Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
In what used to be a ho-hum NFC North Division matchup, the Green Bay Packers versus the Lions rivalry has matured into a battle between two teams with no love loss for the other.
But at the end of the day the Lions are not only a team that’s easy to hate, but a talented squad that could get over on the Green and Gold.
It’s probably too early to call this a must-win game, but in week 16 when the Pack is hypothetically neck and neck with the Lions for the division title, week three is going to make a difference.
So what’s it going to take to for the Packers to tame the Lions?
The short answer is Aaron Rodgers needs to exploit the Detroit secondary, while the Packers defense needs to put pressure on the pass-happy Matthew Stafford and force some turnovers.
This is a simplistic answer to say the least.
The Lions can be attacked through the air by taking advantage of a secondary depleted by injury and lacking talent. With that said, the play of second year cornerback Darius Slay has prompted optimism in the Motor City.
Before I get ahead of myself it should be noted that coming into this game Detroit is ranked second in overall defense. Their strength rests in their ability to stop the run and rush the passer.
The said strengths of the Lions put the onus on the Packers offensive line. I feel very good about how Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang will play. In addition to the obvious reasons for them to put forward a good effort, these guys are playing for pride, as they don’t want Detroit’s dirtbags getting the best of them.
Rookie center Corey Linsley has progressed well in the first two weeks. Ndamukong Suh is sure to give Linsley an introduction to the shady corners of the NFL trenches. This matchup puts Linsley back on the hot seat.
Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy.
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The Packers have not yet established their running game. Ranked twenty-sixth in the league by amassing 160 yards over two games for a 3.7 yard average Green Bay looks for Eddie Lacy, James Starks or DuJuan Harris to have a break out performance.
Although a break out ground attack would be sweet, my hunch is the Packers are going to take it to the Lions through the air. Detroit is sure to expect this as will they be keying in on Jordy Nelson.
Through the first two weeks of this young season Nelson has been targeted a league-leading 30 times coming away with 292 receiving yards and 18 receptions.
Aaron Rodgers looks to do damage to the Detroit Lions this Sunday. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Aaron Rodgers will need to spread the wealth as Nelson’s pace is not sustainable.
I look for Davante Adams and Jarrett Boykin to emerge to make plays. Brandon Bostick, coming off a leg fracture played some on special teams against the Jets and may be ready to prove to Packers fans that he truly is Jermichael Finley light.
These matchups against the Lions have become gritty affairs at its going to take some grit to come home victorious.
In addition to bringing their “A” game the Packers are going to need to pack a bit of nasty with them to defeat the Lions.
It should be a shootout between two prolific passing attacks.