NFL 2019 (Week 6): Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 6): Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

In a bit of a scheduling anomaly, the Detroit Lions have accrued a 2-1-1 record without seeing an opponent from the NFC North yet. Their Monday night foes, the Green Bay Packers, already have two wins (against Chicago and Minnesota) under their belts as part of a 4-1 record. The Lions are coming off of an early bye week, and with any luck they found some Aaron Rodgers' kryptonite in their time off. Rodgers has thrown 37 touchdowns against only six interceptions in his career against Detroit, although the Lions did take both games last season. Matt Patricia’s defenders tallied seven sacks in those two games, five of which were against Rodgers (their second tussle was in a meaningless Week 17 matchup, wherein Rodgers deferred to backup Deshone Kizer after one quarter of action). The NFC North looks like one of the NFL’s best divisions to this point, and a 3-0 start would be huge for the host Packers. Can Detroit snag a road win to put themselves in the driver’s seat?

Lions: What is not helping the visitors’ chances is their injury report. Of the seven players on Detroit’s two-deep defensive line (which lists starters and immediate backups), Mike Daniels and Da’Shawn Hand have been ruled out, and A’Shawn Robinson is questionable. Pressuring Rodgers while shutting down the Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams rushing attack is hard enough on its own, let alone with only a handful of defensive linemen at full strength. What’s more—Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs are questionable in the secondary. Matthew Stafford will have to play a smart game, holding on to the ball and staying balanced to shield their ailing defense. To do so, his offensive line will need to step up their game. Stafford has been sacked seven times in four games, and the team is averaging a paltry 3.9 yards per rush attempt with only one touchdown on the ground. Frank Ragnow, Taylor Decker, and Co. need to show out against a stout Packers front.

Packers: Green Bay bounced back from a primetime home loss against Philadelphia with a convincing 10-point win at Dallas last week. The Pack led 24-0 in the third quarter, forced three turnovers while committing none of their own, and made Jones look like he should be the league’s highest paid running back instead of Ezekiel Elliott. Hyperbole aside, Jones scored four touchdowns on top of 182 total scrimmage yards, and he led the team with seven receptions for good measure. Zeke did score a touchdown but failed to crack 100 yards and was essentially taken out of the game because of the severe deficit. Matt LaFleur has stated his preference to have a more even workload distributed between Jones and Williams, but it will be difficult to take the ball out of Jones’ hands after last week’s performance. However, all is not golden in Titletown, as star receiver Davante Adams and rookie standout safety Darnell Savage will miss this game due to injury. If a shootout breaks out in this one, those will be two massive absences.

Prediction: Green Bay gets off to another strong start and withstands a late Stafford rally to hang on for a vital division win.

Green Bay Packers 31, Detroit Lions 26

Jesse Pierson (@jessetpierson) is a former teacher and high school football coach who has written about the Colts for over a decade. He loves football, dogs, food, and comedy, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page, Jesse Pierson, Mediocre Writer.

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