In 2019, the Detroit Lions came minutes from sitting atop the NFC North division. On a cold October night, The Green Bay Packers hosted the Lions on Monday Night Football; the winner took control of the division.
In two plays, the Detroit Lions’ chances vanished. They did not turn the ball over. They stopped the Packers on a potential game-changing play. Well, they almost stopped them.
The officials called edge rusher Trey Flowers on not one but TWO illegal hands to the face penalties. The penalties led to the Packers scoring a few plays later; they took the lead and never gave it back.
Flowers sat at his locker after the game with his pads on and his hand on his collar. He sat in this pose for the entirety of his postgame interviews. It would be the Lions’ last chance at sniffing first place for the next few years.
What is different for the Detroit Lions in 2021?
Two years later, the Packers still control the division, while the Lions continue to rebuild. The cycle needs to change. Head coach Dan Campbell can reverse the curse.
Week one told a lot about these two teams. The Lions lost to the 49ers but nearly shocked the world with a late-game comeback. Campbell’s crew played until the final whistle, which is a pleasant tempo change from the last regime.
The Packers shocked the world by playing the worst football of the entire weekend. Jameis Winston outplayed Aaron Rodgers by throwing five touchdowns; Rodgers tossed two interceptions. One of the interceptions he essentially arm-punted from his two-yard line.
The Lions have the momentum heading into this matchup. They have, for the first time in a long time, a legitimate chance at upsetting the Packers at Lambeau Field on Monday night.
Are you serious?
Yes, I’m dead serious.
How can the Detroit Lions defeat the Packers?
The Lions walk into this matchup with a slight advantage over the Packers. Anthony Lynn, the offensive coordinator, prioritizes the run in his game plan. Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift combined for 20 carries, 95 yards, and a touchdown.
The Packers allowed five touchdowns to Jameis Winston, who has not started an NFL game in two seasons. Jared Goff ranks fifth in passing yards heading into Week two. He found the open receiver, even if he could not see them.
The receiver situation scares me, but Goff turned Robert Woods into a top 15 wide receiver; he knows how to establish relationships with his pass-catchers. Staying on the subject of quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers looks awful. I’m not talking about his performance on the field.
Reporters asked Rodgers about his performance after the game on Sunday. His response shocked the media, saying that it is only one game in an eerie calming tone. Yet, he seemed not to care. He just lost by 35 points to Jameis Winston.
That is not the mentality a starting quarterback in the NFL should have.
Monday night will be a night of redemption for the Lions. Campbell has prepared his men for this moment all preseason. Coach Campbell wants to break kneecaps; the Lions want to break hearts. It’s time for a new king of the division; why not the kings of the jungle?