All the Lions have to do is just keep doing this over and over. They could win by 40.
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This is an odd game at an odd time. It is really difficult to predict the outcome for some reason today. On the one hand, I seriously worry that because of the absolute rubbish performances of the last few weeks by everyone – D, O, ST, coaches, players – the Packers could get buried by a Lions team that can have a virtually unstoppable offense. Calvin Johnson has never been better, Reggie Bush has added exactly the dimension to this team that I thought he would and Stafford has been playing pretty well. But the key to this game may be the quiet return of Nate Burleson. Burleson was productive in his first week back last week, and in Burleson, Stafford has somewhere else to throw when Johnson is doubled/blanketed. This makes the Detroit offense really scary because Stafford then has 2 very good WRs as outlets, a great pass-catching RB, and though they don’t get many targets Stafford’s TEs Fauria and Pettigrew have been particularly productive in the red zone. The bottom line is that this is a legit offense that should tear apart the Packers porous defense. Unless of course, that productive, tough-playing Packer defense that flashed for moments against super weak teams earlier in the year somehow surfaces today. Doubt it. Keep in mind, Detroit hung in there at Lambeau earlier this year when we had Rodgers and they didn’t have Calvin.
Key to the game will be the Packers offense. If Flynn and Lacy can get things going and stay in the game, there is a chance the Packers could pull out what would definitely be an upset victory (Lions are favored by 6.5). The Lions also have the meltdown factor working against them. Like a person suffering from self-esteem issues, the Lions are so often cursed by self-sabotaging behavior that can almost single-handedly thwart victory. Seems the higher the stakes, the more likely the Lions are to meltdown – doing some alarmingly stupid things at times. Also, throw in there that the Packers (and Sitton) are clearly worked up for this game and suddenly the thought of a blowout Lions victory seems less likely.
It remains sad in my mind that our Packers team is so below average without Rodgers. One guy shouldn’t make this big of a difference. A convincing victory here today by the Packers could flip this “we’re nothing without Rodgers” narrative.
So here is my final, sort of, prediction:
- Packers 24, Lions 23 – 38% chance
- Lions 40, Packers 16 – 62% chance
Ok – not really. And it’s way past the trade deadline. But they should trade anyone Arizona wants for Patrick Peterson (except Rodgers). The guy reminds me of a young Charles Woodson – but even better. Read here to learn more about Peterson. He’s not only the best cornerback in the NFL right now, but he’s also a leader on the Cardinals defense – the kind of leader the Packers have been desperately lacking. This article is also a nice change of pace because as the author points out, it is a look at something positive about an NFL player. Nicely done Peterson.
- Ugh – ties suck. We lost a golden opportunity to tie Chicago and Detroit at the top division after their respective meltdowns. Just super frustrating.
- Pretty sad that we gave up 240 yards rushing to the Vikings. Yes, Peterson is a great back, but giving up 140 to him and 90 to Gebhardt when we KNEW that running the ball would be their focus is inexcusable.
- This defense is terrible. We gave up 447 yards to the Minnesota Vikings in super cold weather. It just shouldn’t happen. I could go on and on about this but I can’t right now – too frustrated. Tackling horrible, but more than anything today – positioning was way off. We were repeatedly out of position on defense. Defense just sucks.
- Capers won’t be canned mid-season but I kind of wonder if he should be. Just give someone else back there a chance to flip things – couldn’t do a worse job than Capers has done.
- TT continues to be exposed in the midst of all of this. The Packers are 0-3-1 since Rodgers went out and it has completely exposed us as a below average team. Our linebackers are so bad it’s really unbelievable. The D-Line was terrible today too but the Vikes’ line seemed to have free runs consistently through the second level too. Our LBs were often out of position somehow in the running game, and poor in coverage as well. Shocking really the TT can’t do a better job of stacking this team with good LBs when he was a LB himself. Awful.
- Mike McCarthy called a bad game. I know there are limitations when you have a backup QB, but McCarthy just didn’t float well at all with the flow of the game. The number of passes he threw on 1st down especially with Flynn in there just didn’t make sense. The almost inevitable completions were leaving 2nd and 10 – and then he would call a running play that didn’t go anywhere. It happened several times and it just crushed the team and any momentum that we had.
- McCarthy’s decision to bench Tolzien, however, was a good one. We needed a spark and it had become clear that Tolzien was just in over his head for this one.
- Flynn did a great job leading us back into the game and played tough. His 4th and 6 pass was fantastic because he recognized the Vikes were offside and just chucked it – great play there. He made a few other plays that Tolzien likely wouldn’t have made. So I was glad to see him out there.
- That said, Flynn does not have a strong arm. Wow. He clearly understands the offense which is nice but he threw a number of floaters out there.
- Pass protection was really was not good today. Made it THAT much harder on Flynn and Tolzien. Though I have to say there were at least 3-4 plays where Flynn seemed to scrambled and/or roll out in the wrong direction – like a rusty QB probably would.
- On that 4th and 3 in the overtime, the Packers should have never kicked a FG there. Was watching with Brother Steve and Brother Dan and Steve thought they needed to kick the FG. Totally disagree. The Packers had been terrible all game on D and getting a TD would have ended the game. Yes, if they didn’t get it that would have given the Vikes the ball – but at least there would have been pressure on them because they were backed up deep in their own territory.
- Once again – can’t say the season is quite over but my confidence in this team is super low. And I have to say I’m afraid my concerns about the defense before the season have been validated. Still though, incredibly, because of the ineptitude of the Bears and Lions, we’re still in this thing. And if we get Rodgers back, we could turn things around hopefully pretty fast. Though the prospect of making a big run even with Rodgers has dimmed given the performances of our defense.
Huge play by Flynn on 4 th down there. Just great recognition by Flynn that mn was offsides.
That Packers are so poor when it comes to takeaways. Even though Woodson had slowed down he was a master of the takewaway.
Close pass there to Boykin there but just a bit short. Boykin had his man beat too.
I realize he just fumbled but the second Ponder tries to do something, bad things will happen.
Nice play by Hawk there on that fumble. Nice. We need the D to step it up today.