A big NFC North clash goes off Sunday afternoon as the desperate Detroit Lions will host a banged-up Green Bay Packers squad. Both teams have had mixed results thus far in 2012, but the playoffs remain the end goal for both sides. A win on Sunday would definitely enhance both teams’ chances of playing into 2013.
For the Lions, they’ve been one of the game’s most inconsistent groups. After a playoff appearance last season, it would appear that Detroit has taken a bit of a step back this year. The Lions have been unpredictable all season, struggling on defense and being overly reliant on their passing attack. They enter this contest against the hated Packers with virtually no margin for error if they are to qualify for the playoffs. Sunday marks the first of four straight games in which Detroit will take on a playoff-calibre team, and they’ll likely need three wins in that span to qualify. On the injury front, defensive tackle Corey Williams remains out, while safety Louis Delmas is highly doubtful as well.
Speaking of injuries, the Packers have been simply ravaged by them this season. A wealth of key Green Bay starters have succumbed to the injury bug, but as long as Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers under centre, everything seems to go smoothly. Wide receiver Greg Jennings remains out injured, as does Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, and Bryan Bulaga. Matthews and Woodson are two of the top defensive players in the league, and not having them against a potent Lions’ attack could prove problematic. Jordy Nelson however is expected to return for Green Bay, and should provide a spark in the passing game. Green Bay needs to keep pace with the Bears in the NFC North, and knows a win here puts them in a nice position for competing for that coveted divisional crown. They’re fresh off their bye week, and though depleted, should be well-rested on Sunday.
Packers vs. Lions Betting Odds:
Green Bay Packers -3 (-110)
@ Detroit Lions +3 (-110)
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Lions Pick:
Despite the fact that the Packers are simply decimated with injuries right now, the Lions have some major problems of their own. With Louis Delmas highly doubtful for Sunday’s contest, it makes that Detroit secondary look very vulnerable to Aaron Rodgers and his high-octane attack. With Nelson back in the fold, as well as the speedy Randall Cobb and James Jones, look for Green Bay to terrorize Detroit’s defensive backs. They won’t be able to keep up with Green Bay’s aerial attack, forcing them into either penalties or conceding touchdowns. Bet on more of the latter.
Even when defending against the run the Lions have proven to be less than stellar. Detroit has surrendered 5.4 yards per carry over the past four weeks, and look for James Starks to have a big game on the ground for Green Bay.
Detroit’s offense can be prolific though, and going against a depleted Packers’ defense should keep things interesting. Detroit is a desperate team here, and though they will keep this game tight for the majority, ultimately Aaron Rodgers will win it for the green and gold in the fourth quarter. Green Bay has proven to be stout against the run in recent weeks, and if they focus on eliminating Calvin Johnson from the passing game, Mike McCarthy’s side should do just enough to extend their record to an impressive 7-3 mark.
After starting slow, the Packers are fighting through an awful rash of injuries and will continue rolling in Detroit on Sunday. They’re refreshed off their bye-week and have had two full weeks to prepare for an erratic Lions side. The price is short, laying just three points in this one, so feel confident backing Aaron Rodgers and the Pack on Sunday. A score-line of 33-24 seems fitting.
PICK = Packers -3 (-110)