Week 11: Detroit Lions Vs. Green Bay Packers
- QuarterbackThe Lions thought they would get a little more from Matthew Stafford this season. He has one of the strongest arms in the league and he has the size to shake off tacklers and see over the top of the defense. He had an excellent season in 2011, but he seems quite ordinary this year. Stafford threw for 329 yards and 3 TDs vs. Minnesota in Week 10, but it was not enough to help the Lions get a win.Aaron Rodgers may have gotten off to a slow start this season, but he is back in excellent form. He has completed 67.0 percent of his passes and he has an eye-opening 25-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Rodgers has full command of the Packers offense and his coaches and teammates have confidence that he can make a precise throw at the most important moment of the game.
- OffenseCalvin Johnson is catching the ball and getting yardage but he does not have the same kind of touchdown production he did a year ago. Titus Young has the speed and quickness to get away from coverage and make big plays. The Lions hope to get a lift from running back Mikel Leshoure in the running game. He was limited to 43 yards against the Vikings.The Packers known they are going to get very little from their running game. That was the case last season and little has changed this year. However, wide receivers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones excel at getting open and making big plays. Nelson has an ankle injury, but head coach Mike McCarthy is optimistic that Nelson will be able to play in this game.
- DefenseThe Lions are tough and physical, but they often lack discipline. They did not have an answer for Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, who gashed them for 171 yards per game. Defensive coordinator Gunter Cunningham is good at getting his defense fired up but he often struggles when it comes to containing his opponents’ greatest strength.The Packers play a kind of all-or-nothing defense. They like to gamble and blitz, which means they can be vulnerable to big plays when they don’t get to the quarterback. Linebacker Clay Matthews leads the Packers with 9.0 sacks. They also are very solid in run defense, as they are giving up 98.3 yards on the ground per game. That ranks ninth in the league.
- Special TeamsThe Lions struggle in all aspects of kickoff and punt coverage. The Lions don’t regularly stay in their coverage lanes and that makes them vulnerable to big returns. Stefan Logan has good speed, but he rarely hits a home run on his returns. Jason Hanson is a very dependable placekicker.The Packers are somewhat creative on special teams and they are not afraid to throw the ball out of punt or field goal formation. Punter Tim Masthay has dropped 24 of his 44 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. Mason Crosby has missed 5 field goal attempts this season and is just 1-of-4 from 50 yards and beyond.
The Packers are back on track after Rodgers silenced critics with a 6 TD game back on October 14th against the Houston Texans. They are one game out of first and after the bye week are looking to dismantle the Lions on the road. The Lions are looking to bounce back after a 34-14 loss at Minnesota last week. Rodgers and Co will be using their air-raid against a mediocre Detroit defense. Packers will come out on top despite a good effort from the Leshoure and the Lions D.