Packers Maven

Game Scout: Detroit Lions (5-10) At Green Bay Packers (6-8-1)

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.Photo: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, Lambeau Field; FOX, Justin Kutcher, Robert Smith, Pat McAfee, Sarah Kustok (Field reporter)

SERIES HISTORY: 177th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 98-71-7. The Lions beat the Packers in Week 5 when LeGarrette Blount ran for two touchdowns. In 2011, the Packers beat the Lions in the season finale at Lambeau Field. Matthew Stafford threw for 520 yards and five TDs, but Matt Flynn had 480 yards passing and six TDs for the Packers.

KEYS TO THE GAME: As recently as a couple years ago, opponents rarely blitzed the Packers for fear they'd be destroyed by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his perimeter weapons. Last week, however, the Jets blitzed, blitzed and blitzed some more. Rodgers had a big game but also took a beating. The Lions like to blitz, too. Of their top four sack producers, three are linebackers (Devon Kennard, 7.0; Jarrad Davis, 5.0; Eli Harold, 4.0). If the Packers can protect Rodgers, there are plays to be made against a Detroit defense that is 31st in opponent passer rating.

Even with rookie running back Kerryon Johnson on injured reserve, Detroit has continued to run the football. Zach Zenner has provided a spark the last three games with 30 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Zenner and LeGarrette Blount will be a challenge for a defense that has relied heavily on six-defensive back packages throughout the second half of the season. The Lions played Darius Slay almost exclusively on Davante Adams in the first meeting, and Adams finished with nine catches for 140 yards. While Slay and Adams could match up again, head coach Matt Patricia has switched things up in the past against teams that have one receiver they rely so heavily upon by playing his No. 1 cornerback on the opposing team's No. 2 receiver and doubling the No. 1 most of the game.



--OUT: CB DeShawn Shead (knee), TE Luke Willson (concussion)

--QUESTIONABLE: CB/RS Jamal Agnew (knee), RB LeGarrette Blount (knee), S Quandre Diggs (back), WR Kenny Golladay (chest), DT Damon Harrison Sr. (ankle), CB Nevin Lawson (ankle)


--DOUBTFUL: T Jason Spriggs (concussion), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion)

--QUESTIONABLE: WR Davante Adams (knee), CB Jaire Alexander (groin), T David Bakhtiari (hip), S Kentrell Brice (ankle, not injury related), DL Fadol Brown (toe), G Patrick Lucas (abdomen), G Lane Taylor (knee)


--Packers WR Davante Adams vs. Lions CB Darius Slay. Two of the best at their positions will take center stage on Sunday. Adams needs two catches and 134 receiving yards to break franchise standards in those categories. He has scored a touchdown in 11 of 15 games. Slay, who has three interceptions and 15 passes defensed this season after league-leading figures of eight interceptions and 26 PBUs last season, has made the Pro Bowl the last two seasons.

--Lions C Graham Glasgow vs. Packers NT Tyler Lancaster. Glasgow, their most dependable lineman, has sometimes struggled against overpowering nose tackles. Lancaster is a 313-pounder who's played well at times this year, but he's also an undrafted rookie who lacks experience and is replacing a Pro Bowler in Kenny Clark. The Lions were effective running the ball in their first game against the Packers, when both Clark and Mike Daniels were on the field.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Packers RB Jamaal Williams. Williams started the season as the No. 1 running back, a title he held through the Week 7 bye. At that point, Aaron Jones took over as the primary running back. However, with the explosive Jones on injured reserve, the ball is back in Williams' court. He's responded by playing the best football of his career. Against the Jets last week, he carried 15 times for 95 yards and one touchdown and caught six passes for 61 yards.

FAST FACTS: LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD has 3,511 pass yards this season, his 8th consecutive season with 3,500+ yards. In his past 6 vs. GB, has 1,819 pass yards (303.2 per game) with 14 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 113.4 rating. ... RB LeGARRETTE BLOUNT had 2 rush TDs in last meeting. Has 3 rush TDs in 3 career meetings. Since 2013, ranks 2nd among active NFL players with 43 rush TDs. ... RB ZACH ZENNER had 67 scrimmage yards (45 rush, 22 rec.) in Week 16. In 7 career games with 10+ offensive touches, has 482 scrimmage yards (68.9 per game) & 5 rush TDs. ... WR KENNY GOLLADAY leads team with 70 receptions & 1,063 rec. yards in 2018, his 1st-career season with 1,000+ yards. Has 13 receptions for 204 yards (102 per game) in his past 2. ... CB DARIUS SLAY has 3+ PD in 2 of his past 3. Since 2016, leads NFL in PD (54) & ranks 2nd in INTs (13). ... LB JARRAD DAVIS has 28 tackles (9.3 per game), INT & 3 PD in 3 career meetings. Aims for his 4th in row vs. GB with 8+ tackles. ... DE ROMEO OKWARA had 2 sacks & FF in last meeting. Had sack last week. ... PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS passed for 442 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 103.8 rating & had 2 rush TDs last week. Is only player in NFL history with multiple games of 400+ pass yards, 2+ TD passes & 2+ rush TDs (10/2/11 vs. Den.). In his past 3 vs. Det., has 947 pass yards (315.7 per game) with 11 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 121.9 rating. ... RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS had career-high 156 scrimmage yards (95 rush, 61 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. ... WR DAVANTE ADAMS had 11 receptions for 71 yards & TD in Week 16. In his past 4 at home, has 29 catches for 363 yards (90.8 per game) & 6 TDs. Had 9 catches for 140 yards & TD in last meeting. ... WR JAKE KUMEROW had career-high 68 rec. yards & 1st-career TD last week. ... Rookie WR EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN led team with career-high 94 rec. yards in Week 16. ... LB BLAKE MARTINEZ had 7 tackles & sack last week. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 132 tackles this season. ... LB CLAY MATTHEWS has 5 sacks & 9 TFL in 6 career home meetings.

PREDICTION: The Lions haven't scored more than 17 points in five straight games and that won't cut it against Rodgers and the Packers.

OUR PICK: Packers, 27-20