The Detroit Lions head to the dreaded town of Green Bay this week to face a Packers team in turmoil (relatively speaking). After winning their first six games, the Packers are winless since coming out of the bye. Two consecutive losses have Packers fans worried about the true competitiveness of their team. Do they have reason to worry? Let's take a closer look at their season.
Green Bay Packers (6-2)
Schedule so far:
Week 1 - at Bears - won, 31-23
Week 2 - vs. Seahawks - won, 27-17
Week 3 - vs. Chiefs - won, 38-28
Week 4 - at 49ers - won, 17-3
Week 5 - vs. Rams - won, 24-10
Week 6 - vs. Chargers - won, 27-20
Week 8 - at Broncos - lost, 10-29
Week 9 - at Panthers - lost, 29-37
Reason for optimism:
For the first time in a long time, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers have looked mortal in the regular season. The Broncos completely shut down the Packers' offense, as did the Panthers for the first 2.5 quarters. And looking at their previous games, the Packers have not been blowing out opponents like they have in previous seasons.
Offensively, Green Bay has had severe issues running the ball, and with their shortage of receivers due to injury, Rodgers' statistics are underwhelming by his standards. He's averaging 30 yards less than last year and 0.7 fewer yards per attempt.
Defensively, the Packers are suffering from several injuries in the secondary and it is beginning to show. In the past three games, Green Bay is allowing 380 passing yards per game, five total touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Reason for pessimism:
All of the Packers' struggles pale in comparison to the Lions. Wherever the Packers are hurting, the Lions are hurting worse. Whatever schematic problems Green Bay is going through, Detroit has ten-fold. While the Packers are collectively fighting for a division title, the Lions are individually fighting for their jobs. The Packers lost two road games to two of the best teams in the NFL. They are not a team in complete turmoil.
Oh, and there's that whole Lambeau Field thing.