The Detroit Lions (5-10) will head to Lambeau Field to meet the Green Bay Packers (6-8-1) in Week 17 (December 30, 2018 at 1:00pm EST). The Lions opened as 9.0-point underdogs.
Detroit’s offense has been a major issue for the team this season. They struggle trying to throw the ball, averaging just 220.3 passing yards per game (22nd), and they haven’t had much success on the ground either, totaling 102.0 rushing yards per game (23rd).
As you likely assumed, this has led to just 19.5 PPG (27th).
Matthew Stafford has to step up for Detroit. He is completing 66.3% of his passes, but has not been able to push the football down the field. If Stafford and Kenny Golladay (70 receptions for 1,063 yards this season) don’t start regularly threatening defenses, you can expect similar results from the Lions’ offense.
But it’s hard to blame Stafford, who again has gotten very little help from his ground game.
Detroit’s defense prides themselves on defending the pass. They only spot their opponent 231.3 yards per game through the air (10th), compared to 114.3 on the ground (15th).
Unfortunately, opposing offenses have avoided throwing the ball against the Lions and exploited other drawbacks, as they allow 24 points per game (19th).
The offense Detroit will see in Week 17 is best labelled as good, but not great. Green Bay is scoring 25.1 points per game (12th), largely thanks to Aaron Rodgers and their seventh-ranked passing attack.
The QB has thrown for 4,416 yards with a 25:2 TD to INT ratio (97.8 passer rating). Davante Adams has served as Rodgers’s go-to receiver, pulling down in 111 passes for 1,386 yards and 13 TDs.
But this offense won’t reach that elite level until they get more from their 20th-ranked running game. And not having Aaron Jones certainly won’t help that.
The Packers defense has simply not been good. The 119.2 rushing yards per game they surrender (20th) have led to them giving up an unsettling 24.6 points per game (22nd).
The last time these two teams played was October 7th, 2018, when Detroit beat Green Bay 31-23. The Lions were 1.0-point favorites in that game.