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Lions and Packers: Thursday Night Preview

It’s a rematch of last year’s Week 18 tilt on Thursday Night Football.

 Week 4 starts with a bang tonight as the Lions and Packers meet at Lambeau Field! The last time these teams met here was in Week 18 last season, where Detroit stole a victory from the Packers to keep them out of the playoffs. Instead of Aaron Rodgers, the Lions will be facing Jordan Love, who’s certainly looked the part through three games in 2023. Tonight’s odds currently have the visiting Lions as 2-point favourites, while the over/under sits at 44.5.

The Lions

We know that the Lions can score, but it was great seeing the defence step up in last week’s 20-6 victory over Atlanta. Aiden Hutchinson was disrupting things all day, and if he can continue to deliver performances like that, quarterbacks will take notice every time he’s on the field. In the secondary, rookie DB Brian Branch has been a great addition as well. Branch returned an interception for a touchdown in the win against Kansas City and is second on the team in tackles with 16. Despite all the excitement around Jordan Love, this unit definitely has the ability to slow him down if they’re on their game.  

Offensively, look for the Lions to get David Montgomery back in the fold after he missed last week with a thigh injury. Rookie RB Jahymr Gibbs hasn’t really been able to excel in the run game yet, but with Montgomery back, he should still be a factor through the air. When Jared Goff isn’t looking for Gibbs, Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie TE Sam LaPorta are his favourite targets at the moment. St. Brown will always be a factor and LaPorta has blossomed quite well for the Lions, increasing his number of yards, catches and targets in every game so far. Last week, he grabbed eight balls for 84 yards and a score on eleven targets. 

The Packers

After last week’s comeback win against the Saints, Jordan Love is a popular guy in Green Bay right now. Even if he wasn’t spectacular in the first half, his command of the offence in a fourth-quarter drive to take the lead was great for Packers fans. His receivers may not be household names yet, but Love has a good arsenal of weapons. Last week, Romeo Doubs was his favourite, as the second-year WR was targeted twelve times and caught the go-ahead touchdown with three minutes left. Tonight, he’ll have even more options as both Aaron Jones and Christian Watson are returning from injury. Look for the Packers to heavily involve Jones all over the field. 

Defensively, tonight will easily be Green Bay’s toughest test. They’ve looked decent against the Bears, Falcons and Saints, but Detroit’s offence is a different beast. Jaire Alexander will be a tough matchup for Amon-Ra St. Brown, but if Goff looks other ways, it’ll be up to different guys in Green Bay’s secondary to make the big plays. I don’t expect the Packers’ defence to keep Detroit off the board, but the key for tonight will be lessening the damage and being tough in the redzone. If long drives only result in field goals for Detroit, the Packers will take that as a win every time.  

Lions and Packers: The Pick

In an NFC North game at Lambeau, Green Bay will always be competitive. That being said, they haven’t seen an offence like Detroit’s yet this year, and the Lions may have found something on defence.  I expect this one between the Lions and Packers to be close throughout, but ultimately, I’ve got Detroit taking tonight’s game and covering the spread.

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