The Green Bay Packers travel to Detroit this week to take on the Lions. SideLion.com blogger Zac Snyder and I exchanged 5 questions about the match-up.
1. The Lions have had some bad breaks in their 10 losses, bad officiating, unlucky bounces, and many consider them to be a much better team then their record shows. What are some of the main reasons the Lions haven’t been able to finish with a win in the close games?
"Games are won when players make plays in big situations. The Lions still face a bit of a talent gap compared to the rest of the league and it hurts their ability in fourth quarter situations and closing out games. It takes money players in money situations and the Lions are still a dollar short."
2. Ndkamukong Suh had a great hit on Cutler last Sunday, it appeared to everyone that it was a good hit after the replay, yet he still get’s fined $15,000 how does a player or a team for that matter get over such a bad call and now a fine?
"I’m sure a lot of other organizations and their fans would be able to brush it off as a one time occurrence, unfortunately this seems to be the new norm for the Lions. A lot of fans are upset that Jim Schwartz and ownership hasn’t made a scene. People are starting to feel that the Lions won’t catch a break until they start standing up for themselves. I’m not sure I agree that the league is out to keep the Lions down and use them as their whipping boy but I can understand the feeling that we’re just being piled on at this point. Suh and his teammates can’t worry about the calls or the fines and just need to play football. It sounds like that is how they are handling it but you have to wonder if they are reaching their breaking point."
3. Speaking of Suh, I have to admit, he makes me worry about the health of my QB. How do the Packers o-line contain him?
"With a double team on every play. That will contain him for the most part but that doesn’t mean the Packers have solved the problem. Cliff Avril is coming off his best game as a professional and is starting to play at a very high level and Corey Williams and Sammie Hill have played well at the other defensive tackle spot. The Lions depth and talent across the front of their defenses makes opposing offenses pick their poison. The best way to neutralize them is the kind of quick passing game that the Bears used successfully last week."
4. With two disappointing seasons since head coach Jim Schwartz took over, what is the comfort level within the organization that he will remain HC in the future?
"He will be coaching the Lions next season, there is no doubt about that. The Lions haven’t taken a step forward in terms of winning games but there is enough evidence to suggest that things are moving in the right direction. As long as “moving in the right direction” starts translating into wins as soon as next year there is no reason to look for another coach. Jim Schwartz is a likable guy that fans have been able to find a connection with but patience is wearing thin."
5. What is your prediction for the game?
"Drew Stanton played a nice game last week but I still don’t see him as capable to leading the Lions to a win over a superior opponent. Packers 23, Lions 20"