If the Detroit Lions want to truly change their image of long-time losers, they need to snap the Green Bay Packers historic winning streak against them. Green Bay has won a NFL-record 22 straight games against the Lions in the state of Wisconsin.
Don’t be so fast to credit beer and brats for the winning streak though because Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy is an all-time 15-1 against the Lions, wherever the game occurs.
Detroit Lions (3-1, 2-0) Analysis: Detroit was downright impressive in a 40-32 win over the Chicago Bears. Not only did it put them at the top of the NFC North, it proved to the country that the Lions are here to stay. Even though they fell to the Arizona Cardinals in week two, it was a hard-fought road battle that they could have very easily won.
The Lions are a team charged by their high-power offense. It all starts with quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron) who play with a sort of reckless abandonment. No matter how many guys are draped all over Calvin, Stafford trusts that the big guy can bring it down and more times than not he does. The difference this year has been the number of guys draped on Johnson as the home-run threat running back Reggie Bush has prevented defenses from centering all their attention on the all-pro receiver. Bush has been as elusive as ever, causing missed tackles all over the place.
Ndamukong Suh is starting to live up to that first round pick (#2 overall) the Lions spent on him in 2010. Everyone rags on the Lions’ secondary, but in reality it’s an improved bunch. Part of them looking so bad is the pressure put on them because the Lions offense likes to sling it around and be in shoot-out games. Safety Louis Delmas played particularly well last week by making no mistakes and coming up with two big interceptions. They’ll have all they can handle against the Packers passing attack.
Green Bay Packers (1-2, 0-0) Analysis: Suffice it to say the Packers start of the season has been rather disappointing. Instead of losing two road contests at San Francisco and Cincinnati, Green Bay would have looked a lot better with a split and a 2-1 record. The team had an entire week off to think about it and now return from a bye; Green Bay is 6-1 following a bye under McCarthy.
Just like the Lions, the Packers are an offensive team. Aaron Rodgers had his first bad game – feels funny saying that because it wasn’t that bad – in a long time in the loss to the Bengals. It was the first time Rodgers had thrown multiple interceptions in his last 40 games. Green Bay should receive a huge burst from the return of Eddie Lacy (concussion) who has been a full participant in practice all week. The one concern for the Packers’ offense is at tight end where Jermichael Finley probably won’t be able to make it back from a concussion. Andrew Quarless will get his first start if that’s the case.
The emergence of defensive back Sam Shields has been a treat to watch. His defense of superstar wide receiver A.J. Green in week three was one of those moments when you realize a guy has arrived for real in the NFL. It’s made up for a rather lackluster start for former standout corner Tramon Williams. Williams has been terrible to start the season as well has last year’s first round pick Nick Perry whose made no impact in pass rush.
Brutally Honest Prediction: Packers 34 Lions 24
There’s no reason to not think this will be a shoot-out. The Lions and Packers haven’t combined for under 40 points in a game since December 12th, 2010 when the Lions beat the Packers 7-3 in Detroit (McCarthy’s one loss to the Lions). As polished as these two offenses have looked and with the way the league is going, I see these teams going over 50 points combined. Should be a fun one in Green Bay.
TV Coverage: Rejoice, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are not calling a Packers game! 12:00 PM CT FOX has Kenny Alberts (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (color) and Tony Siragusa (sidelines)
Betting Lines: Green Bay favored by 7 and over/under at 53.5
2013 Record straight up: 2-1
2013 Record against the spread: 1-2
2013 Record in over/under: 2-1
Week 3 Pick Redux: Predicted GB 30 CIN 24 (actually CIN 34 GB 30); Missed straight up and against the spread (GB -7), but hit the over/under (48.5)
Do you think the Lions have a chance to snap the historic streak at Lambeau this weekend? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Pictures obtained from nydailynews.com and detroitnews.com
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