Packers Vs. Lions Preview
The Green Bay Packers come into this Thanksgiving Day game today not with a target on their backs, but a bull's-eye emblazened on their chests.
The dome in Detroit is going to be hoppin' with rabid, lunatic fans. The Lions are going to feed off that energy and come into this game with a chip on their shoulders. This could be an "over-the-hump" kind of game for Detroit. The Packers are not only division rivals, they're the Lions big brother-type nemesis.
Since taking over the reins in Green Bay, Coach Mike McCarthy is 9 - 1 against Detroit, the lone loss coming last season, 3 - 7 in the Motor City. Needless to say, the Packers have had the Lions' number the past 5 plues seasons.
The Lions have to be feeling pretty good about this matchup. For them, its at home and will be an appropriate gauge to where they stand in the playoff race. If they can pull this one out the Lions record will be 8 - 3 and will have tremendous momentum for a playoff push.
In my opinion, the determining factor in this game will come down to coaching. Jim Schwartz and McCarthy have both done a solid job of getting the most out of their players up 'til this point in the season. Schwartz will have home field advantage and the crowd in his corner, so it'll be up to McCarthy and his coaching staff to neutralize this disadvantageous setting. QB Aaron Rodgers believes his team is up to the challenge saying they've practiced with loud crowd noise conditions and have used their silent count all week. Watch out if Rodgers and company get into a rhythm early on with the no huddle and silent count.
Another challenge for the Packers will be keeping the Lions front four from getting to Rodgers. McCarthy will have atough task. It'll be interesting to see how he mixes up the play calling to coincide with how well or lousy the offensive line does blocking Ndamukong Suh and company. Advantage goes to McCarthy and the Packers if they are able to keep the Lions defensive line off balance and off of Rodgers.
There's no question this will be a brutal game and there's no doubt fans are going to see some hard, violent hits. If the Lions do not get to Rodgers early and often to disrupt that offensive power machine, this could be a quick knockout of Detroit.
The Packers are going to come away with a win today. I think they're too much for Detroit to handle at this moment. The Lions will keep it close early on and it will be an exciting game, but I can see the Packers pulling away late in the game.
Prediction: Packers defeat Lions 38 - 24