2015 Week 13 Preview Detroit Lions Versus Green Bay Packers




Last time these two teams played was in Green Bay, a place where the Lions had not won since 1991.  They were also coming off a blowout loss in London, and the team was worried about their future with the bye week firings of Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew.  The Lions went out and won a sloppy game against the Packers to snap the losing streak.  With a current win streak of 3 games, having beaten the Raiders and Eagles since that game, the Lions seem to have all the confidence in the world.  The problem is that the Packers are still a potential playoff team and Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers.  Can the Lions sweep the Packers this season, and extend their win streak to 4 games?

OFFENSE

  • Detroit Lions Offensive Line vs. Green Bay Packers Defensive Line –  The last time these two teams met the Lions protected Stafford well.  He took 0 sacks and completed 63% of his passes. The Packers have continued to struggle since losing their week 10 match up with the Lions.  Expect more struggles this week.  The Lions have protected well since changing offensive coaches.  Offensive line coach Ron Prince and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter seem to have fixed the major offensive line issues.  While the line is still a problem, the revelation that the Eagles blitzed 50% of the time against the Lions and still could not get enough pressure on Stafford to effect his game says a lot.  Edge Lions
  • Detroit Lions Tight Ends vs. Green Bay Packers Linebackers – I still think that the Packers linebackers are very good and will easily contain the Lions tight ends.  Last time these teams met, Ebron was fairly ineffective and Pettigrew’s only catch was a 2 yard touchdown.  With Lance Moore potentially out, Ebron may see more looks than normal but I would still not give the Lions the edge here.  Edge Packers
  • Detroit Lions Wide Receivers vs. Green Bay Packers Secondary – The Lions receivers seem to have gotten it going lately.  They will likely be without Lance Moore like I mentioned above, but Calvin Johnson played excellent last week, recording 3 touchdowns and Golden Tate even got a touchdown last week.  Seeing how effective both were against the Packers last time, I expect more of the same this time.  Edge Lions
  • Detroit Lions Running Backs vs. Green Bay Packers Run Defense – The Packers stuffed the run last time.  Joique Bell averaged 1.2 yards per carry in 14 attempts.  Ameer Abdullah only saw 5 touches and averaged 3 yards per carry, although his 9 yard run was the main reason it was that high.  If not for an 11 yard run by Golden Tate, the Lions rushing numbers would have been way below 40 yards as a team.  As it was, they only ran for 45 yards.  While they ran better against the Eagles, they still did not have anyone hit 100 yards individually and no one ran for 4 or more yards per carry on average.  Edge Packers
  • Detroit Lions Quarterbacks vs. Green Bay Packers Pass Defense –  Matthew Stafford was average against the Packers last time they played.  He finished with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.  He also only completed 63% of his passes.  In his defense though, the team used very little of Theo Riddick in the passing game.  Against the Eagles, Riddick was featured more, and that meant more extended drives.  Stafford was over 70% last week with 5 touchdowns.  While the Packers defense is light years better than the Eagles defense, that confidence added to this being a home game could help Stafford have a good game. Edge Lions

DEFENSE

  • Detroit Lions Defensive Line vs. Green Bay Packers Offensive Line –  The Packers offensive line is beat up.  Offensive Tackle Bryan Bulaga not playing could be huge in this game if it happens. In addition to Bulaga being out of practice, guards Josh Sitton and TJ Lang were both limited as was center Corey Linsley.  I expect all of them to play, but how healthy will they be?  Teryl Austin blitzed quite a bit last time and it worked, sacking Rodgers 3 times and rattling him enough for him to miss his receivers frequently.  Coming off a home loss to the Bears, Rodgers and the Packers offense could be vulnerable again this week.  Ziggy Ansah is unlikely to record 3.5 sacks again this week like he did against the Eagles, but he is a force and the Packers are certainly watching out for him.  Edge Lions
  • Detroit Lions Linebackers vs. Green Bay Packers Tight Ends – The Packers tight ends combined for 90 yards against the Lions last time these two faced each other.  The Lions linebackers have struggled against tight ends all season and this week likely will be more of the same.  While I do expect better play this week against the Packers tight ends, I still have to give the Packers the advantage.  Edge Packers
  • Detroit Lions Secondary vs. Green Bay Packers Wide Receivers – The Lions virtually shut the Packers receivers down last time they played.  Darius Slay has been great since the Lions lost Rashean MathisNevin Lawson has played much better than anticipated opposite of Slay and Quandre Diggs is filling in for the injured Josh Wilson better than expected.  The Lions should be worried a bit though considering they lost Lawson and Wilson last time they played the Packers, and while Lawson is back, the Lions are still thin in the secondary, especially if Glover Quin cannot play this week.    Edge None
  • Detroit Lions Run Defense vs. Green Bay Packers Running Backs – Last time these teams played, James Starks was the starting running back and he averages 2.8 yards per carry.  Eddie Lacy did not play.  This time around, Lacy will play and the Lions are focused on trying to stop him as they did Demarco Murray last week.  If they can do it as they did against Starks, this Lions team has a very good chance to sweep the Packers for the first time since 1991.  With Lacy getting 105 last week against the Bears in a loss, its hard to expect the Lions to hold him down.  Edge Packers
  • Detroit Lions Pass Defense vs. Green Bay Packers Quarterbacks –  Aaron Rodgers is an elite quarterback and no matter how bad he struggles, he is always a threat.  With that being said, he only completed 51% of his passes against the Bears last week, and only 57% last time he played the Lions.  He will find openings in the secondary and will move the ball better than the Eagles did.  Can Slay shut down the Packers receivers?  Can Lawson and Diggs continue to contribute beyond expectations?  Edge None

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Detroit Lions Special Teams vs. Green Bay Packers Special Teams –The return game was a huge part of the Lions win last time against Green Bay.  Abdullah took a kickoff 104 yards and Tate took a punt 23 yards.  Both will play again this time against the Packers.  Micah Hyde was the return man last time for the Packers and he was contained for the most part.  He is out and was replaced by Randall Cobb on punts and Jeff Janis on kicks.  Should the Lions contain both, this match up could be another game changer for the Lions. Edge Lions

TOTALS

Lions 5  Packers 4

The Lions have a 5-4 advantage this time around thanks to a huge special teams performance by the Lions last time and a lousy performance by Green Bay’s specialists.  While I do not expect the same out of both squads on that side of the ball, I do see a better Lions offense than I saw last time they played each other.  They have more confidence, they are riding a 3 game win streak, and the Packers are down on their luck after another loss last week.  With home field advantage, I think the Lions jump on the Packers early and hold on late to get another much needed win.

Detroit 27 Green Bay 22


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