The Packers have started slowly in every game against the Lions during Matt Lafleur’s tenure — frankly, the history of Green Bay’s sluggish play in Detroit was apparent during the McCarthy era as well.
Now that Cheesehead TV’s Aaron Nagler brought the trend up to Lafleur I fully expect the Packers to come out firing.
So, how do the Packers start hot against Darrell Bevell’s Detroit Lions on Sunday?
Green Bay needs to have their X-Factors playing well right from kickoff to leave Detroit with a convincing win.
WRs Not Named Davante Adams
The Lions ran more man coverage than any other team in the NFL by a long shot under Matt Patricia. A lot of people credited the commitment to man coverage for stifling the Packers early in games. However, Bevell is at the helm now, and he is playing with house money so anything is possible. Either way, Davante Adams will get his on Sunday. but as usual, the rest of the WR group has to step up.
Allen Lazard was the hero against Detroit in 2019, and Sunday provides Lazard an excellent opportunity to have his best game since his oblique injury.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling has yet to catch a pass since his tragic fumble against the Colts, but he is always a threat to break a game open.
Equanimeous St. Brown has shown some explosive athleticism in the short passing game this year, but his career continues to be anchored by injuries. He was limited in practice on Thursday so his status is still up in the air.
This one is simple. Aaron Jones rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting against the Lions. The Lions give up 134 rushing yards per game (28th in NFL) and have surrendered 20 rushing touchdowns (32nd in NFL) on the year. Jones is setup for another monster performance.
2019 Defensive Draft Class
The Lions have a middle of the pack offense in all regards, so if the Packers want to establish themselves as a stout defense, they will have to shutdown the Lions on Sunday.
Za’Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander have been playing at an all-pro level all year long, and Adrian Amos and Kenny Clark have been finding their 2019 form. But, this Packers defense is at it’s best when the 2019 draft class players are making plays.
Fellow 1st-round-picks Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage have been playing their best football in recent weeks, but the NFL is a league where you continually have to stack success. Gary and Savage will both need to find a way to get their fingerprints on this game.
2019 5th-round-pick Keke Kingsley has also shown flashes of pass rush juice this year, but has failed to build on this strong games. Coming off a two sack performance against the Eagles, Kingsley has an opportunity to carve out more playing time.
Kirien is a big fan of the Packers, Beer, and Battlestar Galactica. You can follow him on twitter at @KirienSprecher.