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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5 BUF at CLE (THU) DET at GB NE at CIN SEA at IND
DEN at DAL KC at TEN SD at OAK NYJ at ATL (MON)
BAL at MIA HOU at SF NO at CHI On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at ARI JAC at STL PHI at NYG MIN, PIT, TB, WAS

Prediction: DET 27, GB 31 (Line: GB by 6.5)

Players of Interest: Reggie Bush, Eddie Lacy

UPDATE: Patrick Edwards will be back in the lineup this week since his ankle healed. Calvin Johnson was held out of practices this week until finally getting limited work on Friday. He is listed as questionable but is still expected to play without limitation.

The Packers won all but one of the last ten meetings between these teams. Last year they swept the Lions 27-20 at home and 24-20 in Detroit. The Lions are 3-1 and tied with the Bears for the division lead. The Packers are only 1-2 having lost both their road games but are rested and healthier after their bye week.

1 MIN 34-24 10 @CHI -
2 @ARI 21-25 11 @PIT -
3 @WAS 27-20 12 TB -
4 CHI 40-32 13 GB -
5 @GB - 14 @PHI -
6 @CLE - 15 BAL -
7 CIN - 16 NYG -
8 DAL - 17 @MIN -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 300,2
RB Joique Bell 30,1 4-30
RB Reggie Bush 50 4-40
WR Ryan Broyles 2-40
WR Patrick Edwards 3-40
WR Calvin Johnson 7-110,1
WR Golden Tate 4-50
TE Brandon Pettigrew 2-30

Pregame Notes: The Lions impressive record was built mostly by playing bad teams but taking down the Bears was a different matter and one that propels the Lions into the race for the division title. Don't blink. The win last week was thanks in part to collecting all the turnovers by the Bears and getting a terrific effort from Reggie Bush. When he is healthy, he adds a much needed weapon to the arsenal that historically has been just Calvin Johnson and ten other guys helping Megatron get open. This is a pivotal game. A win in Green Bay would really harm the Packers chances of getting back in the race. But a loss here would mostly say it was a nice start to the season and maybe nothing else.

QUARTERBACKS: Matthew Stafford threw one or two touchdowns in every game this year though he fell to just one score and 242 yards against the Bears. He added the rare rushing touchdown though. Stafford is posting big stats against really weak defenses (WAS, MIN) and still getting decent production in the other matchups. He still has a lack of valid options outside of Johnson and now Bush but at least being 3-1 says he can still get the job done.

Stafford passed for almost exactly 260 yards and one score in both of the ma5tchups with the Packers last year.

RUNNING BACKS: Reggie Bush is incredible so long as he is at home. He opened up the year with 191 total yards and a touchdown against the visiting Vikings. He pasted the Bears with 176 total yards and another score. But he missed the Washington game and only managed 72 yards against the Cardinals. Joique Bell's output has also coincided with how soft the defense is with big efforts against the Vikings and Redskins when he filled in for Bush. This week will be interesting since it will help define this backfield that so far doesn't play well in road games against anything but the softest of defenses. A healthy Bush does make a tremendous difference. But even in Washington, Bell only ran for 63 yards on 21 carries.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Lions remained cursed to ever find a suitable #2 across from Calvin Johnson. Patrick Edwards remains out and Ryan Broyles is back but he was blanked against the Bears. Johnson was held to only 44 yards on four catches but scored once. Nate Burleson remains out as well and this unit just defies improvement. Fortunately, Megatron recorded games of 143 and 118 yards against the Packers last year and scored once in the home matchup.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew turned in a season high seven catches for 54 yards versus the Bears when he became another relief valve for Stafford. He only totaled five catches for 38 yards total over the first three games.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Packers defense is not as good this year and allowed eight passing scores in just the first three weeks. And that was facing SF, WAS and CIN. They surrendered a rushing score or 100 yards to every primary back so far. Fortunately the Packers are creating shootouts each week and that means Stafford, Bush and Johnson are must starts this week. Bell is a minor consideration but could see less use depending on how well Bush is playing.

WHAT TO WATCH: Overall the entire team needs to do more in road games but in particular Reggie Bush can really help the cause if he can show up when away from Detroit. When he is successful, it really opens up the entire offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 7 1 11 21 3 8
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 28 21 30 27 8 25

 

1 @SF 28-34 10 PHI -
2 WAS 38-20 11 @NYG -
3 @CIN 30-34 12 MIN -
4 BYE WEEK 13 @DET -
5 DET - 14 ATL -
6 @BAL - 15 @DAL -
7 CLE - 16 PIT -
8 @MIN - 17 @CHI -
9 CHI - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 300,3
RB Eddie Lacy 90,1 1-10
WR Randall Cobb 7-90,1
WR Jordy Nelson 5-80,1
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers leave their bye with only a 1-2 record having last been beaten by the Bengals in Cincinnati. The offense remains formidable with 20 points or more scored in each game but the defense has surrendered 34 points to both the 49ers and Bengals in the only two road games so far. In the end the Packers are still okay because this week is their first divisional matchup and they are still a month out from facing the Bears for the first time.

QUARTERBACKS: Aaron Rodgers really struggled against the Bengals with only 244 yards and one touchdown but he already had seven touchdowns on the season and 330+ yards in his first two games. Only the game in Baltimore presents a problematic road game for the next two months.

RUNNING BACKS: Eddie Lacy opened the year with 72 total yards and a touchdown in San Francisco but suffered a concussion the next week. He missed out on all the fun against the Redskins that sent everyone to the waiver wire for James Starks who ran for 132 yards and a score (as does everyone against the Skins). But then Starks hurt his knee in Cincinnati and Johnathan Franklin stepped in for 103 yards and a score. Now the bye is over and Lacy is back on a team that has already had surprising success using three different running backs in three weeks. That bodes well for Lacy in only the second home game for the Packers.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Aside from week one when James Jones was blanked, you could not have started a Packers wideout this year and not had a decent game if not a very good one. Each week at least one receiver turns in over 100 yards and Randall Cobb already did it twice. Jordy Nelson has never done worse in fantasy points than a game with 93 yards since he scored three touchdowns over the first two weeks. This is wildly productive so far this year.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermichael Finley suffered a concussion in week three but already scored in each of the first two weeks and turned in around 60 yards in both games. He's expected to be completely over the concussion thanks to the bye.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Lions defense could be much different on the road but still have allowed over 300 yards to the last two opponents and Cutler threw for two scores. The Lions have also allowed seven touchdowns to running backs in just four games and should be a nice experience for Lacy who returns from his concussion of week two. The Packers come in healthy, rested and at home. All the normal starts are here this week - Rodgers, Cobb, Nelson and even Finley though no tight end has scored on the Lions this year. Martellus Bennett did catch eight passes for 90 yards though. This should be a nice game for Lacy and how well he does will impact how much passing that Rodgers needs.

WHAT TO WATCH: The Packers saw both James Starks and Johnathan Franklin blow up in the two games that Lacy missed. A big game here by Lacy and the Packers offense is more balanced than it has been in years.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 8 2 13 14 15
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 12 30 16 9 24 9

WEEK 5 BUF at CLE (THU) DET at GB NE at CIN SEA at IND
DEN at DAL KC at TEN SD at OAK NYJ at ATL (MON)
BAL at MIA HOU at SF NO at CHI On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at ARI JAC at STL PHI at NYG MIN, PIT, TB, WAS


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