The Packers have looked vulnerable the last two weeks, at least on the defensive side of the ball. They are giving up points and allowing opponents to keep the game close, but Aaron Rodgers always makes sure that they come out ahead in the end.
The Lions have had their own problems recently. They are just 2-3 since that 5-0 start, and their vaunted defensive line is allowing nearly 135 rushing yards per game. The good news is that the offense got back on track against the Panthers and Matthew Stafford had five touchdown passes.
Where: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan
When: Thursday, Nov. 24 at 12:30 p.m. EDT
Listen: WTMJ & Statewide Radio Network, Sirius Channel 86 (Green Bay); 97.1 FM WXYT, Sirius Channel 91.
Betting Line: Green Bay (-6)
What's At Stake?
The Packers' pursuit of perfection. It is time to really start thinking about whether or not this team can pull it off. The offense has been as dominant as any offense that we have seen in recent memory, including New England's in 2007.
The Lions are fighting with the Bears, Falcons, Giants and Cowboys for a wild card spot, and a victory over their biggest rival would be a huge confidence boost as we flip the calendar to December. This is probably their biggest game of the season.
Packers' Injury Report
Day-to-Day: WR Greg Jennings (Knee)
Doubtful: RB James Starks (Knee)
Out: RB Alex Green (Knee), T Chad Clifton (Hamstring), DB Nick Collins (Neck)
Lions' Injury Report
Doubtful: RB Jahvid Best (Concussion)
Out: RB Jerome Harrison (Head), DB Erik Coleman (Ankle), LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (Shoulder)
What They Are Saying
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke after last week's win against Tampa Bay, and when he was asked about seeing his team play less than their best and still come out with a win, he made it seem like that is actually a good thing.
“I think it was great for us. Adversity is awesome … especially when you overcome them. This is something we can benefit from. It’ll be a good energy source to draw on, especially during a short week,” McCarthy said.
"We’re 10-0, we have a big one coming up on Thursday. We’re really looking forward to this division game in Detroit.”
Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com broke down the team's schedule over the final six weeks and finds that their path to the postseason is a lot harder than everyone else's.
If the playoffs were to start today, the Lions and Bears would be in the playoffs as the Wild Cards.
Unfortunately, the Lions have six games remaining against opponents with a combined record of 39-21. That includes games against division leaders Green Bay (twice, 10-0), New Orleans (7-3) and Oakland (6-4).
The Lions have the most difficult schedule of all the teams in the Wild Card hunt.
Packers Player To Watch: WR Jordy Nelson
The Packers have a lot of great playmakers on offense, but Jordy Nelson is starting to separate himself from the pack. He is averaging almost 19 yards per reception and leads the team with nine touchdown catches.
Rodgers and Nelson have developed quite the chemistry and they should be able to use it to exploit the Lions defense that has been spotty all season. He has at least one touchdown catch in three straight games.
Lions Player To Watch: QB Matthew Stafford
If the Lions want to win this game, they will have to score points. Matthew Stafford bounced back nicely after a few down weeks with five touchdown passes against the Panthers. He has to find ways to exploit a soft Packers pass defense.
Stafford has to make big plays early and often to give his team a lead and get the Packers back on their heels. If he can do that, the Lions will pull off the upset.
Key Matchup: Matthew Stafford vs. Packers Secondary
Going right back to the well, the Lions need to be able to pass the ball against the Packers if they are going to win.
Stafford has proven himself to be a great playmaker and Calvin Johnson gives him the down-field threat that he needs to exploit any defense, much less one that allows 289 passing yards per game.
The Packers are great at forcing turnovers, but that aggressiveness has led to them getting burned more often than you would think for a team that is 10-0. They need to worry about preventing completions more than going for interceptions.
I really want to go with the Lions in this game, but until I see the Packers lose, I can't bet against them.
Packers 35, Lions 31