If this game had shown up on the National Football League (NFL) schedule a month ago, pundits and prognosticators would have called it a mismatch. That’s because just four weeks ago the Detroit Lions were a struggling squad that seemed to lose games with alarming regularity.
At the same time, the Green Bay Packers were undefeated and thought to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, a team that could easily win the National Football Conference (NFC) title and advance deep into the playoffs.
But things change quickly in professional football. The home team in this nationally-televised Thursday night contest, the Detroit Lions, has found its stride and a winning formula. Once considered to be “an easy victory” for any opponent, the Motor City squad has been overcoming all competition in recent weeks and has started winning games consistently.
The mighty Green Bay Packers, this game’s visiting squad, are slumping badly and losing frequently. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, considered by many to be the league’s top signal caller, has had trouble “hitting receivers” with accurate passes and the Packers have had great difficulty reaching the end zone.
As the two teams prepare for Week Thirteen, the squad from Wisconsin sports a Won-Loss record of just 7-4 and has lost three of its last four games. The Motor City squad, the Detroit Lions, has won three of its previous four games led by Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and now has a Won-Loss record of 4-7.
Of course, anyone looking at the Won-Loss records of both teams would surely believe that the Packers, a group of players whose fans like to be called “cheese-heads,” would appear to be something of a “lock” to emerge victorious. But, it is, as noted, the Lions that currently appear to be the superior squad.
Green Bay, now in a real dog fight to either win its division or earn a Wild Card, needs to topple the home team this Sunday afternoon in order to remain “in the hunt” for a spot in the postseason. The Lions, while not yet mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, have very little hope of playing in January.
For the team from Motown, motivation will come from having a real opportunity to upset a divisional foe and to keep that foe from making it to the playoffs.
There is little doubt that the Green Bay Packers will be bringing their A game to this Sunday’s meeting with Detroit. But desire and determination, while important, are not enough to overcome an opponent in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers will have to elevate his game and execute plays more effectively than he has in the recent past.
Green Bay’s skill players, on offense and defense, will have to join Rodgers and elevate their games, as well. A loss to the Lions could ruin Green Bay’s season and send its players off to an early winter vacation.
The guess here is that Wisconsin’s entry in the NFL will be fighting with everything it has from first play to last. It still may not be enough to overcome the suddenly red-hot team from the Motor City.
Courtesy of Sportsinteraction.com