Heading into this Thanksgiving Day showdown between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, Lions fans have an awful lot to be thankful for this year. Thankful for a football team that’s 8-2 for the first time in 60 years. Thankful for a franchise who has stuck to its plan to draft and develop talent. Thankful for a head coach who has turned Detroit into a destination spot for NFL talent.
Pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming.
As always, we would never pass up the opportunity to get some intel from the opponent’s perspective. Ahead of this Week 12 matchup between Detroit and Green Bay, we called on Kris Burke from our sister site Acme Packing Co. to give us some insight into who this Packers team is on both sides of the ball, how Jordan Love has progressed since Week 4, and how to bet (via DraftKings Sportsbook) this NFC North matchup.
Sitting at 4-6 through ten games, the Packers have scored–and surrendered–202 points. Their DVOA numbers on offense and defense are right around the middle of the league. This team seems to be perfectly average.
How are Packers fans responding to the position this team finds itself heading into the home stretch? Sitting on the outside looking in at a playoff berth, is that something they’re hopeful for with some very winnable games to finish their schedule, or are they turning their attention to offseason matters?
All things considered, the Packers are right where many fans thought they’d be at this point. A lot of growing pains for the offense and a defense that’s been inconsistent at best.
The fact they’re 8th in the NFC after how lousy they looked in their four game losing streak is a testament to how open the NFC is. A playoff berth would be crazy given how the season has played out but it should still be the goal as long as it’s within reasonable reach. That said, it’s not something many expect as most eyes are on 2024 and beyond.
How has Jordan Love progressed since his loss at Lambeau to the Lions back in October? Do the turnovers (10 interceptions, t-3rd in the NFL) seem like something capable of being corrected?
All I asked for from Jordan Love after that Lions game was just a little improvement every week. We all know development isn’t linear but Love was very erratic earlier in the season.
The last three weeks have made me feel a lot better. He’s looked solid, even against a tough Steelers defense. Many will dangle the quality of the Rams and Chargers defenses against him but he’s getting more accurate and developing chemistry with some of the younger receivers. You can see the foundation of the future of the Green Bay offense being laid.
The Packers rushing offense has really taken a step back this year (25th in DVOA) from where it was a year ago (4th in DVOA). What’s the explanation for the regression?
Lack of development and poor fundamentals. In other words, Joe Barry.
Everyone really hoped Devonte Wyatt would make a leap in his second year but he hasn’t even made a hop yet. Having a reliable person next to Kenny Clark would be huge. The Packers also remain a poor tackling team. Any tape of the defense will make that abundantly clear. There’s too much athleticism on this defense to be so bad at the basics.
Again, in other words, it’s Joe Barry.
[Editor’s note: Packers fans are so over Joe Barry, they have a tendency to get their wires crossed.]
Green Bay has only given up 17.7 points per game since they last played Detroit, which seems pretty good until you realize they played the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo (benched for Aidan O’Connell), Brett Rypien, and Kenny Pickett over that stretch–in the games where they played actually talented quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Justin Herbert, they gave up more than that average.
So how has the Packers’ defense improved since the Lions hung 34 on them in Week 4?
Now to say something nice about the defense….
They’ve tightened things up after a big play. They don’t stay on their heels all too often. If you look up “bend but don’t break” in the dictionary, you’ll probably see this year’s Green Bay defense.
Instead of engaging in political talks over turkey, what’s one nugget of Packers’ intel that a Lions fan could pass along to a relative for their bet slip this weekend?
Simply put, take the over on whatever Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed are at. Despite all the Christian Watson hype, these two could very well be the next Packers WR1 and WR2. The chemistry with Love continues to grow and having a security blanket is something he’s definitely needed.
I don’t think they both get the respect from Vegas they deserve. I’d mash the over, especially on Wicks, until Vegas comes to its senses.
[Editor’s note: Dontayvion Wicks is in concussion protocol and very well may not play, and Jayden Reed was also added to Tuesday’s injury report.]