Monday Night Football Preview: Can the Lions Outlast the Packers?
This week's edition of Monday Night Football features the 2-1-1 Detroit Lions traveling to Lambeau Field to face the 4-1 Green Bay Packers. In a key divisional game, both teams will look to create an edge on the competition and change the dynamic within the division ranks.
Before heading to a Week 5 bye, the Detroit Lions narrowly lost to the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 34-30. Meanwhile, the Packers bested the Dallas Cowboys 34-24. With both teams battling for a division title, this match brings a variety of exciting matchups.
On the Detroit side, Matthew Stafford continues to lead the Lions. Stafford has experienced somewhat of a career resurgence in 2019. Already averaging 280.5 passing yards per game, Stafford owns a 9:2 touchdown to interception ratio. However, Stafford faces his most difficult challenge yet against a Packers secondary that ranks second overall in pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. Important to mention, the Packers remain banged up in the secondary, with both Darnell Savage Jr. and Kevin King dealing with injury.
As for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers remains their long-time signal caller. Playing in a conservative offense under Matt LaFleur, Rodgers averages only 261.4 passing yards per game with 6 touchdowns and 1 interception. Compounding problems, the Packers will miss stud receiver Davante Adams on Monday Night. Detroit brings the league's seventh-best secondary to this contest, creating potential problems for Rodgers. However, Detroit also continues to battle injury, with both Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs questionable for the Monday Night showdown.
Running Back Breakdown
in the wake of C.J. Anderson's release, Kerryon Johnson has taken over as the Lions' lead back. Since Anderson's release, Johnson played 77 and 70 percent of the snaps, respectively. In those games, Johnson recorded 20 and 26 carries with 4 total targets. Johnson now takes this elevated workload to Green Bay to face a Green Bay defense ranked dead last against the run.
On the Green Bay side, Aaron Jones performed admirably with 100 yards rushing and 4 scores last week. However, Jamaal Williams looks likely to return from a scary head injury, rendering this situation a full-blown committee. Jones remains slightly more efficient on the ground with 3.9 yards per carry this season, while Williams comes in at 3.3. In terms of Rushing Success Rate, Jones stands out (50.0% to 34.6%). Importantly, the Packers began incorporating Jones in the pass game with 13 total catches in their last two games. Detroit's run defense ranks 15th in the NFL, creating an avenue for Jones and Williams to produce.
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