Green Bay Packers running backDuJuan Harris
runs the ball against the Detroit Lions during the game at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
|Ryan Van Bibber
The Detroit News
Josh Katzenstein, Rod Beard, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer up their expert opinions on the outcome of Sunday’s Lions-Packers game.
Josh Katzenstein: The Lions have the formula to beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers with a dominant front four and a stout run defense, but they just don’t have enough consistency on offense to win a road game against a Green Bay defense rounding into form. Expect Rodgers to attack the Lions as Tom Brady did last month, and with weapons like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy, the Packers will give the Lions a rude awakening before the postseason.
Rod Beard: All of the signs point to the Packers running away with the game and the North Division title because of their big-game experience and the advantage at quarterback. But the Lions have erased so many of their perceived deficiencies this year on the way to a playoff spot. They’ve accomplished a lot, but getting a big win on the road in this big game is asking just a little too much. Even in a loss, it doesn’t put a damper on an outstanding first season for coach Jim Caldwell.
John Niyo: The Lions can’t count on the Packers’ passing game being as ineffective as it was in the first meeting. But they can count on Dom Capers doing his best with Green Bay’s defense to attack a patchwork offensive line. Matthew Stafford can’t afford another three-turnover day this time.
Bob Wojnowski: The Lions’ defense is capable of making Aaron Rodgers uncomfortable, as it did in the first meeting. It’s also capable of stuffing the run, as it did in the first meeting. But that was weeks ago and the stakes have rocketed. The Lions don’t have the offense to keep up with the Packers, but they have the defense to keep it close. If Matthew Stafford plays smart and doesn’t feel compelled to match Rodgers throw for throw, this could be a grinder.
Next: The Detroit Free Press consolidates a whole bunch of predictions on one page