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NFL Green Bay Packers

5 Things Green Bay Packers Must Do to Defeat Detroit Lions

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5 Things Green Bay Packers Must Do to Defeat Detroit Lions

packers
Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Green Bay Packers (6-3) will take on the Detroit Lions (4-5) for the first time this season. The Packers cannot afford to take the Lions lightly and will need to accomplish at least five things if they want to defeat Detroit on Sunday afternoon.

Green Bay is currently on a four game win streak and has been victorious in four of their last five contests. The Packers are coming off a bye week in which the team desperately needed to get healthy after losing another player to a season-ending injury. Green Bay is trying to hold it together but if they lose any more starters, it could spell trouble for the team.

Fortunately, the Packers should be getting wide receiver Jordy Nelson and fullback John Kuhn back in the lineup. Also, tight end Andrew Quarless and linebacker Frank Zombo will be active after spending the first half of the season on the physically unable to perform list. Green Bay also recently signed outside linebacker Vic So’oto back to the squad to replace right tackle Bryan Bulaga’s spot on the 53-man roster. All five of these recruitments should be used at some point in the game.

Even though Detroit lost by 10 points last week to the Minnesota Vikings (6-4), they still should not be taken for granted. The Packers must be on their game at all times as the Lions are more than capable of handing them a loss. Hopefully, Green Bay will come out victorious and head into New York on a five-game win streak Thanksgiving weekend.

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Force Detroit to run

run
Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit ranks first in the NFL in passing yards per game (307.3) and since Green Bay ranks 20th in the league when it comes to stopping the pass, they must force the Lions to run the ball. Detroit does not have a very good ground game this season, which has certainly hurt them in games. The Lions only average 98.8 rushing yards per contest, while the Packers hold opponents to 98.3 yards per game. Forcing the ball out of Matthew Stafford’s hand should be a recipe for success.

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Shut down Calvin Johnson at all costs

johnson
Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

Calvin Johnson is the biggest offensive threat the Lions have and must be stopped at all costs. Johnson may only have two touchdowns on the season but he leads the league in yards (974), yards per game (108.2) and 20-plus yard catches (20). Megatron is definitely capable of taking a game over and could very well do that against a Packers secondary that has given up their fair share of big plays. Johnson is also very difficult to bring down due to his big size and athleticism as his 224 yards after the catch proves.

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Pass, pass, and pass

pass
Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE

Aaron Rodgers ranks 10th in the NFL in passing yards (2,383) but is tied for first in the league in touchdowns (25). The Lions have been good at stopping the pass this season as they have held opponents to 214.2 yards per game, but the Packers still must put the ball in Rodgers’ hands if they want to win. Detroit will do everything they can to make sure Rodgers does not beat them with his arm but there really is no stopping the inevitable. The reigning MVP excels indoors and has never had a bad game statistically in a dome. However, the only time Rodgers did not play at his best indoors was in Detroit two seasons ago when he was knocked out of the game with a concussion.

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Take care of Detroit’s pass rushers

rushers
John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

The Lions have not been exceptionally good at getting to the quarterback this season as they have only recorded 19 sacks. However, considering the Packers have allowed 29 this season, tied for the second most in the league, the offensive line might want to keep their eyes on Cliff Avril and Ndamukong Suh. Avril has 4.5 sacks and four tackles for loss on the year while Suh has 3.5 sacks and five tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Throw in Kyle Vanden Bosch and Nick Fairley who have combined for six sacks and seven tackles for loss, and Green Bay has a deadly defensive line on their hands.

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Play with confidence

confidence
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

The last thing the Packers must do to defeat the Lions is to play with confidence. Green Bay is a superior team in the NFL facing an opponent who is on the ropes in the third week of November. On top of that, Detroit is a rival opponent and a way for Green Bay to make up some ground in the division. If the Packers defeat the Lions and the Chicago Bears lose to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, then Green Bay will be in first place in the NFC North due to a tie breaker with six games to go. The Packers must do everything they can to extend their four-game win streak and show the rest of the league they are a team to be reckoned with.