I know, I know. It's been a while.
Once again, the Lions travel to the (perfectly balmy) tundra of Lambeau field, in an attempt to slay the green and gold dragon.
Over at Bleacher Report, I did a film breakdown of the Lions defense, and how it effectively slowed Aaron Rodgers last season, and how it could improve on those methods this season:
Something that surprised me was just how vanilla both units played, especially at Lambeau. Part of that, no doubt, was the weather, but both teams seemed more nervous to make a mistake than revved up to make a play.
Once the Packers got out of their (seemingly) scripted opening drive, which was ludicrously effective until Lawrence Jackson short-circuited it with a sack-fumble.
Speaking of which, Jackson--who had one of his best games as a Lion in this fixture last season--will be watching from home. In his place is (The Great) Willie Young, who got manhandled by Bryan Bulaga in the run game when rotating in for Jackson last year.
Young and Ansah, who'll have to contain Eddie Lacy instead of DuJuan Harris, probably hold the keys to this game. I have no doubt that Ansah is a pass-rushing upgrade from KVB, but if Lacy can control the ground game that shifts the dynamic considerably.
The one thing the Lions must, absolutely must do is hold on to the football. Stafford cannot throw an oopsie pick, or lose a snap. The margins on this game are slim, but--as I wrote at B/R, the upside for a Lions victory is enormous.
Presuming the Bears don't upset the Saints, the Lions taking one from the Pack would grant the Lions dominion over the NFC North; first place outright, a one-game lead on the Bears, two-and-a-half game lead on the Pack, all tiebreakers in hand and a sweep of the division half-completed.
Don't underestimate the power of a sword buried in the heart of that writhing dragon of a losing streak, either.