DETROIT LIONS (3-4)
at GREEN BAY PACKERS (4-3)
Lambeau Field Ė Green Bay, WI
Kickoff: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Line: Detroit -2.0, Total: 42.5
The Packers will be hoping to improve to 5-3 with a win at home over the Lions on Monday.
After starting the season at 3-1, the Lions have lost each of their past three games both SU and ATS. Detroit is going to need to win this game on Monday, but the team has to know that. While the Lions are playing at Lambeau Field in this one, they wonít be as intimidated as usual here. They are obviously playing the Packers in this Monday Night Football battle, but they donít have to face QB Aaron Rodgers (Collarbone). Rodgers is out indefinitely for Green Bay, so this team is not one that is going to be very capable of scoring points. The Packers have lost two straight heading into this one, and they scored just 17 in a 26-17 loss against the Saints last game. Fortunately for Green Bay, the team did have a bye week to help get Brett Hundley prepared for this one. Perhaps the offense will be tweaked a bit for him to use his mobility to his advantage. And while Rodgers is out in this one, Green Bay is a ridiculous 25-1 SU and 18-6 ATS against Detroit when playing at home since 1992. That type of dominance goes back to days before Rodgers was under center, but the Packers have always had quarterbacks that are better than Hundley under center. One trend that does favor the Lions in this one is the fact that the Packers are 0-7 ATS in home games versus poor defensive teams that are allowing 5.65 or more yards per play over the past three seasons. Favoring Green Bay, however, is the fact that Detroit is 0-7 ATS after gaining 300 or more passing yards in its last game over the past three seasons.
The Lions are hoping to get back to the .500 mark with a win this week and they will be feeling very confident with Aaron Rodgers sidelined here. QB Matt Stafford is now easily the better quarterback in this game, so the Lions have a much better shot of putting up some points. Stafford was solid in a 20-15 loss against the Steelers last week, throwing for 423 yards but not finding the end zone. The Lions need to do a better job of finishing drives or their season is going nowhere fast. One thing Detroit would be wise to do is get RB Ameer Abdullah going in this one. Abdullah has been very inconsistent this season, but the Lions are at their best when he is running the ball well. The team often sprinkles in a heavy dose of RB Theo Riddick in the passing game, but the Lions should probably commit to Abdullah. He is more confident when he is getting more touches and it would be huge if he can take some pressure off of Stafford here. Defensively, Detroit needs to get some pressure on Brett Hundley in this one. The new Packers quarterback did not throw the ball well in his first start last week and he did not handle pressure well either.
The Packers can really use a win on Monday, as their only chance of making the postseason is probably winning games like these at home. Brett Hundley will, however, need to play a good game for Green Bay here. He was miserable against the Saints, completing just 12-of-25 passes for 87 yards and a pick. If he canít throw the ball more accurately then it actually wouldnít be surprising if Green Bay gives backup Joe Callahan a chance. The Packers will probably lean heavily on the run in this game, as that will take some pressure off of Hundley. That means that both RBs Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery will be heavily involved here. Jones has been excellent as the teamís between-the-tackles guy, and Montgomery has taken on a roll as a pass-catching back. Itís probably hard for Montgomery after the way he started the season, but Jones has been too good to take a backseat. He has rushed for over 100 yards in two of the past three games and has scored a touchdown in three of the past four. On defense, the Packers will need to make sure they have guys like WRs Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate covered deep. If they can eliminate Staffordís big plays in the passing game then they will have a chance here.