The Lions head into their final matchup against the Green Bay Packers with one of the worst defenses (dead last in DVOA) in the NFL. In their first matchup, the Lions gave up a whopping 42 points to the Packers, and that was after holding a 14-3 lead heading into the second quarter. Despite firing Matt Patricia and giving Darrell Bevell the interim tag, this defense is very bad. It’s unrealistic to expect that to change.
In their last matchup, the defense looked suspect as usual, and the offense needed to score 34 points—their highest of the season—just to pull out a late victory. With the Packers averaging 31.6 points per game and a margin of victory in the double digits, the Lions are once again going to need to score a lot of points if they want to win.
Which leads us to today’s Question of the Day...
How many points will the Lions need to score to beat the Packers?
My answer: The magic number for me is 38.
That might sound like a very high number, and it is, but this defense is atrocious. I think it’s easy to expect at least 30 points from the Packers against this team. Also, 38 points wouldn’t even have been enough to win in their first meeting. But if the Lions can establish the run against a Packers defense that is allowing over 110 yards on the ground per game, they can limit time of possession and give their defense some rest.
The Lions’ offense will also need to do their part and continue to take some deep shots when they do decide to throw the ball. Matthew Stafford had one of his best games last week, and that was because he was allowed to air it out.
If the Lions are going to make some kind of playoff push, they will need to be carried by their offense and get lucky occasionally on defense. It’s now or never.