SnoTap Packers Preview: Green Bay vs. Detroit
It all comes down to this for Green Bay Packers. They win, and they’re in. If they lose, we’re probably talking about one of the more disappointing Packer teams of the last 20 years. Sure, if Washington loses, Packers could still get in with a defeat by hands of Detroit Lions. But it will feel like a cheap way into the playoffs. My guy Murph usually says ‘Just get in, who cares?’ but for me, let’s finish the damn thing and run the table.
Aaron Rodgers versus Detroit secondary
Everyone all week talked about how Detroit’s completion percentage versus quarterbacks is the worst in football. Add to that, they’re so far in last place that San Francisco, the 31st-worst, is closer to 13th-ranked Dallas than they are to Detroit. This is bad news for Lions playing a quarterback at an MVP-level. Darius Slay, Lions best corner, might play, but even if he does, his hamstring can’t be healthy. Rodgers will take advantage of Johnson Bademosi and Asa Jackson whenever they’re out on the field. When Rodgers is this good, he’s even more dangerous in a controlled environment. He’s going to have a big day.
What Packers defense will show up?
Dom Capers defense has been an interesting one in the past few weeks. Against Chicago, they started off strong and faded down the stretch letting Bears back in. Against Minnesota, they started off poorly and came together in the second half shutting out Vikings until garbage time. Detroit got off to a fast start against Dallas before Cowboys made an adjustment with a dime defense. I’ll be curious to see if Packers do the same right away. Matthew Stafford’s numbers against Packers aren’t pretty. He’s thrown 18 interceptions and been sacked 27 times in 12 starts versus Green Bay’s defense with a quarterback rating of 81.
Battle of the bad running game
What could be the difference of this game is what running back shows up? Ty Montgomery had a coming out party versus Chicago, but he scuffled versus a good Minnesota run defense plus Mike McCarthy abandoned the running game. This Lions defense isn’t a slouch against the run, but Packers should be able to get some movement on the ground. Montgomery has breakway speed, and it would not shock me if Monty broke loose. We saw Zach Zenner’s power running game get going in the first half against Cowboys only to have Detroit going away from it as the game went on. Zenner could be a factor again this week.
Nervous vs. been here before
This is the fourth straight year Green Bay Packers are playing for division. Detroit is doing it for the second time in three years except this is the first primetime Sunday night game at Ford Field with a rocking crowd. Don’t be surprised if Lions come out tight in the first quarter, and if that’s the case, Packers have to take advantage. The closer this game is in the first half, the more comfortable Detroit will start to feel in this game.
I like Packers in this spot. I’m a little nervous about the overconfidence of everyone penciling in Packers. But they really are the better team between the two. Rodgers seems to get up for Lions whether it’s his disdain for Stafford (This isn’t a fact, just something I get a sense of it). Packers defense gives a great effort and comes out victorious. GB 35-24