Preview & Predictions: at Lions – 2018 Week 5

Division games are always interesting. They can be even more interesting when your top 3 receivers are out.

Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Geronimo Allison all sat out practice Thursday and Jimmy Graham was limited after sitting out Wednesday (Mercedezs Lewis szn?). The Packers re-signed flameout DeAngelo Yancey to the practice squad to through drills with the three remaining receivers – all of whom are rookies.

Given those injuries (coupled with a QB still working on settling into midseason form), the run game could play a larger role (for real this time).

Aaron Jones has made it very clear that he is the most explosive back the Packers have (or have had in quite some time), Ty Montgomery has performed very well and would probably be getting more attention if Jones weren’t overshadowing him, and Jamaal Williams has proven to be a rugged runner capable of getting tough yards.

They have three capable backs. As much as fans want to see Aaron Jones get 25 carries, it makes no sense to wear down any one back with that many touches.

 

Question of the Week

Still, with the Lions ranking dead last in rushing defense, they shouldn’t need to feed RB1. They should be able to spread it around.

The Lions have A’Shawn Robinson on their d-line, who I love, but their run defense has been, on the whole, garbage. Their pass rush has produced some sacks, but Ziggy Ansah is the only high-profile pass rusher they have and his injuries have limited him to 4 tackles and 1 sack on the season.

The Lions offense has a multi-faceted backfield with LeGarrett Blount, rookie Kerryon JOhnson, Theo Riddick, and Ameer Abdullah, but none of them should scare the Packers defense, which has been very solid against the run, starting with Kenny Clack and Mike Daniels doing hopscotch in pretty much every opponents backfield.

Matt Stafford is physically gifted, but not a great QB. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are good receivers, but with Kevin King looking more and more likely to play, the secondary should be able to hold up pretty well. I am looking forward to seeing Jaire Alexander on Golden Tate!

The Packers pass rush came to life last with, led by Kyler Fackrell (who was due for a 3 sack performance, to be honest). Stafford ha a 48.6 passer rating when pressured, which is 32nd in the league, and the Packers blitz a lot. I like this side of the matchup, too.

I’m interested in watching Lions rookie LT Tyrell Crosby go up against Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, and Reggie Gilbert, too. Crosby was a guy I wanted in the draft and he fell to the 5th round. The Packers took Cole Madison 15 spots ahead of him and it was probably the move I hated the most by Gute in the entire offseason.

All in all, the Lions offense has talent but doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. They may be athletic, but they aren’t a good football team. Just look at their year:

  • The Lions certainly made some noise by upsetting the Patriots, but really, Matt Patricia knows that team inside out and Bill Belichick wasn’t going to waste any good tricks on a non-conference opponent in September. The Lions earned that win, butit doesn’t stakes their claim as an elite team.
  • They got spanked by the Jets 48-17 at home to kick off the season (giving the Jets their only win of the year)
  • The lost to the 49ers in Week 2 (giving San Francisco their only win of the year)
  • After their emotional Week 3 win over New England, they fell to the struggling Cowboys 26-24 (a Cowboys team coming off a road loss to Seattle.

Aside from that… they’re the Lions. Division games can go haywire, but I think the odds of that are low this week, even with the injures at receiver slowing down the offense.

Predictions

Two of the Packers running backs top 70 yards
Jimmy Graham leads the Packers in receiving yards
The Packers will not have more passing TDs than rushing TDs

Blake Martinez get double digit tackles
Kenny Clark finally gets a sack
The secondary picks off Stafford twice

JK Scott puts three punts inside the 20

Packers 23, Lions 10

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