PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Short Memories

It’s funny how people forget things.  Negativity reigns this weekend as Vegas is giving the Packers points, fans are predicting a loss, and all of a sudden the Packers defense isn’t going to be able to stop anything the Lions do.  Whatever issues that I have with Brett Favre, he nailed it this week.

“In the NFC North, the Packers own it. And they’ll continue to own it until someone takes it from them.”

These Lions? These Lions that went 7-9 last year basically fully healthy? These Lions that are 1-5 in their last 6 against Green Bay and 0-5 if you only count games in which Rodgers plays in?  These Lions are going to take the division away from them? I would understand if the Packers had some major injury or the Lions had been really impressive this season but neither of those things is reality.  The Lions just got blown out by the Panthers.  They’re the team that’s really beat up.  They look like the same old Lions.

I sure hope you aren’t worried about the Packers on the road in a dome.  That’s been a recipe for success for a long, long time, especially offensively.  Everybody always wants a different narrative.  Everyone wants to bury the Packers so they don’t win the division for the 4th year in a row.  People want something different to happen because it’s more interesting.  Unfortunately for those people 3 of the top 5 corners and the best pass rusher on the Lions are banged up and Aaron Rodgers is licking his chops.

Why the Packers Will Win: the Packers have never lost to the Lions in games that Aaron Rodgers has started and finished.  It. Has. Never. Happened.  10-0.  This isn’t even the best version of those Lions.  Ziggy Ansah has not practiced this week.  Their top 2 RTs have not practiced this week.  The Lions are down to just 4 corners.  I have never heard of one of them and another one, Cassius Vaughn, was also unable to practice on Thursday.  I would not be surprised to see the Packers use some 4 WR sets with Nelson and Cobb in the slot positions.

The Lions offense is good, but it doesn’t do the things that the Packers really struggle with.  They can’t run read option, they don’t do fly sweeps.  They run the ball in a conventional manner and that isn’t as much of a problem for the Packers defense.  Go back and watch the level of success that Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson had last week.  It wasn’t great.  They averaged 3.3 and 1.8 yards a carry respectively.  More than likely Calvin Johnson will get his, Tramon Williams will shut down Golden Tate and the Packers will win the game because as per usual Calvin Johnson can’t take down Aaron Rodgers by himself.

Why the Lions Will Win: The Packers defense might be bad.  I’m not convinced yet.  I saw the switch back to the 3-4 and what it did to the Jets.  The Jets scored 3 points in the final 40:38 of that game.  That’s not an opinion that’s a fact.  It is certainly possible that the Lions offense rips through the Packers defense and get into a shootout.  The Lions certainly showed on Thanksgiving that they can score on the Packers, sometimes at will.

I would argue that Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and HaHa Clinton-Dix didn’t play in that game, and that’s not this defense.  Detroit absolutely is not going to be able to slow down the Packers offense.  It’s possible that nicked up Fairley, Suh and a very good Linebacking corps corrals Eddie Lacy.  That’s certianly something that could happen, but if Green Bay decides to spread Detroit out and throw they just don’t have the horses on the outside to cover the Packers receivers.  The only way the Lions win is in a shootout, or as I discussed previously, if Rodgers does not finish this game.

Fantasy Packer to Start: Davante Adams- Tae Adams has taken the 3rd WR job.  His status as an untrustworthy rookie means he could have a drop or a fumble and lose that job just as quickly.  He is certainly the more talented of the two and given the Lions’ deficiencies in the defensive backfield and their injuries the Packers can support 3 fantasy relevant WR at any time.  Just ask the guys who owned Boykin last year.

Fantasy Packer to Sit: Eddie Lacy- This is the last time that I am bearish on Lacy.  The Lions can stop the run, and what’s more, they can’t stop the pass.  Lacy’s opportunities might not only be limited by the Lions solid run D, but also the fact that running the ball to beat them is unnecessary.

Packers Stats of the Week- as discussed above, the Packers have never lost a game in which Aaron Rodgers starts and finishes the game.  They are 10-0 in those contests dating back to 2008.  For those predicting a “shootout”, the last 4 games that the Packers have played against with Rodgers at QB they have allowed 9, 20, 20, and 15 points.

Bottom Line- the Packers are a more talented team than the team that just blew out the Lions.  The fact that this game is in Detroit doesn’t all of a sudden mean that the Lions are this unstoppable force.  I don’t know if last year’s Thanksgiving massacre is too fresh in people’s minds for them to think clearly or what, but that game is actually one of the main reasons why the Packers are going to roll here.  Packers will take the lead, rush Stafford with Matthews and Peppers, and grind the game away with Lacy and Starks in the 4th quarter.  Packers 34 Lions 24

 

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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