GREEN BAY – The Packers are back from their bye week and playing a Monday night home game for the first time since September of 2015.
Here’s what’s worth keeping an eye on.
1. Get ’em the ball: In Packers QB Brett Hundley’s first NFL start two weeks ago, receivers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams caught a total of just five passes. Head Coach Mike McCarthy and everyone involved with the offense know that’s not enough, and getting the ball to the Packers’ top perimeter weapons is a major priority for Hundley in his second start.
For five years, from 2012-16, Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels and guard T.J. Lang would go head-to-head every day in training camp. They both readily admit they made one another better players. Now Lang is with the Lions, and the 2. Battle in the trenches:battle in the trenches against his former teammate should be fun to watch.
3. Force a mistake: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is just 3-10 in his career against the Packers, and two of those wins have come when Aaron Rodgers has been injured, as he is now. In those 13 games, Green Bay has sacked Stafford 29 times and intercepted him 19 times. Those types of plays will be needed even more now that Rodgers is sidelined again.
4. Red-zone woes: The Lions racked up a boatload of passing yards last week vs. Pittsburgh but never found the end zone, settling for five field goals and having two fourth-and-goals stopped. The Packers are ranked third-to-last in the league in red-zone defense, allowing 14 touchdowns on 19 possessions. Whoever fixes the problems in the red zone could be in great position to win.
5. Long-awaited debut: Packers rookie Vince Biegel, a Wisconsin native and Badgers alum, is expected to make his pro debut after sitting out since rookie orientation following foot surgery. He could see the field first on special teams and also work into the pass-rush rotation at outside linebacker.