The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will face off on Monday Night Football to round out Week 6 of the NFL season. The Lions are coming into the divisional game 2-1-1, while the Packers are 4-1 and at the top of the NFC North.
Detroit has been pretty solid for a 2-1-1 team so far. They opened the season with a tie against the Arizona Cardinals, then put together wins over the Chargers and Eagles, each by three points. They took their first loss in regulation two weeks ago to the Kansas City Chiefs by just four points, 34-30, before having their bye week.
Under the leadership of Mathew Stafford, the Lions offense has been able to produce once again, as they have averaged 401 yards and 24.3 points per game. Stafford has racked up 1,122 yards passing, nine touchdowns, and just two interceptions.
Kerryon Johnson is back to full health again this season, and it has brought a new dynamic to their offense. Over the first four games, Johnson has 251 yards rushing and a touchdown, averaging 3.4 yards per carry.
Since Matt Patricia has taken over as the Lions head coach, their defense has shown substantial improvement. Typically a Lions versus Packers game would mean a shootout where the Packers come out on top. This one will most likely be different. Both defenses have improved, and Patricia has not lost to the Packers since taking the reins in Detroit.
Strong And Balanced
The Packers come into this game 4-1, their only loss suffered against the Eagles at home on Thursday night in Week 4, where Green Bay allowed a season-high 34 points. However, they bounced back well against the Cowboys with a 34-24 victory last Sunday.
After only putting up just 10 points in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears’ tough defense, new head coach Matt LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers have been clicking. The Packers have now averaged 28.3 points a game while holding teams to just 18.6.
The Packers have always been known for their passing offense, but their ground game and their defense is what makes them even more of a threat this year. Their defensive secondary is loaded with young talent, and their front seven has held teams to an average of 93 rushing yards per game despite playing Ezekiel Elliott, Phillip Lindsay, and Dalvin Cook.
One thing LaFleur promised to improve when he took over as head coach for Green Bay was the rushing attack. So far, he has followed through, and starter Aaron Jones has reaped the rewards. After a four-touchdown performance last week in Dallas, Jones now has eight touchdowns along with 302 rushing yards this season. Look for them to establish that running game again this week to open up the passing lanes for Rodgers.
What To Expect
As I said, I don’t think this will be the shootout we may have expected to see in the past between these teams. Divisional matchups always pose an interesting dynamic because of the familiarity, but with two coaches facing off for the first time, it may take the offenses some time to adjust. I would expect a slow start where both defenses stand their ground.
Look for both teams to use the run game to open up the passing later. Monday night’s matchup should be a good one and well worth tuning in, even if you are not a fan of either team. I expect the Lions to pull off the upset in this one in a game that comes down to the wire.