The Lions are last in the NFC North, while the Packers are in second with a half-game lead against the third-place Chicago Bears. On the other hand, the Minnesota Vikings are enjoying a big cushion in first place. The Lions (1-6) will host the Packers (3-5) at Ford Field Sunday afternoon. The season is basically over for the Honolulu Blue, but that is no excuse. This game could very well be another shootout. Both teams have struggled to contain the run on defense, and injuries have hindered the offenses. It should be a classic game in Detroit.
Lions And Packers Injury Report
The Lions have a bunch of injuries, notably defensive end Charles Harris, running back D’Andre Swift, wide receiver Josh Reynolds, tight end Brock Wright, and offensive tackle Taylor Decker. Lead running back Swift continues to be limited with his ankle and shoulder injuries and was capped last week. He should once again be limited in Week nine, allowing former Packers running back Jamaal Williams to take the helm. After news broke out Tuesday regarding the Lions trading elite tight end T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings, the top tight end option, Brock Wright, is questionable to play with a concussion. Taylor Decker is tending to a back injury that has limited his practice this week.
The Packers have already ruled out inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles. Shemar isn’t a big hit since he’s a depth cornerback and mainly plays on special teams. He’s been out for a couple of weeks, so his injury won’t affect the game. Campbell, on the other hand, is rough. De’Vondre is the Packers leading tackler. Wide receiver Allen Lazard missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury but should return after a one-game absence this week. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to carry an injury designation with his thumb injury, but nothing is serious, and he’ll suit up. Outside linebacker Preston Smith is dealing with a shoulder and neck injury; he is questionable going into Sunday.
Lions: What To Watch For
On both squads, the running game should be the key. The game clock will continue to run, leading to a quick game as both teams have found success on the ground. With D’Andre Swift limited, Jamaal Williams could easily compile 100-plus yards from scrimmage against the Packers’ weak containment. Since standout wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown mainly plays slot, cornerback Jaire Alexander may or may not be in coverage which could lead to a decent game for St. Brown.
The Lions will need to watch running back Aaron Jones closely. He has been hot as of late and will continue to be the go-to guy for the Packers on the ground and through the air. The Packers have a lot of injuries on offense, but they still have one of the best quarterbacks to play the game, Aaron Rodgers. He can turn yesterday’s ham sandwich into a filet mignon.
Lions Versus Packers Prediction
The Packers don’t expect to have much of a fight against the poorly-ranked Lions’ defense, but if there’s ever a game where the defense steps up, it’ll be against Green Bay. Even when the Packers have punched their ticket into the postseason and the Lions are looking for draft position in Week 18, the team steps up and plays great. This game can go either way. It’ll either be a low-scoring field goal battle or a high-flying duel.
Lions Lateral contributing writer, Justin Hecht (@justinhecht), projects that the Lions will fall short against the Packers with a score of 23-29. The line is currently set at Detroit +3.5 and an over-under of 49.5. Vegas bookies expect this game to be another one of the Lions’ several high-scoring games, but will it happen?
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