The Green Bay Packers left Jerry World with a big-time win and a divisional lead over the rest of their NFC North rivals, but their status as the top of the food chain will be challenged right away in prime time.
The Detroit Lions are riding into Lambeau Field fresh off their bye week with signature wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles dotting to their resume. A loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and a tie in their opener against the Arizona Cardinals are the only two blemishes keeping them behind the Packers, a fact that can change if they come up with a massive win on Monday Night Football.
The Packers are 4.5-point favorites with an over-under up to 47.5 points now, according to Odds Shark, with the favored margin inching closer together and the expected points on the rise since the opening odds. A slight effect, perhaps, of three consecutive Packers games hitting the over with two played at Lambeau.
Here’s some more background on the teams along with stats and advice on which of the two NFC North rivals will come away with a prime-time victory in Week 6.
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Lions vs. Packers: Will Matthew Stafford Keep Up Strong Start?
The Lions are already a third of the way to their total wins in 2018, and Matthew Stafford and the offense have been the driving force behind their early success. Stafford has passed for an average of 280.5 passing yards through four games and has thrown nine touchdowns, ranking him among league’s top 10 passers — and above Aaron Rodgers in both categories despite playing one game less than him.
As a whole, the Lions have averaged the seventh-most passing yards (267.0) and are one of just four teams with a first-down conversion rate above 40 percent along. They also happen to have a running power in Kerryon Johnson.
But the Packers, with Rodgers, Aaron Jones and a wide array of receiving options, are perfectly capable of matching whatever the Lions can throw at them offensively, even if star wide receiver Davante Adams sits again in Week 6. The Packers have also yet to score fewer points than the game prior, rising from 10 in the opener to 34 last week. So inside Lambeau Field, do they have anything to worry about?
The high-praise defense that buoyed the Packers showed some flaws during their win over the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott might have only run for 62 yards and a touchdown, but the rest of Dallas’ offense hummed along for 563 total yards — more than 200 yards better than the Packers’ output despite possessing the ball for nearly 14 minutes less. The defense managed to get the job done, but watching a 24-0 lead slip away was hard to stomach for Packers fans.
What proved the decider — and what the Packers must strive to force against the Lions — was turnovers. Three interceptions made all the difference, stopping the Cowboys from gaining momentum early and keeping them from riding it all the way to a late comeback. They also resulted in 10 points for the Packers in a 10-point win. Talk about crucial.
Lions vs. Packers: Pick & Prediction
Fast starts have been the name of the game for the Packers since Week 1 against the Chicago Bears and getting off to another one could see them hit a trifecta for wins over divisional foes, so long as they tighten up their secondary. That’s a task made taller if they must go on without rookie safety Darnell Savage Jr., who Tuesday was wearing a walking boot on his left foot after getting tangled up in a tackle Week 5 and exiting the game.
Even still, the Packers and Lions each have given up an average of 29 points over their past two games, so follow the trend and take the over. Take the Packers, too, who may have been swept by the Lions in 2018 but are hard to go against at Lambeau.
Pick: Packers -4.5
Over-under: Over 47.5
Prediction: Packers 34, Lions 20