Game: Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
Time & Location: Saturday 1:00 PM EST; Ford Field; Detroit, MI
Previous Meeting: 2017 Week 9, Lions Won 30-17
Both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions seasons are all but over. Neither of them are in playoff contention heading into the final week, but the Packers injury report is a whole lot longer. The team features 11 players on the injury report, which doesn’t include Aaron Rodgers, Ty Montgomery or Quinten Rollins, who were all expected to be major contributors at the start of the season. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams have already been ruled out. Among other pass catchers, Richard Rodgers is out and Geronimo Allison is questionable. The team is also expected to be without several defensive players, which bodes well for the Lions offense. The Lions offense should be at near full strength with no key players dealing with injuries. The teams third and fourth corners, DJ Hayden and Nevin Lawson, are questionable and out respectively. However, despite these injuries, the Packers depleted offense will struggle to move the ball with Brett Hundley under center.
Despite being without Jahri Evans, who has been the Packers second best offensive linemen, Hundley should have time to throw thanks to a Lions front that has struggled to generate sacks on the season. They currently rank tied for 20th in the NFL. Despite the efforts of Darius Slay and Glover Quin who have been excellent this season, both ranking in the top 11 per Pro Football Focus, the Lions rank 28th in passing defense. After Slay, the cornerback depth falls off considerably, as the next corner is Quandre Diggs who is ranked 73rd per Pro Football Focus. Slay has frequently shadowed opposing team’s top wide receivers this season, but he does not travel into the slot. With Adams and Nelson out, it will be interesting to see who he covers.
The Packers have struggled against the pass all season long, and that won’t change this week as Davon House is struggling with a broken bone in his back and Damarious Randall is questionable with a knee injury. Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and rookie Kenny Golladay are poised for big days due to the lack of defenders and just the defenders being overmatched. To make up for poor defensive backs, teams will have stout pass rushers, which the Packers lack to take advantage of the weak parts of Detroit’s line. Travis Swanson and Don Barclay have been placed on injured reserve, and Taylor Decker has struggled to bounce back from his early-season shoulder injury. Nick Perry is on injured reserve and Clay Matthews is dealing with his own injury.
The Lions, with Matthew Stafford under center, simply have far more weapons than the Packers who have been destroyed by the war of attrition. Injuries have ravaged a team that never quite bounced back from the Aaron Rodgers injury against the Minnesota Vikings that featured several other key injuries in that game. The Lions won’t face much resistance from the Packers on either side of the ball, which could allow the score to get out of hand really fast.
Final Score Prediction: Detroit Lions 30, Green Bay Packers 10
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