The Lions have had a rough three weeks since the last meeting in Detroit. Three straight losses at home leave them at 4 - 8:
They also seem to be competing to host the largest NFC North IR squad, adding Ryan Broyles (ACL) and Titus Young (broken head or something). Young is supposed to have surgery for something (if he shows up as Jim Schwartz put it).Code:2012-11-18 Packers 20 24 L 2012-11-22 Texans 31 34 L 2012-12-02 Colts 33 35 L
Kris Durham will see action for the first time this year along with Brian Robiskie at WR. Don't know anything about Durham, what I know of Robiskie hasn't been very good. Expect to see the TE position play a part. Pettigrew had 4 catches in the last meeting, Scheffler had 1.
So the Packers will be meeting the Lions at an interesting time in the season.
This isn't exactly a new script.
Two years ago, the Packers were 8-4 facing the Lions and got tied up in the rough and tumble kind of game that always seems to happen in Detroit. Rodgers went down with a concussion, the Packers lost 3-7 and fell to 8-5. Things wound up working out but it wasn't easy.
There's some other history here too. Dating back four years or so, the Packers vs Lions games have a pattern to them. The game in Detroit tends to be defensive, with relatively little offense and low scores while the game in Green Bay is more of a track meet. This was never more true than in last years 45 - 41 win, a game of anything you can do I can better. Calvin Johnson caught 11 passes for 244 yards, Brandon Pettigrew hauled in 7 for 116 and a bunch of others also had quite a time. The game was only finally over when Shields intercepted a Stafford pass intended for Burleson to finally stop a drive. Flynn took a kneel down and the announcers likely fled looking for oxygen.
This week the Packers welcome back Ryan Grant not because they missed him exactly, but because Starks has a bone bruise and the cupboard was bare. Even our no-name players are on IR as Johnny White (oh Johnny, we hardly knew ye) joined Brandon Saine and Cedric Benson on the list. He'll likely see time in backfield. I've always liked Ryan but he hasn't run as hard as Starks was running since 2009 or so. As least he's fresh, playing a lot of chess doesn't lead to a lot of bumps and bruises. Can't say that about anyone else playing in this game (unless Pat Lee comes in as a DB for the Lions).
About last weeks injuries, no news is not good news. Jordy is going to miss I'd bet. Lang hasn't practiced or been seen much, so don't count on him. It's going to EDS against Nick Fairley all over again and Don Barclay is going to get the other side of the pummeling.
So the OL isn't looking too promising, how about the DL? Same story I fear.
Wilson hasn't made a showing yet. Mike Neal has another shoulder problem. Worthy and Daniels are going to be worn out. I expect Mikel Leshoure to have a pretty good day (not Peterson good, oh I hope not, but good).
It also looks like Shields will be back in some capacity, the one article I read with quotes indicated he's doing a lot of special teams work.
It should be about 25 or so at game time with a chance of snow. December football, it's here.
So what should we expect? I'd say that history holds and we see a game in the low 30s on both sides. If it starts snowing, well anything can happen but it's usually entertaining. I'll never forget watching as Holmgren slowly morphed into Frosty the Snowman in January of 2008. I'd like to forget that Grant had two fumbles in about 30 seconds of game time (I was close, 58 seconds) that day too, but I can't and he did wind up atoning up for it.