Unlike the Vikings, however, the Lions save most of their stupidity for when they’re on the field. When Jim Schwartz was coaching the Motor City Kitties, I don’t think there was a dumber team on the planet, in any sport, at any level.
Most Pop Warner teams who care more about the postgame pizza party than the final score at least grasp that it’s not a good idea to stomp on opposing players, jump offside at an alarming rate, constantly draw personal fouls as part of your fake tough guy act and choke away the division title to a team missing its star quarterback.
It’s too early to tell if new coach Jim Caldwell — a man who hasn’t blinked his eyes since 1997 — has smartened this team up. It’d be quite the accomplishment if Caldwell actually took them below the Schwartz level of dumbness.
I don’t know what to make of the Lions on a game-by-game basis. I know by the end of the season they’ll be a massive failure, but they always have enough talent to win on any given Sunday, sometimes in embarrassingly lopsided fashion as the Packers learned last Thanksgiving.
Perhaps that’s the key. Today isn’t Thanksgiving. The Lions always play well on Thanksgiving because, since they never actually are in the real playoffs, they treat their annual Thanksgiving Day game as a playoff contest.
So, unless Caldwell feeds his squad turkey and stuffing for breakfast in an effort to make them think it’s Thanksgiving, the Packers should have no problem rolling over the Lions and starting their annual descent to terribleness while the Bears and Packers battle for the division title.
Here are five reasons why the Packers will beat the Lions today:
The Lions haven’t had a good secondary since the Clinton administration. Every year they draft a defensive lineman or a giant WR/TE and totally forget that you have to have at least a few guys on the field to stop the other team from passing for 600 yards. These are the guys who will probably start in the secondary for Detroit:
- Rashean Mathis, CB
- James Ihedigbo, SS
- Glover Quinn, FS
- Darius Slay, CB
Of those four players, I’ve only heard of Quinn and I only heard of him because I thought he was dead.
The Jets had a great front seven and a weak secondary when they played the Packers last week. How’d that work out for them?
Rodgers the Lion King
Aaron Rodgers is 9-1 with a 19 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 111.0 quarterback rating against the Lions. When Rodgers starts and finishes the game, the Packers have outscored the Lions 267-148. While that Lions’ defense is busy accumulating encroachment penalties and searching for their next cheap-shot opportunity, Rodgers is picking it apart and racking up touchdowns. I see no reason why it won’t be any different today, even if the Packers fail to consistently win up front.
It’s a nightmare watching the Packers defense try to deal with a young, mobile quarterback paired with offensive coordinators who eat Dom Capers for lunch. Matthew Stafford is more of a traditional dropback passer who won’t totally confound Capers with read-options, bootlegs, and rollouts. In other words, he’s good at what he does, but he’s not like Russell Wilson or Geno Smith. That’s not a knock on Stafford, but it seems that the Packers’ defense doesn’t trip all over itself trying to contain his style of play compared to others.
There’s a reason Daniels might be the second most important player on the Packers roster behind Rodgers. Green Bay’s defense was getting run over (again) against the Jets before Daniels came to life and started blowing up running plays and getting after Geno Smith. If Datone Jones or Letroy Guion don’t wake up and contribute soon, it’s going to be a long season up front. Meantime, Daniels is holding down the fort.
It’s the Lions
What more needs to be said?
Unfortunately, sometimes the Packers lose, even to the Lions. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s maddening. But sometimes it happens. If it were to happen today, this might be a reason why…
The Lions defensive line is good. The Packers defensive line is not good. I could see the Lions front four beating the hell out of Rodgers early, which would allow Detroit’s offense to jump out to an early lead as they bowl over the Packers’ weak defensive front. In other words, what happened early against the Jets could very well happen today. The difference is the Lions have the offensive firepower to keep scoring and extinguish any hopes for a Packers’ comeback.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .