Packers XLV

Keep the Brooms in the Closet.

Posted December 2nd, 2015 @ 06:12pm

No, the Packers aren't getting swept by the Lions this year. No, the roar has not been restored.

True, the Kitties seem reborn since the bye week, winners of three straight and launching their little run with a win at Lambeau. Their offense has been awakened by their new coordinator, who sounds like he should be a character on Hee Haw. And their defense has a new leader: sack-meister Ziggy Ansah.

But the Packers have shown us in recent years that when things look dire and they need a victory, especially one on the road, that they can flex their muscles and take care of business. They certainly come into this one looking vulnerable, losers of four of their last five and struggling to find an offensive identity.

But there is a simple recipe when it comes to playing the Lions: run the ball. Run it early and run it often. The Packers' ground game has found its rhythm the last two weeks and they need to continue to feed Eddie Lacy and James Starks in this game.

In the three Lions wins in this series since 2013, the Packers have averaged 49 rushing yards per game. In the Pack's victories during that time period they have averaged 166 yards per game on the ground. Had the Pack stayed committed to the run on Thanksgiving night, I have no doubt they would have won that game. Of course, when your best back puts the ball on the ground and flips the momentum of the game, it can give you pause. But Lacy needs at least 20 touches on Thursday night. If he gets them, the Pack will win.

The passing game continues to be a head scratcher, with Aaron Rodgers calling out his young receivers and their commitment to preparation. They threw the ball 61 times in the previous meeting, to little effect. If the running games is clicking early, the passing game should follow. One thing the Lions don't do is take the ball away. They're tied for last in the league with four interceptions for the season.

When the Lions have the ball, they rely on the air attack and Matthew Stafford. Though they scored 45 on Thanksgiving Day against the hapless Eagles, this is an offense that has also struggled of late, scoring a total of 46 points in the three games leading up to Turkey Day.

They will try to run the ball with a combination of Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell, but will likely find more success through the air. Megatron scored three times last week and Golden Tate continues to be a solid third down target. And the Pack needs to be wary of former Notre Dame standout Theo Riddick, who plays the role of Reggie Bush in this offense. Last week he caught five passes for 62 yards and a TD; he's the top receiving back in the league this year and is extra dangerous on his fast, indoor track.

Speaking of which, this is the Pack's first and only indoor game of the season--maybe that will help the passing game find its groove. Look for Jeff Janis to get more opportunities on the fast track at Ford Field--his kickoff returning prowess has been a shot in the arm to this pedestrian offense.

This game is not a must-win, but it's pretty close, with winnable games the next two weeks before the showdown in Arizona. Winning the division and securing a home playoff game is the goal right now (though I ask you: would you rather host the Seahawks or travel to Washington in the wildcard round? I could listen to both sides of that argument).

The important thing is to win a division game and get the bad taste of the last two Lambeau losses out of their system. If the defense plays the way it has the last two weeks and the Packers stay committed to the run, they should begin the climb back to respectability on Thursday night.

Packers  23  Lions 19

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Comments (14):

Rodgers blaming the young WR's preparation? Okay that explains Adams, but Cobb/Jones are not young, so what is their excuse for being MIA? And you are still over-rating your defense. It's a below average group. It's funny how you whine about "having to run the ball", I thought when you had an elite QB--you could just pass up and down the field on teams? Good luck, THC. Going for 6 consecutive predictions wrong tomorrow! Don't quit your day job (whatever that is?)......

on December 2nd, 2015 at 12:30pm

I find it hard to believe you are so confident in the pack beating the lions. Our offensive line is not very good and frankly we got lucky the Vikings laid an egg as let's face it the Vikings are a better team than the packers. We loose this one and week 17 won't matter as the Vikings will be resting starters. It's a sad day for me to have to admit the Vikings are better but outside Rodgers and Clay there is not a single player I would take on our team over there's. If it does come down to Lambeau, which I have my doubts I do not think we can stop AP twice as he just shredded the best run defence for 150. At this rate we may not even make the playoffs and even if we do I have to say we are one and done. Posted under the wrong comment before.

on December 3rd, 2015 at 01:40pm

This team is good enough to compete with any ANY of the other 31 teams in the NFL. We have enough talent on the field and on the sidelines to win this game. The haters going to hate and the pretenders going to pretend. I'm not going to act like anything is going to be easy or pretty, but the core of this team is better than average. Most of us were Packer fans long before they were any good. The team is fundamentally strong, we just need to execute. Drop half as many passes. Rodgers cuts his bad throws in half and we are good to go. That will extend drives increase scoring and limit the defenses play count. The defense IS playing well (even with Nate Palmer at inside linebacker), what they need is a few less series. The Pack has a better than fair chance to win each game each week, regardless of opponent. In other words, I like our chances.

