Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#297 Detroit Lions vs.
#298 Green Bay Packers
Monday, September 20, 2021 at 8:15pm EDT
Lambeau Field, Green Bay
Written by Jordy

The Green Bay Packers hope to put their disastrous Week 1 performance in the rearview ahead of Monday’s NFC North showdown with the Detroit Lions. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were completely embarrassed on the road against the New Orleans Saints. It was easily one of the worst performances for the Packers in the Rodgers era.

Things didn’t go too well for the Lions kick-starting the Jared Goff era, either. They got drilled in a 41-33 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Should the Lions feel encouraged?

Unlike the Packers, the Lions’ Week 1 showing wasn’t a complete dumpster fire from start to finish. They did show some fight by rallying for 16 points in the fourth quarter after trailing 41-17 at one point. While it did make the final score look better, it was in no way reflective of what the actual game looked like.

Lions quarterback Jared Goff doesn’t get a pat on the back for throwing against soft coverages in garbage time at this level. So no, Detroit shouldn’t feel encouraged for losing by eight points.

With that said, it’s going to take time for Goff to settle into a new situation with a brand new cast of receivers. And the defense didn’t really help him out by spotting the 49ers 31 points in the first two quarters of the game.

That unit better have their shoulder pads strapped on tight when heading to Lambeau Field on Sunday to face an angry Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team. Don’t let last week’s blowout loss to the Saints fool you. The Packers had the No. 1-ranked scoring offense last season. As long as Rodgers is under center, Davante Adams is flanked out wide and Aaron Jones is in the offensive backfield, the Packers are going to be a problem.

They’ll especially be a problem for a Lions defense that looked like they couldn’t stop a cold last week. Can they pressure the quarterback up front and defend well in the secondary? I’m not so sure after seeing the 49ers rip off 442 total yards against them.

Goff already has a connection with tight end T.J. Hockenson, and he loved dumping the ball off to running backs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. However, both running backs have popped up on the injury report for this game.

There are still some major question marks at receiver for the Lions this season, but if they can somehow turn the Packers into a turnover machine, they will have a chance to capitalize on a shortened field. That might be their only hope.

What in the world is wrong with the Packers?

Aaron Rodgers is currently on the excuse tour and blaming the first interception he threw against the New Orleans Saints on a double groin shot he took during the game. Let’s save the discussion of groin-gate for another day and get right to the bottom line: The Packers got their butts kicked.

Instead of making excuses, it would behoove Rodgers to simply take ownership for the one game where he actually looked worse than Jameis Winston. That “baaad man” was just bad last Sunday.

But he can get back on track against the Lions. He’ll be facing the same defense that got blown off the field by the San Francisco 49ers. No team in the league gave up as many points as the Lions did in their opener. However, Sunday’s game can’t just be about Rodgers throwing touchdown pass to Davante Adams.

This Packers team has got to get the run game going immediately.

Granted, they fell behind early against the Saints, and they were forced to lean more on the passing offense. But it was downright pitiful seeing the team finish with a total of 15 carries for 43 yards on the ground. That isn’t ideal for any team, even for an offense led by one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

Green Bay’s defense couldn’t generate any form of a pass rush against the Saints. So we’ll see how their defensive front fares against Jared Goff and the Lions on Sunday. The toughest matchup on the field is without question T.J. Hockenson. With Tyrell Williams out, the Lions have limited options at the receiver position. It could play out in the favor of a Packers defense that got smoked at New Orleans.

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The point spread for this game is more than one touchdown and a field goal for a reason. It’s the Detroit Lions going to Lambeau Field to face an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team that was beaten and humiliated in their season opener against the Saints.

Imagine someone poking a bear and running away to leave you to fend for yourself. That’s the situation the Lions find themselves in on Sunday.

Rodgers eats adversity for breakfast, and you can rest assured he’s going to take out all of his frustrations on the same Lions defense that allowed a league-worst 419.8 total yards per game last season. It looked like the exact same defense that got ramrodded by the 49ers in a game where they gave up 442 total yards of offense.

Rodgers is going to sling the ball around the field for three or four passing touchdowns, and Aaron Jones will power his way into the end zone for another two on the ground.

Jared Goff’s shaky quarterback play in the past is a legitimate thing, but the cupboard is bare at the receiver position in Detroit. To make matters worse, both of his running backs, D’Andre Swift and Jaamal Williams might be too banged-up to play in this game. Wideout Tyrell Williams has already been ruled out.

It’s a nightmare situation for Goff against what will be a vengeful Packers defense. I’m laying the points and taking Green Bay.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers (-11.5)

Full-Game Total Pick

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The Packers had the No. 1-ranked scoring defense last season with an average of 31.5 points per game. I’m not going to lose my mind over them getting shut down in the season opener by a talented Saints defense. If anything, that poor performance gives me even more confidence that Aaron Rodgers and company are going to run up the scoreboard on Sunday. It also helps that they’re facing the league’s worst defense from a season ago. The Lions just gave up 41 points to the San Francisco 49ers coming off a season where they allowed a league-worst 32.4 points per game. Give me the over in this one.

Prediction: Over (48.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.

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