This Monday, the Green Bay Packers will return from a bye week and take on the Detroit Lions. The Packers are currently 4-3 and are two games back in the NFC North. The Lions are currently 3-4 and are clinging onto their hopes for a division title the season in the NFC North. This should make for an entertainingly competitive contest that should come down to the wire.
There are three specific matchups that can decide this game:
1. Brett Hundley vs. the Lions’ Secondary
After losing Aaron Rodgers for the season two weeks ago, Brett Hundley will look to improve on his below average performance against the Detroit Lions. In order to improve, Hundley has to be more accurate in the pocket. In about eight quarters of football, Hundley has only completed 52.5% of his passes. That puts Hundley at 31st in the NFL in completion percentage out of all NFL starting quarterbacks. In addition, Hundley has only thrown one touchdown and four interceptions. If Hundley fails to improve, a victory against an underrated Lions defense looks unlikely.
2. The Packers’ Defense vs. Matthew Stafford
With Aaron Rodgers out for the season, The Packers’ defense will have to step up in order to compensate for the reduction in offensive production. This week, this unit will have to face off against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit offense. So far this season, Stafford has thrown 12 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. Last week, Stafford managed to throw for 423 passing yards against the Steelers. However, despite that impressive performance, the Lions only scored 15 points and lost at home.
Last year against the Packers, Stafford threw for over 700 yards along with five touchdowns in two games. However, the Lions lost both games last season to the Packers and will look to avenge their previous losses on Monday night. If the Lions are going to win this game, Stafford will need to have another phenomenal game and will need to score more points in the red zone.
3. The Packers’ Offensive Line vs. The Lions Defensive Line
Another week, another concern about the offensive line for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers offensive line has been atrocious this season and until all of the projected starters get healthy, I cannot expect this unit to improve. The reason for the offensive line woes are the injuries to both starting tackles on the roster. Both David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga have missed a large portion of the season already are are both listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Both tackles, when healthy, are above average and would solve the team’s protection issues almost instantly. However, until that happens, Brett Hundley might find himself on his back due to the likes of Ziggy Ansah and Co.
Prediction: Lions 17, Packers 20