CBS62logoNEW2013_blue_final_header_White wwj950-sm2011b 971-ticket-35smb 35h_CBSSportsRad_Detroit

TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 14: Detroit Lions At Green Bay Packers

Lions
Packers
Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders
SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 6:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers in the huddle during the 4th quarter of the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Diego Chargers NFL Game on November 6, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 6: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers in the huddle during the 4th quarter of the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Diego Chargers NFL Game on November 6, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Quarterback
Matthew Stafford has big yardage numbers this year, but the Lions are not playing winning football. Much of this has to fall on Stafford’s shoulders because he seems to make many of the right moves but he often struggles to finish off key drives with touchdowns or will miss receivers and throw interceptions. Stafford certainly has all the tools to work with, but his performance has been up-and-down.
Winner Aaron Rodgers is often on the run, but he continues to play the game in stellar fashion. Rodgers is completing 67.4 percent of his passes and has a superior 29-8 TD-to-interception ratio. However, his offensive line does not always give him enough time to feel comfortable in the pocket. If it did, his numbers might be record-setting.
Offense
The Lions can throw the ball all over the field, thanks in large part to the presence of Calvin Johnson. When the big receiver is on top of his game, he is basically impossible to cover because of his size, strength and speed. The Lions have a solid complementary receiver in tight end Brandon Pettigrew and the running game with Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell is credible.
Winner The Packers have little interest in running the football. That was apparent when they signed Cedric Benson in the offseason. Benson’s foot injury in Week Five gave Alex Green a shot, but he’s not a real threat. Packer receivers James Jones, Randall Cobb and tight end Jermichael Finley can dominate. Jordy Nelson (hamstring) may have a hard time getting ready to play against the Lions.
Defense
Winner The Lions don’t come up with the key stops when they need them. They had the Colts on the ropes in Week 13 but they gave up two late touchdowns – including one on the final play of the game – that caused their downfall. Stephen Tulloch is a solid tackler at the linebacker slot while defensive end Cliff Avril (8.5 sacks) has speed coming around the corner.
Winner The Packers are very aggressive on defense, but they have missed Clay Matthews (hamstring) badly. Matthews has missed the last three games, but he made progress last week and could return for this game. He has 9.0 sacks and he gives their pass rush credibility. Linebacker A.J. Hawk leads the Packers with 96 tackles and free safety Morgan Burnett has 92 stops.
Special Teams
The coverage teams have been troublesome for Detroit. Stefan Logan is a decent return man for the Lions, but opponents are outperforming them on kickoff and punt returns. Ancient Jason Hanson has made 25-of-28 FG attempts, including 3-of-3 from 50 yards and beyond.
Winner It’s been a disastrous season for Mason Crosby. The Packers’ placekicker has made just 15-of-24 FG attempts including a putrid 1-of-7 from 50-plus yards. Tim Masthay is a below average punter with a net average of 40.1 yards per kick.

The Winner Is

SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 6:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers in the huddle during the 4th quarter of the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Diego Chargers NFL Game on November 6, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Winner Packers
4 out of 4

The Lions are one of the most disappointing teams in the league. They continue to blow fourth-quarter leads and that’s why they are not going to be a playoff team this year. The Packers have not played consistently, but they simply never lose to the Lions at home (21 consecutive wins) and they won’t start now.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pittsburgh Steelers v Carolina Panthers
    Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Pittsburgh Steelers

    Suddenly, shockingly the Steelers demonstrated one of the most explosive offensive performances of the season at Carolina.

  2. Pittsburgh Steelers v Carolina Panthers Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
    Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers At Baltimore Ravens

    The Panthers suffered a somewhat-surprising and one-sided defeat in Week Three at home against the Steelers.

  3. Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Detroit Lions At New York Jets

    The Lions have long been one of the most difficult teams in the NFL to figure out, but they look somewhat better early in the 2014 season.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,930 other followers