Packers/Lions Preview

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  • This is a weird game. The Packers barely showed up last week and somehow lost to a MN team without it’s star RB and an offense led by a guy who barely knew the playbook. Yes it was their opening game at the new stadium and their defense was solid as expected. But the Packers just looked overwhelmed, out of sync, unprepared – and worst of all, like they had NO answers for what the Vike’s D was throwing at them. (Our defense was mostly pretty solid…).
  • Meanwhile, in Detroit last week, the Lions puked up a game they had in the bag. It was a classic case of dumb Lions penalties/mistakes – as well as what seemed like a lack of aggressiveness – they were up 15-3 at one point and just didn’t put the game away. If they had pulled the game out last week, I’d be a lot more concerned about today’s game.
  • Still, I think there are 1 of 2 possible outcomes today: an incredibly deflating loss or a blowout win by the Packers.
  • Incredibly deflating loss – I’d put the chances of an incredibly deflating loss at about 25%. I don’t think it’s likely – especially considering how Detroit puked up what looked like a sure victory last week. But the Packers are without 4 defensive starters (Matthews – who is always injured…getting very annoying, Guion, Burnett and Shields). Detroit beat us at Lambeau last year. And Detroit’s offense with Jim Bob Cooter could actually be especially difficult to deal with. It is possible Detroit just comes in and takes advantage of the Packers weakened ego – and of course, it’s possible McCarthy once again just gets outcoached. If this does happen, I think the Packers will finish below .500 this year. Seriously.
  • Blowout win. I’d put the chances of this at about 75%. (The one outcome I don’t see is a close game won by the Packers.) It doesn’t really make sense for me to think this considering the reasons I cited above for why Detroit could win – but also because the Packers are playing like crap and things generally really seem to be in disarray. But this is why I think the Packers will win in a blowout. The Lions will feel more confident coming into Lambeau this time around, they think they are a potential playoff team and like many teams, they have to feel reasonably confident that they know what kinds of plays are coming from the Packers offense. So why do I think the Packers win? Because of the very public and very fair criticism of both Rodgers and McCarthy lately. They totally deserve this. The offense is totally out of sorts and has been, as Packergeeks has been saying, before even last year. They both have to be feeling like if they don’t put together a solid offensive performance in this game, this season could very quickly spiral down. There is a lot at stake here. I think they pull it off today, and the offense shows flashes of what it used to be. I think we see some offensive packages we haven’t seen in a while (a FB screen anyone?). I also think playing at home will seriously elevate the performances of guys like Jordy – whose inability to separate is leading some to speculate that the injury has caused a concerning decline in his overall ability. We need guys to step up and play big – and we very badly need other guys like Abbrederis/Montgomery to get a chance. But I will also say, even after a satisfying victory, I worry that we all could get lulled into a false sense of security about this team. McCarthy and Rodgers need to think far more creatively than they have recently if this team is going to go anywhere. “Staying the course” will lead to a sub-.500 record, and possibly cost McCarthy his job.
  • Packers 40, Lions 20.
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