Lions vs. Packers: Thanksgiving Game

First, I’d like to apologise for being so slack lately. I’ve been EXTREMELY busy (like having a job type busy, without actually having a job), and just haven’t had the time, wherewithal or sanity to write any posts since my tips post last week. For those who care, I’m doing a 5-day a week Business course. Unfortunately the course is a solid distance from my house, so I leave early and get home late, because of going to the gym. I’ll definitely try to be more proactive and write more, but might not kick back into high gear until Mid December. Anyway, enough of that shit, let’s talk FOOTBAWLL!!!

Of my top 3 most anticipated games this year, this was #2. #1 was Monday Night Football & #3 was the Lions vs. Panthers game. They were both wins, for what it’s worth. Although I might have to change #3 to the week 13 Sunday Night Football game against the Saints. It’s pretty obvious why this game easily cracked the top 3. A good Lions team versus the defending Super Bowl champions is always an amazingly exciting and rare prospect. The good Lions team part, at least.

Not that I think of it often, but when I do; Thanksgiving represents one sole thing to me. Lions Football. Whether it be good or bad (we know the history), Thanksgiving is the Lions proverbial “Day to shine”. I know they haven’t done it for a long time, but that was then, and this is now. This team is a pretty impressive 7-3 with losses to quality oppositions. First the 49ers burst the Lions undefeated bubble, then the Falcons burst the back to back losses bubble and the Bears took care of whatever bubbles were left. Yet despite 3 losses and disregarding the Bears game, the team has performed admirably well. It’s not like they got blown out by the 49ers or Falcons, they just didn’t come up clutch when they had to. Back to regarding the Bears game, the simple answer to “What happened?” is an incredibly puzzled “I don’t know…”. Especially after seeing Matthew Stafford (eventually) slice up the Panthers secondary with the exact same finger and glove that he was wearing in the Bears game. Maybe it really WAS the wind? I don’t know, but something was obviously different. Perhaps it was just simply more rest and getting more used to the glove. Or, it was none of those and was just the constant skittishness of Stafford early on in some games, and the whole 60 minutes for other games. A problem I foresee for this Thursday’s game.

We all know the Packers are easily the best team in the NFL right now and Rodgers is serving as the best QB right now, also. But they do have a few weaknesses. First off, their secondary isn’t as good as it could be. They’re currently letting up 289.3 yards through the air, which is 2nd worst in the league. Very, very good news for a primary passing team like the Lions. However the Packers do make up for it on the ground, giving up only 102.5 yards per game. The other mild positive is the Packers lack of a running attack (more by choice, than design, I’d say). The reason I put that, is because the Lions have been horrible in the Run D game, giving up an average of 134.7 yards per game. But on the Pass D side, they’re much better equipped ranking 5th against the pass, only letting up an average of 192.8 yards through the air. I guess many could, and would say that these Pass D stats are meaningless as Aaron Rodgers just tears apart any team that crosses his path, as shown by the Packers 3rd ranked Pass offense, throwing for 304.9 yards per game. But we don’t have anything else to go off, statistics wise.

I think the deciding factor in this game will be turnovers. In the past two games, the Lions (Matthew Stafford) have thrown 6 interceptions and they’ve lost 3 fumbles. 9 turnovers is A LOT in just two games. The Packers D has been getting a lot of turnovers, too with 22 turnovers on the season. The Lions D is no slouch, though, having gotten 23 turnovers in the same 10 games. I know that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t turn the ball over often, but he’s facing a defense which has intercepted 15 passes. That’s tied for 2nd with Chicago and Buffalo. Unfortunately for the Lions, the Packers lead all teams in intercepted passes with 19. If the Lions D-Line can really lift for this game, get constant pressure and consistently force Rodgers to throw the ball, then they have a real shot to pull of the victory.

This game is set up for a shootout, with two extremely high-powered offenses going at one another. I personally hope there’s some good defense in this game. Not over the top defense like last year’s 2nd meeting between these two, but not a ridiculous 45 to 40 type scoreline, either. I believe the Lions will have a tough time of stopping the Packers offense, and Rodgers will continue to shine with a 3 TD day. Not to put the Lions offense aside, I think that Stafford will throw for 4 TD’s, but the Lions will come up just short, in a tightly contested, exciting match-up.

Prediction: Packers 31, Lions 28