Packers vs. Lions: 5 Reasons Why Packers May Not Emerge Undefeated
For everyone who is contemplating the chances of an undefeated season for the Green Bay Packers, I challenge you to consider the very real possibility of the Pack being taken down as early as this Thursday, on Thanksgiving.
Because of Detroit's uprising this year and the Packers' continual refusal to lose, this game is sure to draw lots of viewers as an appetizer for America's favorite dinner.
The table has been set for a superb spectacle on the gridiron as these two NFC North teams go head to head, and the result just might be tough to swallow for the Green and Gold.
Here are five reasons why the Packers could end up being a delicious snack for the Lions, blowing their shot at a 16-0 record.
Note: Please forgive all of the Thanksgiving puns and similes in this article and enjoy the game. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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The dreaded short week. Coming off of a game and not having a full week of preparation to get ready for the next one.
Since preparation is key in the NFL, could this factor cause the downfall of the Packers?
Mike McCarthy is a great coach, meaning that Green Bay has a well-coached team. It is unlikely that they won't be ready to go on Thursday, but there's a possibility.
A slow start could be enough to give the Lions the confidence they need to steal the victory.
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Home-field advantage may be what it takes for the Lions to knock the Packers off of their pedestal of perfection.
Ford Field will be loud and crazy. Maybe even the refs, who have seemed to favor Green Bay all season long, will give an edge to the hometown Lions.
However, a little noise never bothered the Packers and they didn't seem to lose a step after flying out to San Diego. Needless to say, Detroit is right next door.
They will technically have away-field disadvantage, but I've heard Aaron Rodgers loves to play inside.
Lions' Pass Rush
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Ndamukong Suh. Voted the dirtiest player in the NFL and fined by the league for violent hits. The second-year tackle is simply a pass rushing villain.
He may only have three sacks on the year, but he's sure to be coming hard after Aaron Rodgers like a starving dog presented with scraps from a Thanksgiving feast.
This is scary for the Packers. Last year Rodgers suffered his second concussion at Ford Field and those memories will flood in every time he's touched on Thursday.
Did I mention that Suh's buddies Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril both have six sacks? The Lions have 27 sacks as a team in 10 games and Rodgers won't be able to throw touchdowns from his back.
Actually, with the way he's been playing, I wouldn't be surprised if he could.
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The Packers' pass-coverage issues obviously haven't cost them any games, but they definitely shouldn't be too confident.
If they don't come ready to play, Calvin Johnson could carve them up like a Thanksgiving turkey. He's always hurt the Pack, but now he has a solid quarterback throwing him the ball.
Green Bay's secondary leads the league in interceptions, and continuing the trend of nearly two picks per game will go a long way in slowing down Detroit's offense in a potential shootout.
Thanksgiving Tradition and Motivation
The Lions have played on Thanksgiving since 1934, including 19 matchups with the Packers of which they've won 11.
When the tradition continues this Thursday, Detroit will have the historical advantage. If these odds don't matter to you, think of how hard the Lions will fight for this one.
This team is dying to prove how good it really is a few years after its winless season and skeptics still remain. This game means the world to the Lions and their fans and they will give Green Bay their best shot.
On the other hand, if the Packers come out complacent and dreaming of the dinner waiting for them following the game, they will receive a harsh wake-up call.