Shawn (1-1, 0-2 ATS): It is week 3, but you sure wouldn’t know by looking at the injury report for either team. The Green Bay Packers will already be without five starters on defense, including two of their best defensive players in Clay Matthews and Sam Shields. The Lions will also be without their two best defensive players in Ziggy Ansah and DeAndre Levy.
With the preposterous week 4 bye, the Packers are supposed to play 13 straight weeks after the bye. Hahaha… How are they going to accomplish that? We need a bigger roster. Keep in mind that with the bye week approaching, anyone who is nicked will likely be given the two weeks off.
All that being said, this game should be a shootout. Certainly these two teams have a history of just that. Certainly Matt Stafford and company are up for it. Almost certainly Aaron Rodgers and company are not.
Frankly, it has only been two weeks, but Matt Stafford has looked pretty good without his All-World crutch to lean on. In the offseason, Calvin Johnson joined the ranks of Barry Sanders in walking away from Detroit while the getting was good. Apparently losing in the NFL is like marrying an ugly woman — it takes all the energy right out of you.
Without Johnson, Detroit has a receiver-by-committee approach, and Stafford has been good at spreading it around. The Packers have been awesome against the run. So what? The Lions care about the run game about as much as the San Diego Chargers or Mike McCarthy. Expect Stafford to spread it out and throw the ball 40+ times. The Packers’ young pass defense has been a disappointment so far. Expect them to be challenged again by Stafford, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Theo Riddick and company.
The question is whether the Packers offense can keep up. Common sense would say no. Even without Ziggy Ansah to worry about, I have a hard time seeing this pass offense having a big game. However, I might be beating a tired and illusionary drum at this point, but I believe the Packers can and should win this game by getting Eddie Lacy and the running game going. The Lions are decimated at the linebacker position. A big game for Eddie Lacy would take the pressure off the passing game while also keeping Stafford off the field.
Seems I am saying this nearly every week, but if the Packers want to win this game and avoid being 0-2 within their division, they need to get Eddie Lacy going. Period.
Perhaps for no great reason other than the Lions being the Lions, I still have some faith. Packers will win but fail again to cover.
Packers 27, Lions 24
Monty (1-1, 0-2 ATS): As you can see from the fact that both Shawn and I are 0-2 against the spread, we obviously have no idea what to expect from this Green Bay Packers team.
Here’s probably the safest bet of the weekend — the Packers will remain at No. 1 in rushing defense after week 3. Even though they’ll be without Letroy Guion, that won’t matter. The Lions’ No. 1 back — Ameer Abdullah — was put on injured reserve earlier this week.
So the Packers should be able to stifle whatever rushing attack Detroit pretends it wants to mount regardless of who’s out there.
The Lions have a host of other injuries besides Abdullah. Shawn mentioned the two key ones.
Look, I can tell you exactly what the Packers need to do to win this game. I can also say I have no idea if they’ll do those things and you surely know why. Because this team is led by none other than the Buffoon, himself.
It’s simple. You hand the goddam ball to Eddie Lacy 20+ times. Not to James Starks and Eddie Lacy a combined 20 times. Eddie Lacy: 20+ fucking plus carries. I don’t even want to see Starks on the field. All Lacy, all day.
I’m so goddam tired of saying it. The Packers’ passing offense is dogshit. The only way I could see it becoming something other than dogshit is if Buffoon actually changed up the game plan by running different types of sets, screens, picks, more than three-receiver formations, etc.
But as you know, Buffoon has too much gravy between his ears. So it’s virtually impossible to think he could change his course. Also, everyone has to trust the process and what is the process? Well, it’s the status fucking quo. That’s what the process is.
So, back to how the Packers win the game. Eddie Lacy. You keep saying you want to run the ball. Well, run the damn ball then you goddam Buffoon!
That’s how you keep the Lions and Butterball off the field. Because if they get on the field, running game or no, we fully expect them to torch the Packers’ suddenly garbage secondary. It will actually help our chances that Morgan Burnett won’t be on the field. Micah Hyde can actually cover a receiver, so that’s a plus.
The Lions, instead of relying only on Calvin Johnson, now actually spread the ball around. Marvin Jones has become their top target, but Golden Taint and Horseface Boldin have both had their moments agains the Packers. Plus, the Lions love to throw to their running backs, so Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan are also going to play key roles in defending the pass.
The Packers are getting seven points wherever you look.
Is this the week they break out and pound somebody? I highly doubt that. Not only is their offense not good enough to pound anyone, the Lions have actually looked better than expected.
I’ve got a Green Bay win, but not the demonstrative one everyone would surely like to see. At 47, your best bet just might be the under.
Packers 23, Lions 20