NFC Game Of The Week
Green Bay Packers (9-6) at Detroit Lions (9-6)
Packers: At one point, everyone was on the verge of throwing the towel in on them and some even had them missing the playoffs as a whole. It wasn’t looking good at one point for them. The offensive line was struggling, they couldn’t run the football, Rodgers was throwing it a little too much (then again he had no choice) and the defense, which has been a struggle over the years had some injuries to key players. All they needed was one game to get them back into the swing of things and they got that in Philadelphia on a Monday night in November. Ever since then, they’ve won five in a row and haven’t looked back. This is the team I wouldn’t want to see come January when the playoffs begin and I say that for three reasons. One, Aaron Rodgers is still under center and he’ll always give them the best shot to win football games. Two, they finally have a running game and whoever thought that a running back who was once a wide receiver have that much of an impact? Lastly, the defense has been getting off the field and they get takeaways which help them. There was also a time where Mike McCarthy’s job was on the line. A four-game losing streak has turned into a potential division title and they could win the NFC North once again with a win over the Lions on Sunday night.
Lions: They had been one of the biggest surprises coming into the year with the start they got off too. Without Calvin Johnson, I remember saying in the Summer that the Lions would be a very unpredictable offense because when Calvin was still an active player, the gameplan always revolved around him and defenses knew he’d be getting the football. With their offense now, everything was up in the air and it’s been a team effort to replace a guy like Megatron. Golden Tate has become that number one receiver, Marvin Jones has shown to be a nice signing and to add that veteran presence, they also signed Anquan Boldin. The Lions were 9-4 and inching closer to their first division title in franchise history. They’ve lost their last two games. Their offense was abysmal against the Giants and last week in Dallas, they couldn’t stop anyone. They could really be in the driver’s seat right now if they hadn’t lost those two games, but now, you just have to look forward to what’s next and that’s the Green Bay Packers.
Packers Player To Watch: Jared Cook– When he finally got healthy, he gave Rodgers another weapon down the field. With these tight ends today, they are being used more so as wide receivers to create mismatches with corners. Cook can run up the middle and he’s another red zone threat.
Lions Player To Watch: Theo Riddick– As of late, the Lions have really struggled to run the football. It’s been down pretty much all season and sometimes, that’s been the result of some spotty outings. Luckily, the Packers defense can sometimes beat themselves. For the Lions to win, they need to play the keep away game from Rodgers.
Prediction: The major key for the Detroit Lions on Sunday is to stop rushing four. With a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, you can’t let him buy time. I’d blitz him and force him to get the football out of his hands sooner. Green Bay simply needs to play the football that’s got them to this point. I like the Packers in this one. Packers 31 Lions 21