Friday Fast Facts – Packers @ Lions
Due to some shuffling, my new and permanent home will be here, on Fridays under the new title Friday Fast Facts.
After spotting the Jets a quick 21-3 lead, Aaron Rodgers lead a fierce comeback beginning in the second quarter to win the game 31-24. Instrumental to this win was Jordy Nelson and Mason Crosby. Nelson caught nine passes for a franchise record 209 yards and a touchdown. Crosby was incredibly clutch, as the Packers needed his early field goals to remain close. His 55 yard field goal was a Packers franchise record at home.
Packers Offense against Lions Defense:
So far this season, Green Bay has struggled to consistently run the ball and be the dynamic Lacy-Rodgers duo that played against Chicago and San Francisco in the last two games the Packers played. Lacy’s 3.1 yards per carry seems to be more of a product of an offensive line getting a good push than a running back failing to hit the hole. Last week against the Jets, any of his runs that were not behind Bakhtiari and Sitton netted him only 2.1 yards per carry. I cannot imagine this will be turning around this week, as Detroit has stuffed the run for both of its opponents so far. That will leave it up to Rodgers to have another game similar to he did in the Jets game. While Eli Manning was unsurprisingly ineffective against Detroit week one, Cam Newton last week was efficient against Detroit, throwing for 281 yards on a 64% completion percentage. The biggest break coming into this year for the Packers is that the Lions best edge rusher Cliff Avril now plays for Seattle. While the defensive line lead by Suh will still get a good rush, Rodgers will have more time against the Lions than in previous seasons. With Nelson or Cobb receiving single coverage, since they cannot double cover both with Boykin and possibly Adams on the field, look for Detroit’s lackluster secondary to have problems if the rush is not there. Green Bay should be able to put up points earlier this week than they did last week.
Packers Defense against Lions Offense:
Week one the Lions offense embarrassed the Giants and week two got embarrassed by the Panthers. Talent-wise, Green Bay’s defense is not too far off the Panthers, but due to coaching this team plays much closer to the current Giants. Between a lack of mid-game adjustments and poor fundamentals, the Packers defense has only been slightly below average so far this season, 18th in yards per game. Calvin Johnson should bounce back this week, for his career he averages six catches for just under 100 yards and a touchdown in each game. If Green Bay can stay penalty free on third down (what killed them against Seattle) and not give up quick points early, the defense should make enough stops for the Packers to win this game.
Packers travel to Detroit after a gut check with the Jets. Two games in the Packers look like Jekyll and Hyde. If they play with the miscues in Seattle and the first quarter of the Jets game, the Lions are too good to not close it out unlike the Jets. However the second quarter and onward Packers looked like a playoff contender, and if they show up the Lions own issues will surface. My gut tells me the last view of Green Bay is the real view, Rodgers will have the offense in full swing, and the defense will do just enough. A repeat of last week’s score, 31-24 Packers over Lions.As always, go Pack go! Stu Weis -Journalism graduate 2012, Carroll University