The Green Bay Packers have dealt with injuries to their offense all season. Now Green Bay must find a way to contain the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon at Ford Field without their best pass rusher.
Linebacker Clay Matthews, who leads the team with 9.0 sacks, will miss his first game of the season Sunday with a hamstring injury.
Green Bay’s defense didn’t need much effort to contain the Arizona Cardinals last week, with Green Bay cruising to a 31-17 win.
Aaron Rodgers has dealt with injuries to his top wide receivers, Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, and managed to throw four touchdowns and 218 yards with one interception.
Receiver Randall Cobb continued his breakout year with three catches for 37 yards and two scores, as Green Bay has won four in a row and are fresh of their bye week.
The Packers have won 12 of the last 13 meetings against the Lions, but will have to find a way to slow down Detroit’s top ranked passing game without Matthews coming around the edge.
Detroit needs a win to stay in the playoff picture, after a huge 34-24 letdown against the Minnesota Vikings last week.
Receiver Calvin Johnson had 12 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Matthew Stafford tossed three scores and one pick for 329 yards, but Detroit couldn’t overcome a 14-point fourth quarter deficit.
It was Stafford’s second multi-touchdown game of the season, a much slower pace than his 5,000 yards passing last year.
Johnson has a amazing success against the Packers secondary. In the final week of last season, Johnson torched Green Bay for 11 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown in a 45-41 loss.
He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup, but Detroit suffered a blow with safety Amari Spievey being placed on injured reserve Saturday.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by FOX, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Green Bay is favored by 3.5 points
Over/Under: 52.5 points
Prediction: Rodgers is in MVP form, but Stafford may have found his groove from last season. The Lions defense should come up big in a very close victory for Detroit.
Predicted Score: Detroit 41, Green Bay 37