The Detroit Lions (3-1) travel up north to face the reigning Division Champion Green Bay Packers (1-2) at 1 PM this Sunday.
The Lions carry a back-breaking 21-game losing streak to Lambeau Field as they try for their third straight division victory. The Lions are 1-1 on the road this season while the Packers are 1-0 at home.
Last season the Lions were in prime position to beat the Packers with an early 14-0 lead but could not close the deal in Green Bay losing 27-20.
Three weeks earlier in the season the Lions played a similar game against the Pack holding a three point lead into the 4th quarter, but ended up falling 24-20.
Wide receivers Calvin Johnson and Randall Cobb starred in both games. Johnson combined for 15 catches with 261 yards receiving and a touchdown while Cobb totaled 176 receiving yards on 16 catches with a touchdown as well.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was contained for the most part in the two matchups. The Detroit defense held the superstar to a total of 409 passing yards and three touchdowns (one rushing).
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley played a part big part in limiting Rodgers. He led the Lions with three sacks in the 2012 meetings.
Sunday’s game could look significantly different from last year’s meetings. Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews missed both games last season due to injury. He is probable with a hamstring injury for this weekend but fully expects to play. Matthews is rolling with 18 sacks in his last 17 games played (including postseason).
While Matthews could be an x-factor on defense, the Lions have an additional playmaker in running back Reggie Bush. Bush is 2nd in the NFC with 144.3 yards from scrimmage per game.
The stats point to this game being a shootout. The Packers rank 3rd in total offensive yards per game while the Lions rank 6th. Detroit has the slight edge on defense ranking 19th in yards per game allowed compared to Green Bay near the bottom of the league at 28th.
The Packers are returning to home in desperation mode coming off a bye week. Although I believe the Lions to be a more well-rounded football team, I think these extenuating circumstances will be too much for them to overcome.
The Packers have a pretty mediocre offensive line as they lost their starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga for the year in the offseason. If the Lions can apply heavy pressure on Aaron Rodgers then they have a decent shot at victory.
The game will be close, but ultimately an extra turnover by the Lions will be the difference.
The Packers win 31-28, and the streak continues.