Saturday, September 13, 2008


There are lots of thoughts out there on this game, so I'm not real sure I need to recap them all. I watched Minn-GB week 1, and while GB looked good, the Minn offense looked terrible. While Rodgers did well, both teams were shooting themselves in the foot with senseless, pointless penalties. Hopefully, if that continues, the Lions will be able to capitalize. The one thing they did well last week was avoid an absurd number of penalties.

I keep wondering if GB has swagger, or overconfidence heading into their away game match up with the Lions. They faced Minnesota, at home, Monday night -- a game even the most lax of football players would have a hard time not taking seriously. Going into a stadium where a furniture store bought out the remainder of the seats, and the team got beat up by an "all rookie" squad last week...not so much.

Perhaps the Packers will be facing the same kind of game Detroit did, only a week later. I wouldn't count on it, but they appear to be full of more than swagger. For instance, in this article the Green Bay secondary has essentially indicated they don't think Roy or CJ are anything special, and feel equipped to handle them -- dinged up or not.

Once again, if the Lions go down, I think most outlets are missing the point. I said last week it would be Michael Turner who was the focus of the game -- stop him win, don't lose. They didn't, and they lost big. If they stopped him on the ground, the number of throws from down-distance favorable to the Lions increases and then you have a whole different ballgame.

Grant is on the injury report, but expect him to play. With him and Jackson, GB will not be afraid to do exactly what Atlanta did to protect their signal caller. They will run early and often, with long strikes from Rodgers thrown in until the defense shows it can stop Grant -- if it can.

The Lions need to take away the run and the deep ball (which may be easier to do with Bodden on the field) and force the Packers underneath. Rodgers is a gamer, but he excels at the (ironically enough) Brett Favre style of gunslinger plays, and doesn't have as much patience with the dink-and-dunkers. (thus far -- we haven't seen enough of him to know his real tendencies)

As for the offense, they need to run against GB, especially up the middle -- which is where Minnesota had the most success. What killed Minnesota is that GB did not respect the passing game at all, and stacked up against the run. When you're covering Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian with T. Jackson throwing the rock, it's one thing. That the GB corners can't distinguish between Kitna throwing to CJ and Roy is another entirely. Are the Det Trio really as mediocre as the Minn Trio???? I guess we'll have to watch Sunday to find out. My guess is no.

The key will be, no matter what, to keep the game close. If it gets out of hand the Fans in the stadium will go silent (except those Packers Fans buying tickets by the furniture truckload), and the team will be pigeon-holed into a bad position again. The defense has to get some stops early, and Detroit may need to get it's run game going by cranking up the pass early (like they did in preseason) to pull guys off the line for the running game to get some traction.

Your thoughts?? Concerns? Is GB too full of themselves at this point, and are they overlooking the Lions, or are they truly that good and Rodgers is the next Favre, here to torment us another 17 years?

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