1. Since Aaron Rodgers went down, the Packers have tried Seneca Wallace (who got hurt), Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn at quarterback. Is Flynn the Packers' best option going forward until Rodgers returns?
If you judge only from the game this past weekend, Matt Flynn would appear to be the Packers' best option until Aaron Rodgers returns from a fractured collarbone. However, much of Flynn's success can be credited to a porous Vikings defense, one of the worst units in the NFL. It stands to reason that he won't be as productive against a superior Lions squad on Thanksgiving.
2. The Packers have given up at least 26 points in five straight games. What has been the cause of the defense's struggles as of late?
Blaming defensive coordinator Dom Capers for the issues has become a common practice, but it's hard to put the onus on him when he has so little to work with. Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Casey Hayward, Sam Shields, Mike Neal, Johnny Jolly and Brad Jones (over half the starting defense) have all missed time this season. It's difficult to stay competitive in the NFL when you're running out your second and third stringers so often.
3. Especially with Rodgers out, Eddie Lacy has become a big part of the Packers offense. What are his biggest strengths as a running back?
Strength, quite literally. Eddie Lacy is perhaps the strongest running back in the NFL after Adrian Peterson, breaking tackles on nearly every play. His physical running style changes the way defenses play as the game progresses, as tacklers are more hesitant in their approach to Lacy in the later quarters.
But what gets lost with Lacy is how impressive his footwork is. For a big back -- certainly heavier than the 230 pounds he's listed at -- he changes direction extremely well and punishes defenders for over-pursuit. When healthy, he's one of the best runners in the NFL.
4. What one matchup will the Packers have to win on Thanksgiving in order to leave Detroit with a victory?
For the Packers to win, they'll have to bottle up Reggie Bush. Just like every team in the league, Green Bay will essentially concede a big game to the uncoverable Calvin Johnson. However, if Bush also plays effectively on the ground and in the passing game, there's little hope for the Packers. Green Bay was successful in stopping him in their first meeting eight weeks ago, but that was without Megatron on the field. It'll be a much more difficult task this time around.
5. Considering the Lions are merely tied for first in the NFC North with the Bears at 6-5, they haven't exactly done a good job of taking advantage of Rodgers' absence. When Rodgers does return, do you feel like the Packers will be able to make a run and still win this division?
I don't see Rodgers returning for the Lions game or the Falcons game a week later. As a result, it's entirely possible the Packers drop both games. Even if we assume the Packers defeat Atlanta in two weeks, I expect both the Lions and Bears to win each of their next two games. At that point, Green Bay would trail both teams by one and a half games. That means that even if the Packers were to win out, they'd likely still fall behind Detroit and Chicago.
Which is a long way of saying that Green Bay's season probably comes down to this Thanksgiving Day game. If they can pull off the upset in Detroit, the Packers will have a great chance to win the division once Rodgers returns to the field. If the Lions take care of business, it'll take a lot of help to make Green Bay a playoff team this year.