Detroit Visits Favored Green Bay for Monday Night Football as Oddsmakers Expect Close Game
Posted on: October 14, 2019, 12:12h.
Last updated on: October 14, 2019, 02:04h.
First place in the NFC North will be on the line when the Detroit Lions pay the Green Bay Packers a visit for Monday Night Football.
The Packers, fresh off their 34-24 win at Dallas last week, are 3.5-point favorites over the Lions. However, that number has dropped from an opening spread of 5.5 points 12 days ago at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
The Lions, meanwhile, are coming off their bye week. Two weeks ago, they could not hold a late lead against Kansas City, which beat the Lions 34-30 on a touchdown with 20 seconds left.
At 2-1-1, the Lions are currently in third place in a very competitive NFC North division. But with a win over the 4-1 Packers on Monday, Detroit would leapfrog over the Packers and the 4-2 Minnesota Vikings to take over first place.
Kickoff is at 8:15 pm ET, and ESPN will broadcast the game.
Rodgers Still ‘Dynamic’
When you think of the Packers, you think of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Once again, the 35-year-old quarterback is having another stellar season leading the Packers. Through the first five games, Rodgers has thrown for 1,307 yards while completing 62.8 percent of his passes and enjoying a 6-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Detroit linebacker Devon Kennard told reporters the Lions will defense will need to not just apply pressure, but get to the veteran signal-caller. The Lions sacked Rodgers five times in the two games the teams played last season.
Man, he’s just another one of those dynamic quarterbacks that can beat you multiple ways,” Kennard said. “So, try to contain him, not let him extend plays, because I think he’s one of, if not the best, at extending plays and having some choreography with his receivers where they know what to do and he knows where to place it.”
For the second straight game, though, Rodgers will be without one of his top weapons. Wide receiver Davante Adams injured his toe late in the game against Philadelphia on Sept. 26. Without the six-year veteran wideout, Rodgers completed 22-of-34 passes for 234 yards, but he failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.
On defense, Green Bay starting safety Darnell Savage has been ruled out due to an ankle injury.
Bye Helps Lions Get Healthy
Every game the Lions have played this year has been a close one. The Chiefs 34-30 victory two weeks ago was the largest margin for any Detroit game so far. That includes a 27-27 tie at Arizona to start the season.
“It’s a very good defense,” Rodgers said. “They’ve played four games, with a bye, and only lost to Kansas City, who’s obviously started off the season really well. On the other side of the ball, obviously they’ve got a great quarterback in Matt (Stafford) and some playmakers. We haven’t beat them in a couple years, so it’s going to be a good test for us.”
The Lions are going through a bit of an injury bug as well, although coming off the bye has helped them get healthier. Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson has cleared the concussion protocol and is expected to play Monday at Lambeau Field. Wide receiver Danny Amendola has been limited in practice recently because of a chest injury. However, the Lions expect their No. 3 receiver to be able to play at least some Monday.
On the other side of the ball, backup defensive tackle Mike Daniels has been ruled out because of a foot injury, and backup defensive end Da’Shawn Hand (elbow) is questionable. In the secondary, Detroit cornerback Darius Slay and safety Quandre Diggs were limited in practice due to hamstring injuries.