The Green Bay Packers (6-2) will take on the Detroit Lions (1-7) on Sunday afternoon. The kickoff is set for 12 p.m. on Fox at Lambeau Field with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call.

These two teams have met 171 times previously with Green Bay leading the series, 97-67-7. Going back to the start of the 2000 season Green Bay has won 24 games and has lost six, including ten wins in a row from 2005-2010.

The Lions also have not won a game in the state of Wisconsin since 1991, two years before I was even born. I mention the state of Wisconsin because up until the 1994 season some of the Packers home games were played at Milwaukee County Stadium, but after the ’94 season all Packers home games were to be played at Lambeau.

The Green Bay Packers, for the second straight week, looked awful for most of the game on Sunday in their loss to the Panthers 37-29.

The offense and defense were out of sync from the start, even though the defense held Carolina to just 3 points in the first quarter, they gave up 24 unanswered points and the Packers trailed 27-7 at halftime.

The offense really couldn’t get going until the first drive of the second half, Randall Cobb 53 yard touchdown, and the last 10 minutes of the game. Aaron Rodgers struggled at times to get the ball to receivers who continue not to get open. ESPN ranked the Packers as 32nd in the league when it came to speed for wide receivers according to 40-yard dash times.

Rodgers finished the game 25-of-48 for 369 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception, while being getting sacked 5 times. Eddie Lacy continues his struggles as he ran 5 times for 10 yards and had a fumble.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday,

“I would say James (Starks) is our No. 1 back right now, going into Detroit.”

James Starks also commented on this move by the Packers,

“Me and Eddie, it’s still a tandem. We are family.”

I think that this is a great move for both Eddie Lacy and the Packers team.

Lacy has not been himself this year and it might be that he is a little heavier than some would like, but a lot of great players have a down season, and right now, Eddie is having one. He needs time to really look at his performance and change what he might be doing different than previous years.

As for the Packers defense, they need to get something figured out fast.

Another huge offensive game against them versus a team that was 29th in passing offense. After a little scuffle on the sideline between Julius Peppers, BJ Raji, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the defense actually looked a little more motivated and got an interception by Damarius Randall in the fourth quarter.

All-in-all, the defense gave up to many big plays and if they do that against the Lions and Megatron it could be a long afternoon.

The Packers opponent this week, the Detroit Lions, is having a tough season to say it nicely.

They are 1-7 and having issues all around the Motor City including firing Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi, President Tom Lewand, and General Manager Martin Mayhew.

The team has struggled to really establish any kind of image for themselves this season especially after losing Ndamukong Suh (Free-Agent/Dolphins) and DeAndre Levy (Injury), two top defensive players from a year ago.

Offensively, they lost Reggie Bush (49ers), but gained Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska) in the draft. They, of course, have Calvin Johnson who wasn’t himself early, but has made some spectacular plays in recent games.

Johnson was listed on the Lions injury list on Wednesday with an ankle injury and was held to limited practice.

The Lions only win this year came against the Chicago Bears, 37-34, in overtime.

The Lions have not looked good all season and they rank 26th defensively in total yards per game (385.8). They are last in scoring defense giving up over 30 points per game.

To go along with last in scoring defense, they are 31st in scoring offense (18.6 points per game) and are last in rushing yards per game (69.6 yards per game).

The Lions have depended on throwing this season and that has hurt them especially with only 70 yards rushing a game. The Packers defense hasn’t been good in either of these areas, but this is a game for the Packers to get defensive confidence back.

Keys for Green Bay:

  1. Start fast – The Packers need to get out of the gates quick and score early and often on the Lions to gain confidence in their offense so that going forward in the season they are ready to shine.
  2. Protect Rodgers – The offensive line has not been very good for the Packers since the bye week and if they want to win games they are going to need to protect Aaron so that he has time to find his receivers even if they aren’t getting open right away. Rodgers has been sacked 8 times in the last two games combined including 5 against the Panthers.
  3. Get after Stafford – If the Packers can get pressure to Matthew Stafford he will need to rush his throws and if they are able to hit him he will want to have running plays. If the Packers can force the Lions to run they should have a good chance of winning

Keys for Detroit:

  1. Get after Rodgers – We have seen the past few weeks that if the defense is able to get pressure on Aaron he struggles to find open receivers especially if they can’t get open. If they force him to run or throw bad passes the Lions defense should be in good shape.
  2. Let the passes fly – The Packers defensive secondary has not been very good the last month of the season and if Calvin Johnson can get open or if Stafford can just throw him the ball, no matter where it is, he will usually come down with it. The secondary is small for the Packers and if Johnson can have a big day the Lions might pull off the upset.
  3. Play man-to-man – Offensively for the Packers they continue to struggle getting open on the outside against man to man coverage and if the Lions defensive backs are able to disrupt timing they could force passes and possibly get interceptions.

This should be a good game for Packer fans after coming off the last two terrible games. I predict that the defense has a great game and Aaron Rodgers and the offense will have a record day.

My predication: Packers 38 Lions 10

Podcast (29-22) / Last week (2-3)

Week 10 Picks

Jets over Bills

Ravens over Jaguars

Steelers over Browns

Panthers over Titans

Rams over Bears

Cowboys over Buccaneers

Dolphins over Eagles

Saints over Redskins

Raiders over Vikings

Broncos over Chiefs

Giants over Patriots

Seahawks over Cardinals

Bengals over Texans

(podcast picks in bold)

Follow Steve on Twitter @Steve_Maves

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