Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Green Bay Packers (6-4 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (2-8 SU,
2-7-1 ATS), NFL Week 12, 12:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, November 26, 2009, Ford Field,
Detroit, Mich., TV: FOX

by Badger of

Point Spread: Packers no-line yet/Lions no-line yet
Over/Under: OFF

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The Green Bay Packers will work to keep the positive momentum on
their side of Lake Michigan when they travel to Ford Field in Detroit
for an NFC North Division main course against the Lions early
Thanksgiving afternoon on Fox.

The Packers continued their rebound back into the NFC playoff picture
with another solid tiebreaker-type statement win over San Francisco,
30-24. Aaron Rodgers was sharp (32-of-45, 344 yards, 2 TD), running
back Ryan Grant hit the century-mark again (129 yards, TD) and the
Packers seem to have regained their swagger with back-to-back wins
over the Cowboys and the 49ers.

The Packers will get a Detroit Lions team that witnessed the birth of
the franchises quarterback last weekend, as rookie Matthew Stafford
was amazing in the Lions last-second 38-37 victory over the Cleveland
Browns. Stafford threw the game-winning touchdown one play (actually,
a timeout) after getting his spine rearranged by the Browns pass
rush, and finished with five touchdowns and a possible separated
shoulder too.

Stafford is one of five Lions listed as questionable for the game,
adding insult to a Lions injury report that already lists 12 players
out for the season.

Because of the injury to Stafford there has been no point spread or over/under total released for this game. With the short week, it will
be interesting to see when they release a number for everyone to get
their action in before a Turkey Day feast.

Rodgers and the Packers main issue on offense this season has been
sacks, they gave up two more to the 49ers last weekend for 43 this
season. But with left tackle Chad Clifton back and healthy, the
Packers have been able to rotate steady vet Mark Tauscher with fresh-
legs rookie T.J. Lang at right tackle and the whole front five has
played better of late.

No doubt that Rodgers and head coach Mike McCarthey are looking at the Lions and their 32nd-dead-last ranking versus the pass (275.3
ypg) secondary and are giddy like school girls this week. Gotta like
the Packers and their 7th ranked passing attack (254.9 ypg) with
Rodgers throwing to Greg Jennings and Donald Driver against the Lions in this potential crucial mismatch.

If Stafford is available the Lions are capable of putting up some
points on offense (18.1 ppg 24th), but not enough to keep up with
the Packers if it becomes a Turkey Day shootout.

What might prove to be the Lions best offense is the Packers injuries
on defense, including the loss of two key veterans in end/linebacker
Aaron Kampman and corner Al Harris.


Kampman was finally starting to get some pressure from his new 3-4
linebacker spot before he torn his ACL last week, but Harris was a
shutdown corner that the Packers counted on heavily in blitz
packages. Without Harris the Packers secondary, especially their
nickel package, becomes more vanilla and limits coordinator Dom
Capers from turning up the pressure with the blitz.

The Packers beat the Lions earlier this season, 26-0 in Lambeau in
October, when the Lions played without Stafford then too. The Packers
laid a giant embarrassment the last time they went out on the road,
as double-digit road favorites, losing outright to the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, 38-28, so all hope is not lost for the Lions and a
holiday miracle.

The Packers have done well in indoor dome stadiums since Rodgers took
over (5-3 SU, 6-2 ATS), so the Packers actually play better in domes
than the Lions have lately (7-21 SU, 9-17 ATS in last three years).

Badgers Pick: Everything is in wait-n-see pattern until Staffords
status is determined. Until then, I’ve got nothing to pick.