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USATSI

Week 12 kicks off on Thanksgiving with the Lions playing host to the Packers in a bit of a role reversal in this rivalry. It's the Lions who are red hot, off to their best 10-game start (8-2) since 1962, when their defensive coordinator was Don Shula. They will also be going for their first five-game win streak against the Packers since the early 1950s when they won 11 in a row vs. Green Bay.

It'll be a tall task for the Packers to take down the Lions, as Detroit won 34-20 at Lambeau Field in Week 4, and it wasn't as close as the score indicated. The Lions jumped out to a 27-3 halftime lead and outgained the Packers 284-23 in the first half. 

It's not expected to be particularly close this time around, either. The Lions are currently 7.5-point favorites. If the line moves to 8, it would be Detroit's largest spread as a favorite against Green Bay since 1992, a game they lost as a 10-point favorite to Brett Favre in his fifth career start.

How to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Nov 23 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Ford Field (Detroit)
  • TV: Fox | Stream: fubo (try for free)
    Fubo's holiday offer just kicked off! For a limited time, new subscribers can save $40 on Fubo's Pro, Elite and Premier plans ($20 off the first and second months).
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Odds: Lions -7.5, O/U 47

When the Packers have the ball

Green Bay was dominated at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball when these teams met in Week 4. On offense, it could mean constant pressure from Aidan Hutchinson and Co. again vs. Jordan Love, who was pressured on a season-high 49% of his dropbacks against Detroit, despite being blitzed just twice all game. The Lions four-man rush just feasted. Green Bay gained negative 6 yards in that game on the 20 dropbacks when Love was under pressure. I repeat, negative 6 yards. 

One of the reasons Detroit's defense thrived early in the season was by cutting down its blitz rate significantly from last year. That's changed, though, in the last month as the Lions defense has ranked last in the NFL in scoring defense since Week 7 while going from the fifth-lowest to fifth-highest blitz rate in the league in that span. I'd be surprised if Lions DC Aaron Glenn kept dialing up blitzes given the recent results and what their standard rush did in Week 4. If the blitz trend continues, though, it could open the door for Love and Co. to capitalize. Love has shortened up and been more polished vs. pressure in the last month and Green Bay is one of the better YAC teams in the NFL. Detroit ranks 31st in YAC average allowed since Week 7.

It's still going to be an uphill battle for Green Bay. Rookie tight end Luke Musgrave is out with a lacerated kidney and Aaron Jones is week-to-week with an MCL sprain suffered on Sunday. Even with Jones, Green Bay ran for 27 yards in Week 4 vs. Detroit, its lowest total in a game in 10 years. 

When the Lions have the ball

The Lions offense was able to get whatever it wanted in Green Bay in Week 4, starting on the ground. Their offensive line bullied the Packers, outrushing them 121-7 in the first half. The Lions used motion in the passing game to keep the chains moving. Jared Goff was 8 of 9 for 104 yards and six first downs on those plays in Week 4. 

Detroit has a top-five rush offense this season and leads the NFL in both rushing yards per game (179.0) and yards per rush (5.6) since Week 8. They should assert themselves again with one of the best offensive lines in football and a healthy diet of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. Goff had an uncharacteristic three-interception game on Sunday, but there's no reason to believe that will continue. Jaire Alexander's shoulder injury will also be an X factor. He was limited in practice on Monday and Tuesday, plus has missed five games this year, including each of the last two. 

Prediction

I think this will be closer than in Week 4 as Love has improved in the last month and Detroit's defense has actually been getting carved up. Still, the Lions should dominate at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. They have one of the NFL's best run games and pass rushes, which should control the game, especially as Green Bay is a notorious slow starter (31st in first-half scoring). Mix in Green Bay's injuries (Jones, Musgrave and Alexander could be out) and I like Detroit.

Score: Lions 27, Packers 20