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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 

Prediction: GB 24, DET 31 (Line: DET by 6.5)

The NFC North is getting more jacked up every day. The Packers once were the leader but have lost or tied their last four games without Aaron Rodgers around. The 6-5 Lions are tied with the Bears though the Lions are on a two game losing streak themselves. This is a replay of week five when everyone was healthy and the Packers won 22-9 in Green Bay. This is the first Thanksgiving game.

1 @SF 28-34 10 PHI 13-27
2 WAS 38-20 11 @NYG 13-27
3 @CIN 30-34 12 MIN 26-26
4 BYE WEEK 13 @DET -
5 DET 22-9 14 ATL -
6 @BAL 19-17 15 @DAL -
7 CLE 31-13 16 PIT -
8 @MIN 44-31 17 @CHI -
9 CHI 20-27 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Flynn 270,2
RB Eddie Lacy 70,1 4-20
WR Jarrett Boykin 5-80,1
WR Jordy Nelson 5-80,1
TE Andrew Quarless 2-20
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Three losses and a tie later the Packers are watching the season slip away. Aaron "worth every penny" Rodgers won't make it here but may next week. Much longer and it just won't matter. This is a must win week but without Rodgers there, the defenses are just loading up against Eddie Lacy and daring them to throw. Being a short week and a road game doesn't make this one any easier.

QUARTERBACKS: While HC Mike McCarthy did not want to commit to his starting quarterback on Monday, the reality is that Aaron Rodgers is not playing and that Matt Flynn salvaged a tie with the Vikings while Scott Tolzien lost to both the Eagles and Giants. There is always a chance that they change mid-game but Flynn has to be the obvious choice to start.

Rodgers only threw for 274 yards and one score on the Lions in week five.

RUNNING BACKS: Eddie Lacy is more than pulling his own weight now that defenses are loading up against him. Lacy still ran for 110 yards on the Vikings and he's scored in five of the last six games. Lacy was bothered by asthma in the last game which gets worse in cold weather. There is no concern about his healthy or availability this week. A simplified game plan will rely on him as much as they can. Lacy ran for 99 yards on 23 carries in the last meeting with the Lions.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin are holding down the starting wideout spots and Nelson remains good for around 80 yards or more each week even with the changing starters. Boykin is similarly productive and scored just last week for only the second time, In the first meeting with the Lions, Nelson caught five passes for 82 yards and James Jones turned four receptions into 127 yards and one score. Boykin was not yet playing that week. Jones came to life more with Flynn under center. As it works out, this will only be the second road game since Rodgers was out. That could depress stats this week.

The change in quarterbacks make it hard to forecast here since the starter has not been named and even when he is they might change it during the game. That affects the wideouts obviously and makes them more risky.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Bostick suffered a concussion in the Vikings game and is not expected to clear the test by this Thursday game. That gives Andrew Quarless the clear start though he's never scored or had any fantasy value . His best game was only 34 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: There is nothing special about the Lions secondary and almost all visitors have thrown for multiple touchdowns and high yardage in Detroit. That is harder to rely on with Flynn as the starter but the opportunity is there for a decent to good fantasy game. The Lions rushing defense has been solid and never allowed a 100 yard runner so far. Lacy will remain the focal point of the offense though. The Lions are allowing around two wide receiver touchdowns per home game and plenty of yardage. This is where the game will end up eventually. That makes Lacy a must start and Nelson and Boykin worth the risk as well. Flynn is still too risky to give way to Tolzien and there is no tight end action worth considering.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 7 12 2 20 2 24
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 22 5 31 21 31 8

 

1 MIN 34-24 10 @CHI 21-19
2 @ARI 21-25 11 @PIT 27-37
3 @WAS 27-20 12 TB 21-24
4 CHI 40-32 13 GB -
5 @GB 9-22 14 @PHI -
6 @CLE 31-17 15 BAL -
7 CIN 24-27 16 NYG -
8 DAL 31-30 17 @MIN -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 310,2
RB Joique Bell 30 3-20
RB Reggie Bush 90,1 5-30
WR Calvin Johnson 7-120,1
WR Golden Tate 3-40
TE Brandon Pettigrew 4-40
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: This is a pivotal game for the Lions. They have to beat the Packers when they are at their weakest and visiting on a short week or the rest of the season won't matter much. This is the easiest remaining game other than hosting the Giants. Facing the Packers without Aaron Rodgers could actually make the Detroit Lions have one of their best Thanksgiving games ever.

QUARTERBACKS: Matthew Stafford ended up with his worst game of the year when he only threw for 262 yards and one score in Green Bay. He never had any other game without at least two scores and is on an especially hot streak recently with eight touchdowns over the last three games. The last three home games produced no fewer than three touchdowns each and at least 297 passing yards.

RUNNING BACKS: Back in week five, Reggie Bush only gained 44 rush yards and caught four passes for 25 yards in Green Bay. He tends to have his best efforts when at home where he always produces at least 94 total yards and usually more. Joique Bell turned in 51 total yards in Green Bay but is purely a relief player with rarely more than ten touches in any game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: All year it has been about Calvin the Unstoppable and he did not play in the week five meeting with the Packers. Johnson's been on fire this year with six games over 100 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year. But he's been somewhat alone in his productive ways. That is changing now that Nate Burleson is back. He left in week three and returned just last week but there was no weaning him back into the lineup. Burleson caught seven passes for 77 yards and a score against the Buccaneers. That is a major difference since both Burleson and Johnson were out back in week five.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew gained 59 yards on four catches in that first meeting when the Lions were without both starters but he's only scored twice this year and typically remains under 40 yards in every game.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Packers are fare more likely to allow yards and scores to quarterbacks in a road game though lately they have rarely been more than two touchdowns. This is because the Packers can no longer stop the run. They allowed five rushing touchdowns over the last four road games and have been shredded by the top running backs. This is a big game and consider Stafford, Johnson, Bush and even Burleson as solid starters this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 4 5 5 12 24 28
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 21 15 18 25 12 11

WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 



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