The Detroit Lions are ready to roar. The Green Bay Packers are ready for revenge. Detroit ended the Packers’ season last year by beating Green Bay at Lambeau Field to eliminate them from the postseason.
For the first meeting between the two teams this season, each side has found themselves in a similar position. Both are 2-1, but this game feels more important to the Lions. Detroit finally has optimism about its capability to win an NFC North Division for the first time.
The Lions, however, do have to contend against a long history of failure. Recent sports updates show Green Bay may have found a solid quarterback to replace Aaron Rodgers in Jordan Love. This trip to Wisconsin will be an important one for Detroit. If the Lions can grab a win on the road, they can start having big dreams for this season.
Detroit Has Turned Tide in Series
The Packers have long dominated one of the NFL’s most frequently played rivalry games. When the two teams first met in 1930, the Lions were still known as the Portsmouth Spartans. Green Bay leads the all-time series 107-75-7.
But Detroit has finally found some success. The Lions have won three straight games back in the series. Detroit is a 1.5-point favorite Thursday night.
Packers Playing With What They Have
Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love has been developing nicely in his first year as Packers’ starting quarterback. What Green Bay would love is if some of the supporting players could come back. The Packers are optimistic that wide receiver Christian Watson and running back Aaron Jones may be able to return.
Watson has yet to play during the regular season, while Jones was a key part of Green Bay’s season-opening win over Chicago. There is still a large part of the Packers’ offense that likely won’t be back. Green Bay could be missing at least three of its starters on the offensive line.
Lions Are Building the Right Way
Detroit sensed the momentum it closed last season with. The Lions knew their 2023 draft class would be necessary for any success they would have if they were going to make the playoffs. Through three games, it is hard to see any major mistakes for Detroit.
During the Lions’ win against Atlanta, second-round pick Brian Branch made major waves at safety. Branch led the team with 11 tackles and had three tackles for loss. Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs led the team with 80 rushing yards on 17 carries. Not to be left out, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta also caught eight passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Falcons.
Green Bay Needs Aggressive Defense to Step Up
The Packers’ comeback win over New Orleans isn’t something anyone should look past. But Green Bay did benefit from some of the Saints’ misfortune. New Orleans starting quarterback Derek Carr had to leave the game with a shoulder injury in the second half last Sunday.
The Packers’ defense responded by shutting out the Saints in the second half. Green Bay finished with four sacks but didn’t force any turnovers. With the Lions’ balanced offense, the Packers will need to keep up the pressure and also closely monitor the run game.
Detroit Secondary Builds Confidence
The Lions were excited to bring in several veterans in the offseason to boost the secondary. There was a minor panic when Detroit lost one of its prized signings, safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, for a few months at least. Branch proved he was ready to step in and help lead the Lions’ defense.
While Atlanta quarterback Desmond Ridder is far from a proven commodity, Detroit was likely pleased with its defense performance. The Lions didn’t allow Ridder to feel comfortable. With the passing game not working, Detroit also made life miserable with talented Atlanta Falcons rookie running back Bijan Robinson. Robinson was limited to 33 yards on 10 carries.
Love Starting to Learn From Mistakes
Love doesn’t have an easy set of shoes to fill by taking over for future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Leading a fourth-quarter comeback is an excellent way to win over the Packers’ rabid fanbase. Black sports news shows that by leading Green Bay to a come-from-behind-win against New Orleans, Love helped the Packers to a historic comeback.
In the past 30 years, only three times has a team rallied from behind down 17-0 or worse after three quarters to win. Love throwing a touchdown and running for another was important for his confidence as well.
During Green Bay’s Week 2 loss, Love fell apart in the fourth quarter. Green Bay had several drives come up short, and Atlanta rallied to steal a one-point win, according to recent sports updates.
Goff Has Been Efficient With Lions’ Offense
Quarterback Jared Goff is one of the league’s more understated franchise quarterbacks. The former Rams’ first-round pick is usually overlooked. But Detroit may not have a better veteran player to help out a young roster.
Goff has had a quarterback rating of 85 or higher in all three of his starts. Against the Falcons, Goff made just enough plays to keep the ball moving in a defensive battle. Goff threw for 243 yards and a touchdown.
Dillon Hasn’t Lived Up to Expectations
Green Bay is hopeful Jones is back from his hamstring injury. The Packers need him to be. Detroit has one of the league’s best defenses against the rush. Up-to-date sports news shows the Lions only allow opponents to gain 3.2 yards per carry.
Green Bay backup running back A.J. Dillon hasn’t averaged more than 3.7 yards per carry this season. When Dillon played with Jones in Week 1, he only gained 19 yards on 13 carries. Not all of Dillon’s stats can be attributed to his struggles, as the offensive line is also banged up.
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