Lions

Lions vs. Packers Week 5 Preview: Can the Lions overcome their Lambeau curse?

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Twenty two years…  that’s how long it’s been since the Lions won in Green Bay. Frankly Lambeau field has been a house of horrors for a thousand Lions players over the past 2 decades. And heading into this game everybody is going to talk about Lambeau, the Packers being 93-65 lifetime vs. Detroit and perhaps Mike McCarthy being 6-1 after the bye week.

Green Bay is coming off a loss before the bye and have spent the last two weeks working out the kinks. And prior their bye the Pack had one get away from them against the Bengals while opening up the season up in San Francisco against the defending NFC Champions. So in all this Green Bay squad has been tested early. The key word here though is tested…  tested and failed while totally being exposed. The Packers have a defense loaded with injuries and a rookie LT in David Bakhtiari taking over for Brian Bulaga after being lost in preseason. Green Bay is also having to deal with a banged up Clay Matthews which could be pretty concerning considering Reggie Bush is coming into Lambeau this week. In addition corner back Casey Heyward is also out however Eddie Lacey seems ready for a comeback after missing the past couple of weeks due to a concussion.

Speaking of the running back position it’s certainly been a carousel for Green Bay but it hasn’t seemed to affect their ground attack this season. The Pack are seeing roughly 130 yards a game on the ground which is huge for a team that has had to rely on the arm of Aaron Rodgers offering them more of a competitive balance.

Detroit though has what they need to beat Green Bay with the ability to throw the football and now run. The defensive line should be able to beat up the Packers and continue the heavy pressure on Rodgers something that’s all based on Detroit’s defensive tackle duo of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Suh is playing the best football of his career which is a scary thought as the much publicized star is playing more mature and is in line to put up his best numbers since his rookie campaign. But more importantly is his total effect on the defense as he understands the game better.

Match ups I like

Bush vs. Matthews

Matthews is a flat out play maker and one of the few LB’s you can truly consider building your defense around. He plays with an edge and will likely shadow Bush on most plays he is on the field. Bush on the other hand has true game breaker speed. Matthews will get Bush tripped up in the backfield for a couple losses but it’s the big run or screen pass where Bush will get pay back.

Stafford vs. the Packer secondary

The Green Bay defense is bad and haven’t been able to hold anyone down and stop the ball in the air efficiently. Because of this Matthew Stafford’s big arm should be able to look for the mismatches and jump at the opportunity to take advantage.

Match ups to watch out for

Packer receivers vs. the Lions secondary

James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have given Green Bay a deep core allowing them to say goodbye to Greg Jennings without an afterthought. All three have the ability to explode wide and take the ball for a 40 yard touchdown. From here It’s up to Louis Delmas and Glover Quin to prevent these big plays but this is their first real test so far.

Rodgers vs. Suh

It’s an indirect match up yes since Suh will have to go through a whole offensive line to get to Rodgers, but he can. Rodgers will look to get rid of the ball quick as Suh allows the Detroit defensive line to push the QB Pocket.

Final Prediction

I truly see the Lambeau curse/streak ending right here. Detroit is equipped with the offensive fire power to hang one on a banged up Green Bay squad even after the bye week. Plus Detroit has two things they’ve really lacked in previous meetings, backs in the backfield that can hurt you and a defense (in fact the best defense in the league on 3rd down)

Detroit over Green Bay, 34-30

 

About Jason Bray

Detroit Sports Columist. Joined The Majors staff in 2012 covering the Detroit Lions.

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