The Detroit Lions have managed to handle the Green Bay Packers in the last few seasons with or without Aaron Rodgers playing quarterback. That’s still no consolation to Matt Patricia as he prepares to lead his team into battle against the Packers again next week.
Detroit’s coach, who has been the mastermind behind some impressive defensive performances in the last few seasons that have made headlines and frustrated quarterbacks, is extra jumpy about facing the challenge of playing Rodgers this season, and the reason has everything to do with Detroit’s recently sustained success against Green Bay.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Patricia explained that what the Lions have done in the series lately does not give him added confidence, but merely makes him extra on edge considering how much success his team has had.
As for what makes Rodgers so good, it’s obvious what would catch Patricia’s attention. The Packers are never out of a game with him at quarterback, and this season, Rodgers has enjoyed a decent start to the year, firing 6 touchdowns to only 1 interception while piling up 1,307 passing yards.
It’s a very good start for Rodgers and the 4-1 Packers, so it’s pretty easy to see why Patricia isn’t exactly feeling very comfortable at the moment.
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No Answers for Detroit
Rodgers was knocked from the season finale against the Lions last season after only a few plays, but in the one game he did play against Detroit earlier in the season, Rodgers also struggled himself. He fumbled the ball away twice to Detroit, sustained 4 sacks and was never able to get things going whatsoever en route to his team’s eventual 31-24 loss.
Rodgers has only played healthy in one of the three games Detroit has won in the last two seasons head to head, which is an important distinction to make. Detroit has, for the most part, dominated Rodgers’ backup, but they have had big wins to their credit against Rodgers before, such as when the 2015 squad managed to break the Lambeau Field losing streak in spite of all odds.
Scoring Should Be the Key
Regardless of who has played under center, the Lions have scored more and played better defense than the Packers the last two seasons, which has been a huge driver of the victories. Detroit has outscored Green Bay 127-51 in the winning streak, and that will place a premium on both scoring and defending in this affair.
Obviously, the Packers are going to need to score more than the 17 total points they have managed in the last two contests at Lambeau Field. Last December’s shutout by the Lions was the first such event in decades that Detroit has managed to pull off.
If they can slow a powerful Green Bay attack again enough to win, it will be a huge feather in their cap and a moment that might cause the rest of the NFL to realize Detroit is for real.
This time, though, they are going to have to go through a healthy Rodgers in order to make that happen. The gravity of that task clearly isn’t lost on Patricia.
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