The Green Bay Packers‘ bye week has come and gone and the team must turn its focus to their next opponent, the Detroit Lions. It is a big game on so many levels for the Packers. Currently at 1-2, this will be the first division game and it is important for the Packers to get back to their winning ways against a team they know very well.
Yesterday, the Lions beat another divisional opponent in the Chicago Bears 40-32. The score was not indicative of the game at all as the Lions pretty much controlled it from the onset. I’m sure the Packers were in complete study mode and they definitely could’ve learned a few things.
First, it looks like the Lions can be run on this year. Known for a dominant front four, the Lions allowed 95 yards to Matt Forte on only 14 carries. Last week, the Lions allowed 75 yards and a touchdown to Washington Redskins‘ Alfred Morris. In all four weeks this season, the Lions have allowed a rushing touchdown to their opponent.
This is a big eye-opener for the Packers. With running backs Eddie Lacy and James Stark expected to return to full health, the offense should have much more balance.
Secondly, the Lions’ secondary is still who we thought they were. With question marks throughout the secondary, the Packers should look to exploit the defensive backs this week. Receivers Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones should be licking their chops to get after the Lions, and you can expect Rodgers to be on the same page with these guys throughout the game.
Third, the Lions’ run game is a lot more dangerous than expected. With newly-acquired Reggie Bush, the Lions now have an explosive back that can run hard and catch the ball out of the backfield. This will be a test for the Packers’ secondary because they must respect Bush’s ability to catch and run while still keeping a close eye on Megatron Calvin Johnson.
The final thing the Packers could learn from this past week is that if you protect the football, the Lions are very vulnerable. The Bears turned the ball over four times and it allowed short fields for the Lions. If the Packers can protect the ball against this team, they can exploit the shaky secondary and keep the explosive Lions offense on the sidelines.
I believe the Packers will come out with a fire in their guts this upcoming week against the Lions, and I’m sure the coaching staff saw exactly what I did this past week.