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Packers Travel To Detroit For Primetime Matchup With Lions

The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions are headed in two different directions. The Packers have lost four of five while the Lions have won three straight. Among those three includes the Lions 18-16 victory over the Packers less than just three weeks ago. The Lions come in at 4-7 and are in a tough position in terms of where they stand. While running the table and winding up 9-7 is highly unlikely, it also would not guarantee a playoff spot. That type of run may also cost Detroit a spot in the lottery.

The Packers (7-4) on the other hand started off with six straight wins, but have since lost four of five. Total panic has not yet commenced in Green Bay among fans, but one more loss may prove to be the boiling point. The main concern has been the lack of offensive production, and the loss of star wideout Jordy Nelson is taking a bigger toll than some would have thought.

Green Bay is coming off a heartbreaking and frustrating loss at the hands of the Chicago Bears Thanksgiving Night. The defeat put a damper on the return of Bart Starr and the jersey retirement of Brett Favre. It also put the Minnesota Vikings in a position to reclaim sole possession of first place in the NFC North, which they did with a 20-10 victory Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s primetime Thursday night matchup, here are my 3 keys to victory:

 

  1. Don’t give the Lions momentum early
    One of the easiest ways to let a bad team stay in the game and gain confidence, especially at home is to allow them to feel like they can match the Packers intensity. Green Bay should look to get out of the gate fast and capitalize on every chance Detroit offers them. I expect a fast pace and aggressive attack from the start.
  2. Win the turnover battle
    This does not only mean not turning the ball over, but also forcing Detroit to turn the ball over. The Packers need to produce some takeaways. Matthew Stafford has been playing at a high level the last few weeks, and Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate have gotten going. However, Stafford is still a high risk high reward quarterback and will take some chances and Green Bay will need to find a way to force him in to some bad throws.
  3. Feed Eddie Lacy
    Eddie Lacy struggled for much of the season, up until the Minnesota game. He is coming off of two straight 100+ yard games. and needs to have his carries increased. Although ball security has been somewhat of a concern with Lacy, a strong running attack is crucial toward Green Bay’s success. When the Packers are able to run the ball, it forces the defense to not be able to just sit back and play the pass. At the same time, less drop backs mean less chances for turnovers and lowers the opportunity for hits on number 12. Running the ball effectively will also open up play action and aid the Packers receivers as they have struggled to create separation.

The Packers are in much need of not only a win, but an all around strong team performance. Losing four of five is not the type of streak you want heading into the crucial stretch of the season. If the season ended today, the Packers would be the number five seed and take on the Washington Redskins in the wild card round of the playoffs. However, there is still much football to be played, and plenty of time for the Packers to get the ship headed in the right direction.

Game Info

Time: 8:30
Where: Ford Field
Coverage: NFL Network

My Prediction

Packers 24, Lions 13

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James Alexander
RSEN Packers and Heat beat writer

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