on December 3rd, 2015 at 04:54pm

Break out the brooms!! 17-0 Lions

on December 3rd, 2015 at 08:07pm

Love ya Dave. Your the best host on KFAN, but you have got to stop with the cup-half-full-of-cheese picks. Take off those yellow and green colored glasses and realize the true current state of The Packers. It's not good.

on December 3rd, 2015 at 08:16pm

Don't let the Viking fans get you down Davey! We're going to stay cool and level headed. We always have a chance.

on December 3rd, 2015 at 10:44pm

Packers got away with that one...there is no god damn way that was a face mask at the end. The ref who through the flag wasn't even in position to make that call he couldn't see it...these refs this year are on a next level of terrible. Just ridiculously terrible...

on December 3rd, 2015 at 10:49pm

Congrats Dave --- Officials bail out GB yet again on a horse bleep facemask call. Take them anyway you get them...

on December 3rd, 2015 at 10:50pm

I sure hope THC ,Cane is not right about you, You have been wrong 5 in a row. I said a month ago, when we played the lions , I was worried about the game , cause of changes and new attitudes for the lions. looks like was right. I will be 58 on Dec. 30th and been watching football for 50 years, my dad told me when I was 15, the refs decide who wins 80% of these games and I laughed at him and told him he was wrong> Sorry Dad, You were right. I watched 8 games sunday at once with my sunday ticket. 3 times on the in one game, they went to mike carey, retired ref, who makes calls for cbs, all three times , call on field was different, Nance felt like a fool and so did Carey. even with review they see things differently.The Packers got some calls against the vikes , and the vikes got some against Atlanta, we got screwed twice with Bears, on holding call on Sitton when 12 ran to the 14 yd line in 3rd qtr. the next play was bad snap and out of FG range and 12 gets hurt. they make such a difference in every call they make.and that was not offensive pass interference on Jones,down at thye 1 yfd line, BIG call.Collingsworth was going nuts about it. those 2 calls loses the game, That is what I have been trying to Tell the Voice and others who will listen. teams are so close, you need to do somethings by schemes. Just watch N.E. with all there injuries, guys still get open, not that there better, they run crossing routes, rub routes, end arounds, Quick slants. screeen passes, draws.You have to keep them off balance. we run 10 to 15 yds, down field and turn around, or fly patterns, or the TE Rodgers runs 10 yds and does a button hook, D.C.'s have film. we need to try some things when you have no speed and very predictable. The only thing I feel we have a chance tonight is 12 does not like the cold,and he is indoors,even though some say he likes playing at home. look at the super bowl run in 2010 , all road games. he usually comes thru in games like this, like THC says, means nothing. You do need to win most of the one on one battles.Yes Voice. But, if you don't have confidence and hopefully Abby or Janis will spark them, I'm telling you we have no speed w/o Montgomery or Janis in there. I hate to say it but THC will be 0-6. It's not who you play but when u play them. Shields will do ok on Calvin, but riddick scares me out of the backfield, and if we can keep up stopping them to run we will have good chance. Defense needs to win this game or Janis on special teams. it won't be the offense unless they try some things I'm asking for. If we try some new things and get some speed in there we have a good chance, if not we lose 23-20. Please prove me wrong Pack, Go Packers.

on December 3rd, 2015 at 12:23pm

let it be written let it be done, it's all on the bottom of this page. this was from my Dad packer fans, rest in piece and thank you Dad and Jesus.

on December 4th, 2015 at 09:25am

Vikes fans: whats it like to have all of your favorite games of your lifetime be losses by your rival? It must really suck that your favorite game of all time is last year's nfc champ game.

on December 4th, 2015 at 09:30am

Spencer It has nothing to do with the Packers team or players It is because of Duschebag Fans like you!

on December 4th, 2015 at 09:43am

You can't even spell. I'd work on that. Practice on words such as "championship" and "super" because you probably haven't heard those before as a vikes fan.

on December 4th, 2015 at 10:59pm

Your four-point prediction for a win ... spot on, Dave! Now can you get all the whiney Viking fans off social media ... the same ones we never heard from after we beat them on Nov. 22nd. Such opportunists!

on December 4th, 2015 at 12:09pm

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