Just 18 days after facing off in Lambeau, the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will do battle again, this time within the comfy bosom of Ford Field. The Packers have yet to recover from the downward spiral that began two weeks before facing the Lions in Week 10. The Lions, on the other hand, are going streaking, after the win in Lambeau acted as the Lions' season defibrillator.
Green Bay Packers (7-4)
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
Week 10 - vs. Lions - lost, 16-18
Week 11 - at Vikings - won, 30-13
Week 12 - vs. Bears - lost, 13-17
Reasons for optimism:
The Packers lost four of their past five games. During that span, they've failed to score more than 20 points three times. Aaron Rodgers can't seem to pull together the Packers' rag-tag team of backup receivers into a semblance of an offense. For his career, Rodgers averages 8.1 yards per passing attempt. He hasn't hit that mark since Week 6.
The Packers are starting to rely more and more on their running game, but that is good news for the Lions, who have allowed fewer than 70 yards and 3.0 yards per carry in three consecutive games.
On top of that, the Lions finally hit their stride on offense last week, with season highs in points (45) and passer rating (137.8).
Reasons for pessimism:
For as much as the Packers have struggled as of late, they are still a team with seven wins and had a chance to win or tie at the end of the game in three of their four losses. With a play here and there, this could be a one or two loss team.
It's easy to forget that in the middle of this tough stretch for the Packers, Green Bay dominated the Vikings in Minnesota. This team is still very capable of throwing it all together.
When the two teams played three weeks ago, the Lions controlled the game for the most of the contest. Yet Rodgers brought the Packers on the verge of a game-winning field goal. Green Bay is never out of it with Rodgers behind center.