Green Bay vs. Detroit: Lions Playoff Push Starts with Packers

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst INovember 12, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 11: Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings tackles Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions during the second quarter of the game on November 11, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have fallen on hard times, but there is still some hope.

Week 10 of the NFL season is in the books and the Lions came up short again losing to the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions are now in the basement of the NFC North with a 4-5 record and host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 11.  

To say this is a must-win for the Lions is an understatement.

If the Lions have any hope of making a late-season run and making the playoff it starts with this game against the Packers.

The NFL Odds are against the Lions as the Packers are a three-point favorite for this NFC North showdown.

The good news for the Lions is that this is a winnable game.

The Lions are at home and the game is already sold out. Playing in front of the home faithful is another advantage in a football game that the Lions will rely on.

The Lions also know that they cannot lose if they hope to make the playoffs. They are one of several underdogs that can win in Week 11.

Coach Jim Schwartz told that to get into playoff position they must take advantage of the upcoming home games.

We're 4-5. We need to go play. We got some home games we need to take advantage of.

The Lions are finally getting the output from superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson that they expected. Against the Vikings a week ago, Johnson racked up over 200 yards receiving and found the end zone for a score.

This kind of output needs to continue against a banged up Packers defense.  

The Packers are ranked No. 20 overall in the NFL in pass defense and are missing several key players, including Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. The Packers pass rush will have problems getting to Matthew Stafford and that will allow the Lions passing game to command the field.

Aaron Rodgers is always a problem for opposing defenses, but it helps that the Packers are struggling to run the ball.  The Packers are rank 23rd in the NFL in rushing the ball and that will allow the Lions defense to focus on the pass coverage in an attempt to pressure Rodgers into turnovers.

The Detroit Lions still have two games left against the Packers and that could help with a last minute playoff push. The Lions have the talent to make the playoffs but play in arguably the toughest division in football.

The Lions are up against the wall and they will stand up and play tough to defeat the Packers to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at He also is a contributor at Bookie Blitz, a sports picks website.