Both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions got off to slow starts, losing three of their first five games. Entering Week 14, one team is atop the NFC North while the other’s playoffs hopes have already been dashed.
Since being upset in Week 5, the Packers have played as well as any team in the NFL. Green Bay’s only loss, in the past two months, came against the New York Giants, and they’re in the hunt for a first-round bye.
Detroit currently sits at 4-8 and in the basement of their division. They’ve lost four straight and are the only team in the NFC North that is out of playoff contention.
Now, the two teams are set to face off in primetime. The Lions are set to visit the Packers on Sunday Night Football on NBC. Kick-off is set for 8:20 p.m., and you can watch a free live stream online with Sunday Night Football Extra.
It’s the second time the rivals are meeting in 2012. The Lions blew a fourth quarter lead on Nov.18, losing 24-20 at home.
Detroit has made a habit of losing close games. In each of their last three games, the Lions have been defeated by four points or less. Seven of the Lions defeats have come by one score, and none of them have been by more than 10 points.
The Lions passing game has kept them in most contests. They lead the league with 312.5 yards through the air per game.
Matthew Stafford has probably the best weapon of any quarterback in football. Calvin Johnson leads the league with 1,428 receiving yards. The Denver Broncos Demaryius Thomas is second on the list, but trails Johnsos by over 230 yards.
Despite the success of the Lions passing offense, Stafford struggled in the Lions first matchup with the Packers. He completed 44 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions.
While Detroit throws for the most yards each game, Green Bay might have the best quarterback in the NFL. Even with Peyton Manning’s MVP caliber season, Aaron Rodgers, once again, leads the league in quarterback rating.
Rodgers has registered a 105.6 passer rating, while playing behind a weak offensive line. He’s been sacked 39 times this season, and could face even more pressure on Sunday. The Packers will be without T.J. Lang and Bryan Bulaga due to injuries.
The Packers defense is also banged up. Cornerback Charles Woodson and linebacker Clay Matthews will both miss another game.
Betting Line: Green Bay-6.5, 48.5
Prediction: The Lions are very talented, but through mistakes and bad coaching, have been unable to win close games. The injuries to the Packers defense will likely keep Detroit in the game, but Green Bay’s offensive firepower and superior coaching should help them get the win.
Predicted Score: Green Bay 38, Detroit 27