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Bold prediction of the week: Lions and Packers face off in shootout... on the ground?

Both teams seem to have found their star in the backfield in weeks recent. Could that lead to a ground-dominated game Sunday?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another bold prediction of the week. It was a shame the Lions couldn’t recreate their prime time performance when they played the Dallas Cowboys last week, but who knows? Maybe their massacre of the New England Patriots was a crime of passion, and with a meeting against the Packers coming up Sunday, we could see that same passion light a fire under this streaky Lions team.

Bold prediction of the week: Lions and Packers combine for 300 yards rushing

For the Lions, we all know how beautiful a thing it can be when the running game is working. Week 3 against the Patriots was a strange feeling to see the offense move the ball and be in such firm control of the game. Last week, Kerryon Johnson continued to perform well when given the ball, averaging just over six yards per carry on nine rushes against the Cowboys.

After the game, Matt Patricia took flak from the media as Johnson seemed to disappear from the game despite being productive. LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick received most of the snaps at running back, but the running game stagnated as the game progressed. If Patricia can see the side of his critics, expect Johnson to be the primary back on Sunday.

On the Packers’ side, things are changing in the backfield. Aaron Jones, who emerged as their number one running back last season, returned from suspension in Week 3. He has since had seven and twelve touches in the last two weeks, respectively. Jones has been very productive, averaging 6.3 yards-per-carry in that span, which gives all the more reason for Mike McCarthy to keep increasing his workload this week against the Lions.

If both of these narratives fall into place, we could see a lot of handoffs in this game. Kerryon Johnson has been very productive since his role has expanded; if he can hit his stride early Sunday there’s no reason for the Lions to turn away from him. For the Packers, Aaron Jones’ productivity has been welcomed and they will continue to feed him against the Lions’ 32nd-ranked run defense. It could be a surprisingly ground-dominated game from both teams come Sunday afternoon.

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