Review – That could’ve been one of the most complete games the Packers have played in quite some time, except for the QB calling out his head coach’s gameplan. The Packers’ 22-0 victory was encouraging to say the least, considering the Bills went into Minnesota the week prior and smacked around the Vikings. As for the defensive gameplan, Mike Pettine obviously kept rookie QB, Josh Allen, in the pocket and forced him to make the proper read and throw to beat him. Safe to say that was the best plan of attack.
The Packers held Buffalo to a total of 145 yards of offense, which is just incredible, even if it is the Bills. Hopefully that’s something Green Bay can build from moving forward as they’re about to see a much tougher schedule.
Preview—moving to Detroit, one of the most puzzling teams to figure out in the NFL. The Lions have 3 losses, yet their 1 win came against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Even if Matt Patricia (Detroit’s new head coach) came from New England, that still doesn’t make sense. For those that have followed the Packers for quite some time, there’s no need to inform you that Detroit has frustrated the Packers over the course of the last two decades…or at least Green Bay doesn’t play nearly as well there as they do in Lambeau vs the Lions.
So how do the Packers matchup against the Lions? Green Bay brings the 17th ranked offense (19th in points) into Detroit to face the 8th ranked defense (24th in points). What does this mean? Well with 2 of the top 3 WR targets in doubt for Green Bay, leaving a possible Davante Adams and 3 rookie Wide receivers + so far unreliable Jimmy Graham and Lance Kendricks as pass-catchers, it hopefully means a lot more Aaron Jones, which will open up the play action game and allow Aaron Rodgers to be, potentially, lethal. Aaron Jones, HB #33, has 17 carries for 107 yards…that’s good enough for a 6.3 yards/carry—that tells me the Packers need to find a way to bring that avg. down. Why do I want that avg. down you may ask? Because if he’s getting 20-25 carries/game, Jones won’t be getting 6+ yards/carry, and if he does, problem solved!!!
As for the other side of the ball, Detroit has the 11th ranked offense (18th in points) matching up against the Packers’ 6th ranked defense (11th in points). As for pure rankings, it seems these teams are somewhat even, and when that’s the case I look at the Quarterback and Head Coach matchup. I think that sways in the Packers’ favor in each dept., even if many are ready for the Packers to move on from Mike McCarthy (I’m fine with it if that’s the case), Patricia is still an unknown and 2 other things: 1. He got blasted by a bad Jets team at home; 2. Belicheck’s coaching tree is anything but impressive.
Look for the Packers to keep the ball in front of them, meaning not let any big plays over the top, and force Stafford to small-ball them to death. If that’s the case, he’ll likely throw the Packers the ball a few times and if the Packers win the turnover battle, it should be over.
Overall— it’ll likely be a battle, with possibly the Packers jumping out to a 2-score lead and be tied late in the 4th with Rodgers looking to make a drive/play to clinch it. I’m thinking Mason Crosby (somewhat) redeems himself from his miss vs Minnesota, and nails a game-winner.
34-22, overall record.