Detroit Lions Week Three Preview v. Green Bay Packers

Nov 15, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) following the game at Lambeau Field. Detroit won 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 15, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) following the game at Lambeau Field. Detroit won 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will try to avoid a 1-2 start when they meet at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

The Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers will meet on Sunday at Lambeau Field as they both attempt to right the ship after surprising week two losses.

The Packers were the favorites to win the NFC North coming into the season, but an unexpected loss to the Minnesota Vikings and their new starting quarterback Sam Bradford breaks open a less-than-impressive division. Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers, despite the fact that the offense sputtered against Minnesota. The rest of the offense is very talented as well, as both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb return to the receiving corps at full strength, Eddie Lacy is still a good starting running back and the offensive line, even without the ignominiously departed Josh Sitton, remains a strength led by T.J. Lang.

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Defensively, the Packers’ front seven is led by veterans Mike Daniels, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers. Nick Perry is also coming along on the defensive line. Even in the secondary, where they are still missing their number-one corner in Sam Shields, the Packers are still strong with cornerbacks Quinten Rollins and Micah Hyde, although Damarious Randall has been up-and-down, and safeties Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

The Lions are coming off a frustrating loss to the Tennessee Titans in which they committed 17 penalties, the most in franchise history since the NFL-AFL merger. The offense sputtered and the defense collapsed at the worst possible moment, succumbing to a bevy of injuries which left the Lions with only two healthy linebackers by the end of the game.

Injury Report: Everyone is hurt

The Lions’ week three injury report is a laundry list of suffering. The Lions are still hampered on the defensive side of the ball, even more so than they were going into the Tennessee game. Ezekial Ansah has already been ruled out, and both DeAndre Levy and Antwione Williams are doubtful to play. The Lions did not add any linebackers to the 53-man roster this week, so they must be confident that Tahir Whitehead, Thurston Armbrister and Kyle Van Noy—who is listed as questionable with a calf injury but was a full participant in practice on Friday—can handle things this week at the position.

Related Story: Lions Rule Ziggy Ansah Out v. Packers

Compounding Ansah’s injury is the fact that both the number-two and number-three defensive ends on the roster, Devin Taylor (ankle) and Wallace Giberry (abdomen), were listed as questionable and limited in practice on Friday. Rounding out the defense, Tyrunn Walker and Adairius Barnes were also listed as questionable, but fully participated in practice on Friday.

On offense, things are not much better. Ameer Abdullah was placed on injured reserve this week and two of the Lions’ starters on the offensive line, Riley Reiff (ankle) and Larry Warford (illness), are listed as questionable, as is Eric Ebron (back). However, the Lions do tend to apply the “questionable” label to anyone with anything worse than a hangnail and Ebron and Reiff were full participants in practice on Friday, so they should be expected to play.

Related Story: Detroit Lions Place RB Ameer Abdullah On Injured Reserve

Sam Shields has already been ruled out by the Packers for Sunday, still dealing with a concussion suffered against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week one, his fourth in six seasons.

Five other players are listed on the Packers’ injury report as questionable, including three starters: safety Morgan Burnett (groin), guard T.J. Land (hip) and linebacker Clay Matthews (ankle, hamstring), as well as defensive linemen Datone Jones (knee) and Letroy Guion (knee). Out of those five, only Lang participated in practice this week, being a limited participant on Friday. Five other Packers are also listed on the injury report, including Micah Hyde, but were full participants all week in practice.

Fantasy Football Player To Watch: Theo Riddick

With the Lions missing Abdullah, Theo Riddick will probably see several more carries as they figure out how to deal with Abdullah’s absence. Zack Zenner will likely be active for the first time this season and Dwayne Washington might get the ball more as well, especially at the goal line where he scored in week one, but for now it will probably be best to take a wait-and-see approach on those two backs. Riddick is the most experienced healthy back on the roster and also the most versatile, so he is the one who stands to gain the most fantasy football relevance.

Series History:

The Packers lead the series 96-65-6 since the Lions moved to Detroit in 1934. The Lions lost their last meeting with the Packers at Ford Field in a manner which we have all seen too many times and will not be discussing here. Detroit won their last meeting at Lambeau, 18-16, last season, breaking a 24-year losing streak in Wisconsin.


The high temperature is currently forecasted at 72 degrees, but there is an 80% chance of rain on Sunday, along with a chance of thunderstorms.

Betting Line:

The Packers are currently seven-and-a-half point favorites, and the over/under is set at 47.5. Green Bay has a 79.1% chance of winning according to ESPN.

Broadcast Information:

The game will be broadcast at 1:00 on FOX all across the Midwest, from Pennsylvania all the way through Kansas. Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis will be on the call.

Dan Miller and Jim Brandstatter will be on the mic for the Lions Radio Network throughout the state, and out-of-market the game will be available on NFL GamePass.

Next: Lions Should Give Miles Killebrew Reps At Linebacker

In Other NFC North Action:

The Minnesota Vikings (2-0) will look to stay undefeated against the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers (1-1) at 1:00. The Chicago Bears (0-2) will take on the Dallas Cowboys (1-1) on Sunday Night Football on NBC at 8:30.