GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - As the Green Bay Packers (4-1) prepare to host the Detroit Lions (2-1-1), it’s time to get ready for kickoff with Dave Schroeder’s ‘Fast 5 Pack Facts.’
#1 Division rivalry: Everyone knows about the Packers’ historic domination of Detroit, with 24 consecutive home wins over the Lions from 1992-2014. But some don’t realize that the Lions have won 3 of the last 4 at Lambeau Field and actually 4 straight in the series overall. However, Aaron Rodgers did not play significant time in 3 of those recent defeats.
The losing streak started on a Monday night at Lambeau in 2017. In Brett Hundley’s 2nd career start, things did not go so well.
Then, in the 2017 season finale, Detroit dominated the Packers in a 35-11 win.
In last year’s season finale, Rodgers was knocked out with a concussion in the early going as Green Bay lost 31-0.
The only game in the Lions’ 4-game win streak that Rodgers played start-to-finish came last October in Detroit. But on that day Mason Crosby missed, again and again, failing to convert on 4 field goals and an extra point in an 8-point loss.
Tonight the Packers look to reassert their authority in the series, and in the NFC North. A win would push Green Bay to 3-0 in the division, providing a huge leg up just 6 games in.
#2 Adams OUT: Packers star receiver Davante Adams has already been ruled OUT for the game with the turf toe injury he sustained early in the 4th quarter of the team’s loss to the Eagles 17 days ago.
The Packers will have to win without him, but for how long? Initial reports were that Adams’ ailment was a minor turf toe injury, but this week the receiver called it a “major” injury. One thing is for sure. With Green Bay’s bright playoff prospects, Adams is not going to let this linger by playing too soon (like he did with his ankle injury in 2015). Adams is taking the long view. With ligament damage he knows the need for rest.
#3 Early leads and pressure D: The Packers defense ranks 4th in opponent quarterback rating this year, as Green Bay has dialed up pressure and taken the ball away. An underrated part of that equation has been playing with a lead.
Since the slow start in Chicago, the Packers offense has provided leads of 21-0, 7-0, 10-0, and 24-0, allowing the Smith Sack Exchange to pin its ears back and get after the quarterback.
Za’Darius and Preston already have more than twice as much production (10.5 sacks) as Clay Matthews and Nick Perry provided all of last year (5.0 sacks).
#4 Schedule Quirk: Green Bay is entering a tricky part of the schedule. Not only are the Lions, Raiders, and then Chiefs all teams with winning records, but all 3 will play the Packers coming off of extra rest and preparation.
The Lions are coming off their bye and have had 15 days to prepare for tonight’s game. On Sunday, the Raiders will be coming off their bye, having had 14 days to prepare. Up next, the Chiefs will be coming off a mini-bye with 10 days to prepare after they play this Thursday.
#5 The Joneses: With Adams out last week, the Packers leaned on RB Aaron Jones. Jones produced 182 yards and 4 TD’s in Dallas. But Jones has not had any success against Detroit in his career. He has missed 2 matchups with injury and rushed for only 12 yards and 40 yards in the 2 games he has played.
Lions WR Marvin Jones has been a Packer-killer. In his 5 games against Green Bay as a member of the Lions, Jones is averaging nearly 100 yards per game and had a monster 205-yard, 2-TD day at Lambeau Field in 2016.
Prediction: Packers 34, Lions 27
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