The Green Bay Packers orchestrated a seemingly improbable comeback this past Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The Packers were down 17-0 in the fourth quarter and rallied together to reign victorious by a score of 18-17.
Green Bay now has to regain focus as they are on a shortened week with a Thursday night showdown with the division-rival Detroit Lions. The Packers have lost their last three games against the Lions, so there is definitely a need to win.
Let's take a look at three things we will see on Thursday night.
1. Rashan Gary records another multi-sack performance
Rashan Gary tore his ACL last season against this same Detroit Lions. Based on his performances so far this season, one could not tell. This past Sunday, the fifth-year edge rusher was an absolute terror against the Saints offense, making three sacks and four quarterback hits. I would expect nothing less from Gary on Thursday night and he will continue his dominant 2023 season.
Joe Barry and the Packers defense will need to apply as much pressure as they can on the Detroit offense. Jaire Alexander is still on the injury list, Carrington Valentine left the game Sunday due to injury. And to make matters worse, Eric Stokes is still on the PUP list. The secondary is very thin, so the front seven will need to make their presence felt early and often.
2. Jared Goff throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns
Above, I mentioned that the Packers secondary has been hit by the injury bug. I am sure that Jared Goff and the Lions' offensive coordinator, Ben Johnson, are licking their chops right now. Green Bay is down to a practice squad cornerback and a streaky and inconsistent cornerback as their starters.
This is a very tough situation for any NFL team to overcome. Joe Barry is going to need to come up with a near-perfect game plan to keep Goff on his toes and disguise as many coverages as possible. Unfortunately, playing man coverage is going to be tough for the Packers, as there is no one in this secondary who can cover Amon-Ra St. Brown head on.
3. Packers drop their fourth straight game against Lions
This is not a knock on the Packers as a team. I honestly believe that they are exceeding a lot of expectations up to this point. The fact of the matter is that there are too many injuries to key players, and with an extended break coming up, there is no sense in risking injury right now.
Things that concern me the most going into this matchup are Green Bay's thin secondary and their extremely poor running game. AJ Dillon is in a contract year and has had two weeks, potentially three in a row to be the featured back. In two of those weeks, he has not been able to answer the call.
In the end, Detroit has the better roster. With a loss here, I would not be concerned for future weeks. Getting this team healthy for the remainder of the season needs to be the goal going forward and adding on to the injury list should be avoided at all costs.