Last week sure was fun, wasn’t it? Any time you can beat the Bears, it just feels good. It almost makes you feel untouchable, right? Well losing to the Packers is the opposite of all that. It sucks, and no matter how much you experience it, it continues to hurt.
Well you may get a chance to feel that pain on Sunday when the Lions welcome to the cheese people to Ford Field. The Lions will then try to beat the Packers for the first time in 713 days. That’s 102 weeks of pure pain. The issue is the Packers team the Lions beat back in 2018 is much different than the one they’ll face today. But how much different?
To find out we brought in our friend and my evil twin Matt “Matub” Matonich of ACME Packing Company to give us the scoop. Here’s what he had to say:
1. The Packers seem to be the real deal this year. What’s the change from last year?
This is the exact same team we saw last year but they’re executing a little bit better on offense. The Packers had historically great luck in 2019 winning one score games. They were massive candidates for regression. People thought they were a 9 or 10 win team that overreached. This year they’re showing it isn’t a fluke. The defense has the exact same weaknesses as before. They have also regressed heavily on turnover differential. But still...they’re blowing out bad teams and playing half their games with the entire 4th quarter being garbage time. So, in terms of what changed for the better? The offense I guess.”
2. What are their strengths?
“The secondary is still quite good. A true #1 corner in Jaire, a decent #2 in Kevin King (and Josh Jackson wasn’t outright bad while King was out), and arguably the best slot corner in the game right now with Chandon Sullivan. Deadass. According to Football Outsiders Chandon freakin Sullivan is playing lights out in the slot. Darnell Savage has magically learned how to play football over the last few weeks and Rashan Gary has absolutely gotten his poop in a group.”
3. What are their weaknesses?
“The Packers are officially a dome team now. They can’t throw the ball in inclimate weather, they can’t defend the run, and they can’t run the ball against stout opponents. In fact, there’s a fun discussion among APC writers involving the best playoff seeding. We’re all roughly in agreement that home field likely wouldn’t be an advantage and being road dogs (in the Covid era) playing exclusively in domes/nice weather would be ideal.
The importance of the Vikings game cannot be overstated. If the Packers can’t air it out you just have to stop Aaron Jones and follow up with cramming it down the defense’s throat.”
4. Are you scared of the Lions now that Darrell Bevell is the coach? You can lie please.
“I’m always scared of uncertainty. For example: last week I was terrified the Eagles were going to start Jalen Hurts. An athletic and unknown QB backed by Doug Pederson coaching for his life? Chilling.
That is exactly where I am at with Bevell. I don’t think he’s amazing, but a bag of wet dog crap would coach a better game than 2020 Patricia. My 2 year old hitting “Ask Madden” would coach a better game than 2020 Patricia. In fact, I mentioned my love for Patricia as a rival fan to Jeremy back in October.
I'm taking solace in your win extending your terrible coach's tenure.— My name's Matt but you can call me Matub (@CallMeMatub) October 18, 2020
5. Who’s winning this thing?
“No Kenny G means that Hock is likely going to go off, especially with Raven Greene going to IR. Hock is gonna grab Preston Smith in coverage more than once and that dude is just straight-up booty this year.
Adrian Buttface is going to go off for a billion yards too.
...but I still don’t see a situation (barring injury) where the Packers don’t handily win this.”