Sunday, September 25, 2016

2016 Week #3: Packers vs. Lions Preview and Prediction

The injury bug is hitting teams throughout the NFL early in the 2016 season; some players are out for the season, others for a few games, others perhaps just a game. The latter is the case and cause for concern today with the Green Bay Packers as the season opener at Lambeau Field versus the Detroit Lions is set for kickoff.

As of the time of this writing, Clay Matthews and Morgan Burnett are reported to have both been declared out after the Packers completed their final practice of the week on Saturday morning. Not helpful. Of course, we know that Sam Shields is also still out because of the NFL's concussion protocol; he won't see the possibility of playing time until after the bye week.

Oh, wait...there's more: Letroy Guion and Datone Jones have also been downgraded from questionable to doubtful, meaning the chances of them playing against the Lions is...not great. So, in case you're counting, that's five defensive starters who will not be playing. Ouch.

Wasn't it suppose to be the Lions that had health issues? So much for that notion. Well, OK, they'll be missing some players, too. And we don't have to worry about WR Calvin Johnson any longer. But enough about the Lions.

Aren't we worried about the Packers offense? The one which has seemed pretty out-of-sync for the first two games? Yeah. And now we have to worry about the defense, too? Oy.

The Prediction
We're going to keep this post short and sweet. The Packers are currently favored by 7 points, with the total points listed at 47.5, the second-highest of the week. So oddsmakers are figuring on a fair amount of scoring with the Pack coming out on top comfortably. How do you feel? Yeah, us too.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Head Coach Mike McCarthy
are hoping the offense gets in gear against the Lions.

Photo by Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

But it's the home opener. QB Aaron Rodgers should have a chip on his shoulder after two mediocre games (or more, going back to next season if we're honest about it). The offense needs to get on the same page and start doing what everyone knows they are capable of doing. Especially on a day when the defense -- with all its missing parts -- might be in need of the offense scoring regularly in order to stay in the game.

We're calling it 24-20 Packers.

Go Pack Go!!!