Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions: NFL Thursday Night Football Schedule, Predictions, Stream & Preview
The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions square off in a classic NFC North game. These two teams have been going at it since 1930, and they will renew their rivalry on Thursday Night Football.
Green Bay Packers (7-4)
After a promising 6-0 start, Packers fans have watched their team lose four of the last five games since the bye week. It looked like the Packers would be battling for the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but now they are just trying to get a playoff spot. Incredibly, the Packers have lost at home to both the Lions and Chicago Bears this year. The Packers lost to the Lions at home in Week 10 for the first time since 1991.
This game will be on the road where the Packers are 3-2 so far. Aaron Rodgers is playing well as expected but his receivers just aren't getting open. Outside of Randall Cobb and James Jones, nobody has really stepped up in place of Jordy Nelson. Running back Eddie Lacy has been a disappointment this year as well. As crazy as it may seem, the Packers offense ranks 24th in yards gained this season, and they have failed to even hit the 17-point mark in three of their last five games.
Regardless of the recent struggles, the Packers are still favored to win this game. Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews are getting solid quarterback pressure while B.J. Raji is playing well up front. The Packers secondary has to stop Calvin Johnson and force turnovers from Matthew Stafford. The Packers are presently the No. 5 seed in the NFC as the Minnesota Vikings lead the NFC North.
The Packers play the Dallas Cowboys next week.
Detroit Lions (4-7)
As the Packers are slumping, the Lions are actually showing some life. The Lions have won their last three consecutive games to pull to 4-7, good enough to pull them two games back of a wild card spot behind the Seattle Seahawks. Normally the Packers would be favored by about a touchdown, but the Lions have shown they can handle the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Stafford and "Megatron" are hooking up quite nicely lately as Johnson has 599 receiving yards over the last six weeks. Last week, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Johnson erupted for 93 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-14 victory.
The biggest issue for the Lions is their ground game. The Lions have the second worst running game in the league, and Barry Sanders isn't walking through those doors anytime soon. This squad doesn't have a single runner with even three touchdowns this year, and they can't afford to be one dimensional against the Packers. The Lions are 2-3 at home this year with wins over the Eagles and Oakland Raiders.
The Lions play the St. Louis Rams next week.
The Packers and Lions will play each other on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on the NFL Network. The game will be played at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. You can watch a live game stream here.
This is a tough one. The Packers have the superior record, but the Lions have actually beat the Packers three of the last four meetings. The Packers haven't beat the Lions in Detroit since 2012. Over the last month the Lions have simply looked like the better football team. I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm going to pick the Lions to beat the Packers.
Lions win 23-17
Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1
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