Thursday, December 03, 2015

Packers Look to Halt Slide Tonight vs. Lions; Can They Do It?

We know the story, Packers fans: the woeful 1-7 Lions came limping into Lambeau Field a few weeks ago. It was just what the doctored ordered for a team underperforming at the time (that would be the Packers, not the Lions). Or so we thought. Instead, it was the Lions winning in Wisconsin for the first time in 24 years.

That started the Lions on a three-game winning streak as they play host to the Packers tonight at Ford Field in Detroit. They've got some confidence going on both sides of the ball, and now stand at 4-7 on the season.

What about the Pack? As we know all too well, they've lost four of their last five games and in doing so are performing at woeful levels on offense. The defense has been playing, generally, well enough for the Packers to win...if only the offense could convert some third-and-shorts, catch some passes, and not fall asleep between the first and last drives of the game. It hasn't been pretty.

So, what can we expect tonight? That's anyone's guess. Whether Packer pride will finally kick in for some of these players is a big question. The offense is underperforming, particularly in the receiving game. Yes, the receiving options are limited. But the receivers still need to catch the balls thrown to them...something not greatly on display during this downturn.

The Packers offensive line is banged up, which also doesn't bode well for tonight. If they can't protect Rodgers, or open holes for Lacy and Starks, we could well be looking at the Packers losing 5 of their last 6 at the end of this evening.
Perhaps the Packers will get a kickoff return from Jeff Janis tonight that will make the difference in the game against the Lions.
(Photo: Kyle Bursaw/P-G Media)

The Packers defense should be able to hold the Lions offense to 20 points or less. Unfortunately, the Lions defense has been equally stingy during their winning streak. Can the Packers actually score more than 20 points tonight? That is the question. If they play to their capabilities they should be scoring 30 points or more. But there's little in what we've seen from the Packers over the last five games -- with the exception of the must-win game at Minnesota -- that makes one think they can put those kind of points up. The Lions have been playing with renewed energy at home. That was something that helped them win on the road against the Packers a few weeks ago: they wanted it more. Given that the Packers might be in real danger of falling out of the playoff hunt if they got to 7-5, you'd think that there would be a sense of urgency that we haven't seen out of this underperforming Packers team in quite a while.

The Prediction
The Packers are favored in this game by 3. Spreads haven't meant much recently. We shouldn't be so concerned with whether the Pack will cover the spread as much as if they will win. And, frankly, that's very much in question given the team's recent performance.

Until the Packers offense can show us some life and consistency, it's hard for us to pick them right now. Heart says "Packers"...head says, "Nope."

As much as the Packers need this game, the still apparently unresolved problems will get in the way of them doing so...barring a defensive or special teams touchdown.

We're calling it 20-17 in favor of the Lions.

Wish it wasn't so. Still...

Go Pack Go!!!