The Packers (3-5) are a tomorrow’s loss away from life support. If they lose, it’ll be their fifth consecutive defeat and sink them to 3-6, with upcoming games against the Cowboys, Titans and Eagles. If they win, they’ll improve to 4-5 and very much stay alive in the playoff hunt, setting up a big game at Lambeau Field against Dallas next Sunday. The Packers, who had a scarier October than Freddy Krueger, desperately need a win. All it takes is one.
Their opponent, the Detroit Lions, are 1-6 and losers of five in a row. Detroit’s not as bad as their record, as four of their losses came by 4 points or less. That said, they’re still 1-6 and have the worst defense in the NFL, from a statistical standpoint.
So yeah, if there’s ever a week for the Packers to build some momentum after some encouraging signs in Buffalo, this is it. The table is set, the candles are lit and it’s time to eat. Question is, just how hungry are the Packers?
Over the last four weeks, we’ve heard everything from Aaron Rodgers calling out players for manifesting negative energy, credible leaks about defensive players being unhappy with the scheme to Rodgers saying the Bills game was the first time it seemed like the Packers were ready to play all season long from an energy standpoint. Weird, weird times man.
How the Packers show up tomorrow will say everything we need to know about the mettle of this 2022 Team. They already failed their first “Must-Win” situation of the year against the Commanders. The Packers, a team that won 13 games 3 seasons in a row from 2019-2021, still have a chance to save their season. At the end of the day, they just need to find a way to win, any way possible.
So how can they best do that tomorrow? Here are my quick hitters.
1) Stick with the Run
After rushing for 208 yards at 6.7 yards per carry against the NFL’s #1 ranked Rush Defense last week in Buffalo, it would be SO 2022 Packers to forget that ever happened tomorrow against Detroit. I know it’s tempting for Coach Aaron and Coach LaFleur to see Tua Tagovailoa’s stat line last week against the Lions (29-36, 382 yards, 3 TD’s) and say “We can do that!” (Shaggy from Scooby Doo voice).
The Packers are at their best when they stick with what works. When they run the ball consistently, it actually opens up the passing game and makes it more effective (who would’ve thunk). They would’ve beat the Giants had they just kept running the ball, and who knows how the Jets and Commanders games would’ve shaken out had the Packers been 4-1. The Lions, who are 3rd worst in the league in defending the run, should give the Green Bay offense ample opportunity, especially with them coming off their most impressive rushing performance to date.
2) Protect Rodgers
In addition to the Lions putrid run defense, they also rank 29th in the league in sacks per opponent dropback percentage. There’s not much firepower outside of promising rookie Aidan Hutchinson. When the Packers do choose to throw the ball, a great recipe for them to lose would be to have a pass-protecting meltdown. If they keep things clean for Rodgers, he should be able to keep the sticks moving against Detroit’s 27th ranked pass defense.
3) Force a Turnover or Two
The Lions will probably get theirs on the ground. Detroit’s offense does one thing very well and that’s running the football, where they rank 4th best in the NFL in yards per carry (5.2). The Packers run defense is bad, where they give up 141.3 yards per game, which is 4th worst in football. Knowing this, it would help the Packers in their quest to victory to force a turnover or two.
In their last two games against the Commanders and Bills, they’ve shown signs of life in this department. Last Sunday Night, the defense picked off Josh Allen twice and forced a Stefon Diggs fumble (which he recovered). Two weeks ago against the Commanders, they recorded a pick-six and dropped another 3 or 4 interception opportunities. If the Packers can continue their upward trajectory in this area, I feel really good about their chances tomorrow.
Do or die and I say do. This could very well be the green and gold goggles speaking but I don’t think so. It’s hard to be optimistic about this squad right now but I’ll choose to believe they have the mettle to pick up a win, based on what we’ve seen over the last 3 seasons from this team in addition to them showing some decent things against the Bills.
Packers 27 Lions 23, don’t @ me.——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a Packers guy. Alex\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.