After ending the Green Bay Packers playoff hopes in 2022, the Detroit Lions roll into Lambeau Field for an early matchup that could decide the playoff picture in January.
While the Lions have "momentum" coming off of their surprising 2022 season, this is a very different Packers team than the one they defeated in Week 18 last year. Jordan Love has taken over for Aaron Rodgers and youth is dominating the Green Bay locker room.
Packers vs. Lions Game Info:
Date: Thursday, September 28th
Start Time: 7:20 PM CT
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Stadium: Lambeau Field
TV Info: Amazon Prime Video (Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit and Kaylee Hartung)
In Detroit, they had plenty of good things to build off of, and they had a fantastic, although controversial, draft class. Jared Goff looks to build off an impressive 2022 campaign by dominating an early divisional matchup.
Green Bay has had plenty of fantastic things to draw from in their first three games, but injuries have limited their potential. All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and All-Pro left guard Elgton Jenkins are both out for the matchup and have serious questions moving forward. In order for the Packers to have success, Jordan Love has to be protected and the running game needs to get going.
It appears that Aaron Jones will return in Week 4, and that will be paramount for the Packers success. After a hamstring injury hit Jones in the Week 1 win against Chicago, he has been out for the last two contests. In his absence, the Packers running game has been abysmal. AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor and Emmanuel Wilson have tried to get the ground game rolling, but 3.4 yards per carry through three weeks is not acceptable.
Not only is the Matt LaFleur offense set up with motion and some incredible schemes, but the running game is paramount for their success. Bringing Jones back to the offense not only revives the running game but the passing game as well. With Detroit allowing the fifth fewest rushing yards in the NFL, Jones and the Packers top rated offensive line have their work cut out for them. According to PFF, the Packers rag tag offensive line has been the top unit in the NFL through three weeks. While injuries have hurt, LaFleur and the Packers have made it work.
On the other side of the ball, Green Bay is facing a dynamic offense. Goff, Amon Ra St. Brown and the two-headed rushing attack of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs look to capitalize on a Green Bay defense that has struggled against explosive plays so far in 2023. Green Bay has allowed the fifth most explosive plays in the NFL, and the Lions have plenty of explosive play ability. With Jaire Alexander battling a back injury and De'Vondre Campbell nursing an ankle injury.
Campbell is out, giving second year linebacker Quay Walker the keys to the offense. Walker has set a franchise record for tackles in a game, and found his zen by meditating before every contest. After leading the NFL in ejections last season, Walker is now tasked with leading a Packers defense that has high expectations in house, and across the league.
For the full injury report:
With two offensive lineman out and two offensive lineman questionable for the Thursday night affair, the pass rush of the Packers will be on full display. Rashan Gary is leading the NFL in pressure rate, and the Green Bay defense will make or break their most important game of the year yet. If Gary and company can get home early and often, it will be a long, hard night for Jared Goff and the Lions.
Green Bay Packers, 31
Detroit Lions, 27