?
The Packers, despite the lofty praise they received before the season, are off to a bit of a slow start. They lost soundly in their opener, but that was a road game against the Seattle Seahawks. That’s just a thing that happens. Then, they barely eked by the New York Jets at home. I don’t think the Jets are very good, and it makes me wonder about this Packers team, even if the season is still young. Are they, perhaps, a team with some issues? Hopefully, because the Lions are also a team with some issues, and that helps to even the playing field.
Matthew Stafford has looked good through two games, very good in fact, even with the interception last week. Green Bay’s defense doesn’t strike much fear in my heart, especially at Ford Field. However, I am a little concerned about Detroit’s pass protection after last week. On the other hand, other than Clay Matthews, none of the Green Bay pass rushers concern me. If they stop him, I see no worries, and I think Detroit’s offense can excel in this game. In particular, the Packers have not been good against the run thus far. Might this be the game that Reggie Bush and Joique Bell finally break out? I sure hope so, as it would give the Lions’ offense an extra dimension.
I also expect the Lions to shut down the Packers’ run game. Detroit is excellent at that, although Nick Fairley is questionable for this game, and Green Bay’s offensive line isn’t terribly impressive. I think Eddie Lacy is a fine rusher, but he’s in for a long day. The question then becomes whether or not the Lions can keep Aaron Rodgers and company in check. Randall Cobb is shifty and hard to cover. Jordy Nelson is great, and is coming off a huge game. Detroit’s secondary is not good, and it is shallow. The Lions’ only hope is to get after Rodgers, which has been a successful plan in the past, but Ziggy Ansah is also questionable.
Then, of course, there is the looming specter of Nate Freese. He has missed three field goals through two games. That is simply awful. If this is a close game, Freese could end up playing an outsized role in the outcome, and that is concerning from a Lions perspective.
These teams are closer in talent than I expected, based on an admittedly small sample size. I’d like to know if Ansah and Fairley play. That matters to me. I think both teams will throw the ball relatively easily, and the Lions should run it well too. Detroit is at home, and Freese will probably kick better in this situation. I am wary to take the Lions, because I still think Green Bay is the better team. However, I think Detroit can manage to win this one at home. Final Prediction: Lions 34, Packers 31