Game-by-Game Season Preview: Week 2


Week 2Sunday, September 14, 2008
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
1:00 PM ET

For this Week 2 matchup, the Packers, fresh off of an emotionally draining 24-21 win over the Minnesota Vikings, travel southeast to the grand city of Detroit to take on the Lions. In recent years, the Packers have somewhat dominated the Lions, but they have had some close games as well. This should be a close game, as the Lions are young and developing (except for the quarterback position) and are hungry. Jon Kitna does think the team can win 10 games.

Matchups To Watch

Packers defensive backs vs. Lions wide receivers: Offensive coordinator Mike Martz is gone, but that does not mean the Lions don’t have the potential to become the next greatest show on turf. Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey, and Shaun McDonald can put up big numbers with Kitna at the helm. Al Harris and Charles Woodson will have their hands full in this game, as will whoever wins the battle for the third-corner spot, most likely Tramon Williams. This game could be an early test to show if whoever won the job really deserves it. Atari Bigby and Nick Collins/Aaron Rouse will also have to show their cover jones.

Packers defensive line vs. Lions offensive line/running backs: A week after having their hands full against a fantastic offensive line and running game, the Packers get to see how they will do against a mediocre offensive line and running game. They could have the opportunity to feast on rookie Kevin Smith and product of the Denver Broncos system Tatum Bell and this could be a confidence booster, depending on how Week 1 against Minny goes.

Lions defensive backs vs. Packers wide receivers: The Lions have long been looking to revamp their secondary and now have three starting-caliber cornerbacks on their roster in Brian Kelly, Travis Fisher, and Leigh Bodden, acquired in the offseason from the Cleveland Browns as part of the Shaun Rogers trade. This gives the Lions three good corners to line up across from the Packers three good wide receivers, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and James Jones. The Packers wideouts can destroy on a good day, as evidenced by Driver’s Thanksgiving Day performance in 2007. The Lions have obviously worked hard in the offseason to try to combat this.

The Verdict: I’m taking the Packers again, 28-14. The Lions should keep it close at the beginning, but in the end, they are not quite up to the level of the Packers. Another 7-9 season for you, Kitna.

Packers record after Week 2: 2-0.