Week 1 is in the books. Fortunately, the Green Bay Packers enjoyed a win against the Minnesota Vikings. This week the pack will stay in Wisconsin and go head-to-head with another division rival the Detroit Lions. The Lions started fast last week against the Chicago Bears, only to give up 21 fourth-quarter points to drop a heart breaker. In seemingly Detroit Lions fashion, they had a chance at the end but rookie running back D’Andre Swift dropped the go-ahead score. The Lions are looking to rebound both from last week’s defeat and the two soul-crushing losses to Green Bay in 2019. In advance of this Packers vs Lions game, let’s take a closer look at the Lions key players and roster.
The offense still revolves around Matthew Stafford and the passing game. The 12-year veteran remains an effective quarterback. During week 1, Stafford threw just under 300 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He did force a few balls at times, but his receivers didn’t do him any favors with drops and wrong routes. Still, Stafford is a gifted quarterback capable of giving the Packers problems. He also has talented pass catchers at his disposal. Kenny Golladay, who didn’t play last week, is the lead dog and a legit alpha receiver in the NFL. He is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons with 11 touchdowns in 2019. Marvin Jones and the sure-handed Danny Amendola round out the wide receiver group along with ultra-talented second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson.
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After what seems like decades of no rushing attack, the Lions are showing life in that regard. The newly signed Adrian Peterson had 14 carries for 93 yards in week 1. Meanwhile, Kerryon Johnson wasn’t a factor last week yet remains a young talented back. The Lions also drafted highly-touted D’Andre Swift to be the future. Swift struggled mightily last week but still should improve as the season goes on.
The glue to this offense starts in the trenches with the offensive line. Their unit is an underrated group this group when healthy is pretty solid especially the left side to the middle. Center Frank Ragnow is a young rising stud both in the passing and ground game. Also, Joe Dahl and Taylor Decker solidify the left side of the line. However, at right tackle, the Lions have been dealing with injuries and have been rotating starters since losing Ricky Wagner in free agency (to the Packers of all teams).
As noted earlier, the Lions defense had a shaky start to the season. After that 4th quarter breakdown, it is easy to make the argument that the Lions defense is weaker than the offense. That is not to say that there are no bright spots on the unit. Trey Flowers can get after the quarterback and he gave David Bakhtiari fits last season. Da’Shawn Hand is on the other side but hasn’t lived up to his draft status. Journeyman Danny Shelton and free-agent signing Nick Williams are just average in the middle talented Jamie Collins came from New England last year to pair with Jarrad Davis and Christian Jones at linebacker.
Where the lions are really hurting is in the secondary. With rookie first-round pick Jeff Okudah already out last week the Lions had three more corners go down with injuries. Among them, slot corner Justin Coleman was placed on the Injured Reserve and Desmond Trufant did not practice this week. The Bears really took advantage of this during their 4th quarter comeback. If Okuda and Trufant cannot go this week, the Lions secondary will struggle against Aaron Rodgers & company.
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