The Green Bay Packers come off their Week 10 bye to play rival Detroit who has not had much luck in the NFC North this year.
Aaron Rodgers and co. are riding a four-game winning streak while the Lions are coming off their second loss of the season to Minnesota and third in the division.
With the Chicago Bears suffering their loss to Houston on Sunday Night Football in Week 10, both the Lions and Packers could pull closer to the No. 1 spot in the NFC North. That means there is plenty on the line between these two bitter rivals in this crucial late season battle.
Where: Ford Field, Detroit
When: Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Radio: WTAQ-FM (Green Bay) or WXYT-FM (Detroit)
Betting Line: Green Bay (-3), according to Bet Online
Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
*As of 11/12/12
DE Cliff Avril, Back
S Eric Coleman, Toe
S Louis Delmas, Knee
T Corey Hilliard, Knee
CB Chris Houston, Illness
WR Calvin Johnson, Knee
RB Mikel Leshoure, Ankle
LB DeAndre Levy, Hamstring
S Amari Spievey, Concussion
LB Stephen Tulloch, Knee
DT Corey Williams, Knee
WR Titus Young, Knee
Green Bay Packers
WR Greg Jennings, Groin and abdomen
RB John Kuhn, Hamstring
LB Clay Matthews, Hamstring
WR Jordy Nelson, Ankle
DB Sam Shields, Ankle
TE D.J. Williams, Hamstring
DB Charles Woodson, Collarbone
DT Jerel Worthy, Concussion
DL Johnny Jolly, Suspension
What's At Stake?
Sitting at 4-5 on the season, the Detroit Lions are in a "do or die" situation in this contest. There is a reason that the Philadelphia Eagles are viewed as done for the season, because they have three losses on their record. If the Lions join the six-loss club this week, they're effectively done.
The Packers on the other hand, are playing to creep closer to grabbing back hold of the NFC North lead. The Bears play the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers in Week 11, which means there is a fair chance the former lose their second straight game.
That scenario paired with a Green Bay victory would all of a sudden leave these two clubs tied for the lead in their division.
The Lions are playing for their playoff lives in this one, while the Packers are attempting to better their possible postseason seeding.
Detroit Lions: WR Titus Young
Young has been underwhelming since his nine-catch, two-touchdown performance against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8, but don't lose faith just yet.
Nate Burleson is not walking through that door and Rotoworld has even said that owners should expect Young to receive about seven targets per game. That's plenty of chances to rack up yardage and maybe even a few red-zone receptions.
The Packers are also the No. 20 passing defense in the NFL, which could turn this game into an old fashion shootout in the Motor City. Despite Detroit's struggles this season, it still owns the league's best passing offense which means this team will be throwing early and often.
Prediction: Five receptions, 78 yards and one TD
Green Bay Packers: QB Aaron Rodgers
With Greg Jennings likely out yet another game, there's no telling which of the Packers' wide receivers will become Rodgers' favorite target in this one. The best and probably only Green Bay player worth starting in this contest is No. 12.
Before the bye week, Rodgers went off for four touchdowns against Arizona and hasn't posted a passer rating of less than 80 all season long. Rodgers is obviously a no-brainer start but he's the only Packer player who you can say that about these days.
Prediction: 23 completions, 350 yards, three TDs
What They Are Saying
The Lions decided to make a change at cornerback on Nov. 12, with ESPN's Adam Schefter reporting the roster move:
Lions claimed former Raiders CB Patrick Lee on waivers today and waived CB Alphonso Smith.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 12, 2012
Other news coming out of Detroit is that while some may characterize head coach Jim Schwartz's team as against the wall, he doesn't see it that way.
Schwartz told the Associated Press (via The Washington Post): "I think our word is ‘urgent’ — we had six of our first nine on the road. We now have a stretch of three in a row at home. We have to do something with that."
While the Lions coach is hoping to get on a roll, the Packers are hoping their offensive line can weather the injury bug.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is out for the remainder of the 2012 season, which has forced Green Bay to create a makeshift line to protect Rodgers. T.J. Lang (normally a left guard) is taking over Bulaga's position while the Pack will be forced to bring in a backup to take Lang's spot at guard.
With all this moving around, the line is just trying to stay positive. Right guard Josh Sitton commented on the changes to Rob Demovsky of The Green Bay Press-Gazette: "I think our biggest thing is depth now. We just need to stay healthy from here on out."
Key Matchup: Packers secondary vs. Matthew Stafford
It's no secret that Green Bay's Achilles' heel in recent years has been its defense, more specifically its passing defense.
That secondary could very well be without star defensive back Charles Woodson this game against the league's very best passing attack.
Even thought Stafford's team lost to the Vikings in their most recent contest, it wasn't due to a lack of performance from him. No. 9 had three touchdowns in the game, 329 yards and a passer rating of over 100.
Minnesota's defense is as good if not better than the Pack's unit. This is a matchup that could allow Detroit to get the better of its rival.
The Lions do have some wins to their name but the only notable victory for them came against the Seahawks. The Packers on the other hand, have defeated Houston, Chicago and the Saints along with the fact they're on a four-game winning streak.
This isn't going to be a blowout victory for Green Bay. Divisional games are always hard to win because both teams know each other so well and Detroit is playing for its postseason dreams.
In what is sure to be one of the most must-see games of Week 11, the Pack will edge out a hard earned road victory and continue its recent winning ways.
Packers 30, Lions 28
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