The sky isn’t falling on the Green Bay Packers and their Monday Night Football matchup with the Detroit Lions couldn’t come soon enough. However, the Packers have to wait an additional day before they can get over the 38-3 pounding they took from the Saints last week in what was probably the worst game of Aaron Rodgers’ career.
That doesn’t bode well for the Lions, who took an all too familiar result last week. For the second straight game Detroit is a big underdog catching 11-points on the NFL betting line. They got the backdoor cover last week with a pair of touchdowns and 2-point conversions in the final two minutes, but they still lost by eight points.
The Week 2 MNF matchup between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will take place at Lambeau Field 8:15 p.m. ET on September 20 and will be televised on ESPN.
Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers Odds
Detroit Lions +11 | Green Bay Packers -11 [BET NOW]
Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers Money Line
Detroit Lions +416 | Green Bay Packers -550 [BET NOW]
Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers Over/Under
Over/Under 48.5 [BET NOW]
It’s only one game, but wow what a stinker it was. Closing as a 4-point favorite in a neutral site matchup against New Orleans in the first post-Drew Brees era game, the Pack was humbled. The key is that it is just one game and past results are no indication of future play. At least Green Bay is hoping that’s the case.
Oddsmakers feel that way positioning the Packers as an 11-point favorite in this NFC North matchup. There probably isn’t a better home field advantage in the NFL than the Packers have at Lambeau. They’ve won two straight over the Lions at home and are 10-3 SU and 7-6 ATS since Rodgers became the starter in 2008. The line has moved a half-point either direction but hasn’t dropped below double-digits.
It was a valiant effort by the Lions in their 41-33 loss outscoring the Niners 23-3 over the final quarter and a half. A pair of touchdowns and 2-point conversions in the last two minutes made the score closer than the game actually was and rewarded Detroit backers with a backdoor cover as 9.5-point dogs. But getting behind 38-10 early in the third quarter was disturbing with the Dan Campbell era getting off to a rocky start.
I guess the fact that they didn’t quit was encouraging. Jared Goff, acquired from the Rams in a swap of quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall, had a strong game completing 38 of 57 pass attempts for 338 yards and three touchdowns. However, the turnover bug that plagued him in LA was an issue. His tossed a pick-six late in the first half helping the Niners extend their lead to 28-10.
Defense was a major issue last season when the Lions ranked last overall in yards allowed and 30th against the pass. They weren’t much better against the Niners giving up 319 yards through the air and 442 yards total. And the group suffered a big blow when starting cornerback Jeff Okudah, the third overall pick last year, was lost for the year with an Achilles injury. It would have been tough enough to stop Rodgers with a full complement of players and now the Lions will try and do it without their top player in the secondary.
Green Bay Packers
A veteran like Rodgers has a way of putting things in perspective. After the humiliating loss to the Saints the reigning MVP said, “If we’re starting to freak out after one week we’re in big trouble.” Rodgers has been down this road before, though he never played as poorly as he did in the opener. He was just 15 of 28 passing for 133 yards with two picks and no touchdowns. Rodgers was intercepted only five times in 526 pass attempts last season.
A win will ease a lot of concerns about the Packers and Rodgers doesn’t even have to have a stellar game. But there’s a good chance he does since he’s had a number of them against the Lions over his career. And twice previously under Matt LaFleur the Packers lost a game by at least 25 points only to have Rodgers respond by throwing four touchdowns in the game immediately following.
It’s premature to say the Packers are done. They won 13 games and advanced to the NFC Championship the last two seasons and the group has most of the pieces back in place. Failing so completely, though, has many concerned. It wasn’t just the offense. The Pack allowed Jameis Winston to throw five scoring passes and the Saints rushed for 171 yards. Things have to be tighter all around and giving 11-points on the spread seems like a lot.
Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers
Our Predictions: Detroit Lions +11 and UNDER 48.5
If Rodgers says don’t overreact to the Week 1 debacle it would be wise to listen to him. I’m sure his teammates did. With the offseason distractions and the first game behind them, the Packers can get back to the task at hand. They’ve beaten the Lions four times in a row and Detroit’s defense looks as philanthropic as it did last year. Rodgers will be back and the Packers will win, but 11 points is hard to pass up.
View the latest Week 2 NFL odds.