After a big comeback win over the weekend, the 2-1 Green Bay Packers remain at Lambeau Field, as they are set to play host to the Lions for an NFC North divisional game. We’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing, along with a prop play.
Week two was a defensive struggle for the Lions, which resulted in their 37-31 overtime loss to the Seahawks. However, in week three, Detroit showed an impressive ability to bounce back, as they held the Falcons to just six points in their 20-6 win. Dan Campbell’s defense held a run-heavy Atlanta team to just 44 rush yards on 20 attempts, finishing the game with a defensive EPA of (15.09).
Offensively, the Lions were able to rush for 115 yards in the absence of lead running back David Montgomery. Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs would shoulder the biggest workload of his career with 17 rushing attempts that led to 80 yards. Lions fans can expect a similar workload tonight, with Montgomery still nursing a thigh injury. Jared Goff will continue to lead the Lions' passing attack, as he’s coming off a game against Atlanta in which he threw for 243 yards and a touchdown for an (8.21) EPA on pass plays.
Goff and the Lions offense, who will get left tackle Taylor Decker back, will take on a Packers defense tonight that held the Saints scoreless in the second half of their 18-17 win last weekend. Green Bay was able to hold a Saints rushing attack without Alvin Kamara to 77 yards on 22 attempts, and once Jameis Winston came in to replace Derek Carr, he could not lead any scoring drives.
Overall, the Packers would finish with a (3.02) EPA on defense, which was a nice bounceback effort after they allowed 25 points to Atlanta the week before. On offense, Jordan Love was held scoreless for the first three quarters but led three scoring drives in the fourth quarter, leading to 18 points. Love’s touchdown pass with under three minutes sealed the victory for Green Bay and gave him 259 passing yards for the game.
Detroit is currently listed at (-1.5) point road favorites, and I’ll be backing them for my first play tonight. While the Packers may have been able to slow a depleted Saints backfield last weekend, they are still 27th in rushing yards allowed per game and now have to take on a Lions offense that is 7th in rushing attempts per game.
Through the air, the Packers have also yet to face a strong passing attack after playing the Bears, Falcons, and Saints, so with Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and the rest of the Lions receivers averaging 7.9 yards per pass, the Packers secondary that was ranked 16th by PFF in the preseason could struggle with the Lions explosiveness. Detroit has had a positive passing EPA in every game this season, and I don’t see why that can’t continue tonight.
On the other side of the field, Green Bay is 11th in the league in run play percentage, but now they face a Lions defense that is 5th in average rushing yards allowed per game (72). Jordan Love has been solid in his first three games, but his 53.1% completion percentage and league-high aggressiveness rating will not do the job against the Lions' passing defense, ranked 11th in pass yards allowed per play.
For my prop play, I’ll be taking Jahmyr Gibbs’ longest rush over 13.5 yards at (-105). Gibbs has exceeded this total in two of the three games he’s played thus far, and as I mentioned before, he takes on a Pakcers team that is 27th in rushing yards allowed and 18th in rushing yards per attempt.
In three games this season, Green Bay has allowed a rushing attempt of 14 yards or more in two of them, and Gibbs should have plenty of chances to go over that total tonight since he will be the lead back again. Gibbs is already 8th amongst running backs in broken tackles, and with the Lions' creative play calling, I think we see him break another run of 20+ yards like he did against Atlanta.
Detroit Lions (-1.5)
Jahmyr Gibbs Longest Rush Over 13.5 Yards (-105)