November 27, 2013

Packers Keys To Victory in Season-Deciding Game at Detroit Lions

By: Shane Arman

Green Bay Packer fans had to know this moment was coming, after watching their team go winless the last four weeks with a revolving door at quarterback. It’s win or home for the Green Bay Packers; a win gives them the NFC North division lead and maintains the “control your own destiny” path. A loss makes it VERY difficult to win the division, the only likely path to the postseason. So what do the Packers need to do to beat the Detroit on Thanksgiving? See below for three keys that will help give Green Bay the best chance to steal a win.

Feed the Beast
(Photo: Benny Sieu Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit surprisingly ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing yards surrendered per game at just 88 yards, while the Packers average 139.9, good for fifth best in the NFL. The Packers need to give Eddie Lacy a chance to break down the Lions defense, even though they’ll likely load the box with eight. Flynn should also look to Lacy as a pass-catcher, much like he did last week when Lacy was able to make some nice open field plays.

Score Early
Playing on the road and especially on Thanksgiving means Ford Field will be very loud. Getting off to a fast start is so important for the Packers, given they’ll look to control time of possession and keep the ball on the ground as much as possible. Over the past four weeks, the Packers have usually dug themselves early holes that have forced them to play from behind. The Packers have been outscored 50- 17 in the first half of the last four games; that can’t happen Thursday at Detroit. This Packers offense without Rodgers operates much better with a lead.

Make Big Plays When They’re Available
At various points through the last four weeks, the Packers have been in position to make big, game-changing plays—mostly on defense. From Davon House’s dropped interception against Minnesota, to Tramon Williams and Morgan Burnett’s missed interception on the deep TD pass in the Eagles game. Matthew Stafford will give the Packers a few turnover opportunities and whether the Packers make them will go a long way toward deciding the game's outcome. On offense, Matt Flynn will need to hit a few big, down-field passes to stretch the Lions defense. If there’s no threat of a deep ball, the Lions defense will feast on Lacy and make it very difficult to get the ground game going.

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