Preview: Lions at Packers
The Sports Xchange
The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions are attempting to address issues with their respective offenses heading into tonight’s clash at Lambeau Field.
The Packers have seen their high-octane offense take a significant hit with the loss of two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers (broken collarbone), while the Lions’ issues deal with their inability to consistently convert in the red zone.
Brett Hundley answered a three-interception performance in relief of an injured Rodgers by completing just 12-of-25 passes for 87 yards and an interception in his first career start — a 26-17 loss to New Orleans on Oct. 22.
The Packers had their bye the following week, with coach Mike McCarthy and Rodgers working with Hundley in a bid to address some issues with the team’s 243.5-yard total offense in the near-two games since Rodgers was injured — 66.5 below their season average.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 423 yards in last Sunday’s 20-15 loss to Pittsburgh, but his team went 0-for-5 in the red zone and fell to 28th in the league in that situation as it settled for five field goals by Matt Prater.
“Just not executing enough,” Stafford told reporters. “Whether it’s me making a better throw or a guy making a catch or assignments in the run game — whatever it is, we’ve just got to execute better.”
TV: 7:30 p.m., ESPN.
LINE: Lions -2.5. O/U: 43.5
RADIO: WDSM 710 AM
About the Lions (3-4)
Golden Tate didn’t let an ailing shoulder slow him down as he recorded seven receptions for the second straight game last Sunday, while Marvin Jones Jr. made six catches for the third consecutive contest, amassing 128 yards in the process.
While the passing game traditionally has clicked under Stafford, Detroit’s ground attack has been running in place as it has been 59 contests since the team had a 100-yard rusher (Reggie Bush versus Green Bay in 2013).
Stafford actually has averaged a team-best 5.2 yards per carry this season while Ameer Abdullah leads in attempts (101) and yards (369) for the Lions, who rank 28th in rushing yards per game (82.1) and yards per attempt (3.48).
About the Packers (4-3)
Hundley admitted a comfort level working with Rodgers as he prepares for his second career start.
“Me and Aaron talk a lot,” Hundley told reporters on Thursday. “Even when he was playing, we still talked a lot. It’s the same — now it’s a different type of talk. He’s telling me stuff, and it’s good for me. Aaron’s always been a brother to me. Whenever you have people like that around, you always feel better.”
Jordy Nelson is tied for second in the NFL with six receiving touchdowns, but the stud wideout was limited to just one catch for 13 yards against the Saints while Randall Cobb has reeled in just five passes for 43 yards over the last two games.
Packers Player Watch
**CB Donatello Brown (6-foot, 190) was activated off the practice squad. Brown is an undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State.
**OLB Vince Biegel was activated from the reserve/physically unable to perform list Friday. Biegel, a fourth-round draft choice in April, suffered a broken foot during rookie orientation camp in May.
**S Kentrell Brice was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
**LS Taybor Pepper, who suffered a foot injury Thursday, was placed on injured reserve. Green Baysigned Derek Hart to replace Pepper. Hart (6-foot-4, 245) was in the Packers' training camp, but was released Aug. 28.
**OLB Ahmad Brooks (back) didn't practice for the second straight day.
**TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder) did not practice for the second day in a row.
**DT Quinton Dial (chest) hasn't practiced this week.
**LB Joe Thomas, who hasn't played since Week 4, did not practice.
1. Detroit’s 10 interceptions and 16 overall takeaways rank third-best in the league.
2. Green Bay CB Damarious Randall has recorded an interception in three straight games.
3. Lions Pro Bowl G T.J. Lang, who spent eight seasons with the Packers, is making his first trip to Lambeau Field since signing a three-year, $28.5 million contract in March.
PREDICTION: Lions 23, Packers 17.