We’re almost to Week 3 and it already feels like the Detroit Lions have gone through enough highs and lows in just two games to last an entire season. They’ve already lost their best pass rusher, linebacker and running back to injury. They barely won a game they should have lost and they barely lost a game they should have won. But that’s kind of how the NFL works these day.
This week’s game against the Green Bay Packers looks to be a big one for both teams. Here are 10 things I think I know heading into Week 3 against the Packers:
- I think Laken Tomlinson is easily the weakest link on the offensive line. The line as a whole has been pretty solid throughout the first two games with the exception of Tomlinson. As Jeff Risdon from SideLion Report pointed out, there isn’t an easy fix to what ails him either. Green Bay has a good front seven, and I’m sure they’ve already identified Tomlinson as the weak point to attack.
- I think Green Bay could have a field day against the Lions’ linebackers. The group wasn’t very deep to begin with, but as of Wednesday only two active linebackers practiced. That’s not exactly a good sign. If you’ve got Richard Rodgers or Jared Cook on your fantasy team, start them.
- I think I’m devastated for Ameer Abdullah. I knew it didn’t look good after he went to get a second opinion on his injured foot, but I still held out hope he wouldn’t be lost for the season. Abdullah looked like a real difference maker in the Lions’ backfield along with Theo Riddick. I’m bummed we won’t get to see a full 16 game season out of him.
- I think Aaron Rodgers isn’t a very good quarterback right now, but an ailing Lions team might be just what the doctor ordered. A lot has been made of the struggling Green Bay offense, but if the Lions defense fails in coverage and can’t generate a pass rush it’s not going to matter that much.
- I think Kerry Hyder will get a lot more playing time now that Ezekiel Ansah is out with an ankle injury. Hyder doubled his snap count from Week 1 to Week 2 and it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets even more snaps on Sunday against the Packers. So far, Hyder leads the Lions in sacks with three to his name.
- I think Sunday’s game will forecast the entire season. If the Lions can somehow win against Green Bay on Sunday it could shift their momentum for the rest of the year. With so many guys being injured early in the season, the Lions are going to have to catch some breaks. After Green Bay, the stretch of games isn’t too bad. The Lions just need to keep their heads above water while the team heals up.
- I think Matthew Stafford is going to have to carry this team on his shoulders. With the defense banged up (and giving up tons of yards and points even before injuries) there is a lot of weight on Stafford’s shoulders. The good news is that the offense has looked pretty sharp so far. I could see Sunday’s game turning into another shootout similar to Week 1 against the Colts.
- I think Jim Caldwell’s seat is starting to get ever so warm. I don’t think it’s time to call for his head yet, but it’s time to see what kind of command Caldwell has on this team. It was a rough loss last week, and I’m curious if he’s able to get his players ready for a tough division game on the road.
- I think Teryl Austin is going to have to change things up. He’s not going to simply be able to drop back and play zone against the Packers. Rodgers is good enough to slice and dice the Lions defense all day if he needs to. I hope Austin trusts his defense enough, even though they’re injured, to mix up coverages and pressure packages to get after the Packers’ offense.
- I think the Lions lose on Sunday. I don’t think the Packers are very good right now, but neither are the Lions. It might be different if the Lions were at home, but I just don’t know if the they have enough depth to beat the Packers in Lambeau this weekend.