After blowing a 17-point fourth quarter lead against the Chicago Bears last week, the Detroit Lions (0-1) have now lost ten straight games. That dubious streak dates back to last November after the Lions started off 3-4-1. Detroit has now blown 11 fourth quarter leads since 2018 when Matt Patricia became head coach.
As for their Week 2 counterparts, the Green Bay Packers (1-0), 2020 started off on a better note. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns to lead his team to a 43-34 victory over NFC North rival Minnesota. That performance had to feel good for Rodgers, who had a somewhat tumultuous 2019 season and offseason, as the Packers drafted QB Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Detroit, whose offense is supposed to be their strong suit, struggled once again in the red-zone. While Matt Prater converted red-zone field goals of 27 and 32 yards, those are drives that Matthew Stafford should turn into touchdowns. Stafford, who didn’t play bad against the Bears with 297 yards and one TD, did, however, throw a game-changing interception with 2:45 left in the game and Detroit leading 23-20.
Hopefully he can have a bounce back performance against the Packers, as he has thrown for 5,186 yards and 34 touchdowns in 18 career games. The yard mark is the most all-time of any Green Bay foe and the TD’s are tied with Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas.
Another Lion looking to have a good game is running back Adrian Peterson. He had a solid debut in the Motor City rushing for 93 yards on 14 carries. The former Viking is quite familiar with the Packers and has rushed for 1,975 yards and 16 touchdowns in 19 career games against Green Bay. He also has a 5.1 yards per carry average.
Green Bay, on the other hand, has no worries on the offensive side of the ball. While Rodgers had a monster game, Davante Adams was the main benefactor of his success. Adams caught 14 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. His receptions tied Don Hutson’s 78-year-old franchise single-game record.
Aaron Jones had 66 yards and a touchdown on the ground while the team averaged 4.9 YPC.
While both offenses may be productive, the defenses are a bit different. Detroit, aside from blowing a three score lead, only sacked Mitch Trubisky once and forced no turnovers in Week 1.
Green Bay, while forcing an interception and sacking Kirk Cousins twice, did give up 34 points with 24 of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Injuries may play a factor in this one as well. Detroit will be without Pro Bowl wideout Kenny Golladay (hamstring) for the second consecutive week. They will also be without G Joe Dahl (groin), TE Hunter Bryant (hamstring) and CB Desmond Trufant (hamstring). They also placed cornerback Justin Coleman on the injured reserve due to a hamstring issue. One bright spot is that rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah should make his NFL debut after missing Week 1 with an injured hamstring.
Green Bay will be without LB Randy Ramsey (groin), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (knee), DT Kenny Clark (groin) and G Lane Taylor (knee). G Billy Turner (knee) is also questionable heading into this one.
Now time for the prediction.
While Green Bay went 2-0 against Detroit last year despite never leading with time on the clock, I expect this game to be different. Aaron Rodgers looks like a man on a mission and has multiple weapons at his disposal. Matthew Stafford looks like the same old quarterback who can get a lead, lose it and mount, or almost mount a comeback as shown in Week 1. I think this game should be a shootout but Green Bay has too much firepower for this depleted Lions’ secondary to handle.
Rodgers, Jones and Adams will all have big games while Stafford should put up numbers but fall short when it matters. I expect AP to play a large role in this one as well.
Packers 38, Lions 27.
All stats are courtesy of ESPN.com and Pro-Football-Reference.com.