The ruling on the field that Charlie Kelbel should not make preseason predictions is confirmed. It may be a judgment call, but let’s take a look at the novice level predictions that I made for the first quarter of the season and how they held up.
- The Detroit Lions are 2-2 (not quite)
- Philly, LA, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh 4-0 through four weeks (one out of four, not good)
- Four AFC teams are .500 or better and Seven NFC teams are .500 or better (6 in the AFC, 4 in the NFC)
- Packers and Vikings both 3-1 with Chicago and Detroit both one game back (not even close)
- Colts, Bucs, and Cards all winless after four weeks (one out of three is sadly my best prediction)
Now that I’ve confirmed my credibility to the highest extent, here’s a look at this week’s matchup between Green Bay and Detroit.
This Weeks Opponent: The Green Bay Packers
Records don’t matter this week. FTP forever and always! #OnePride
— Charlie Kelbel (@CharlesKelbel) October 3, 2018
This tweet encapsulates my feelings about this game. Do not give up on this team yet! Watch this game just for the thrill of beating the Packers if you have to. In all respects, this is about as much of a must-win game as you can have in week 5, so the Detroit Lions better bring their A game and rally behind the home crowd.
Green Bay comes in off of a shutout win against the lowly Bills with a strange but respectable 2-1-1 record. Some good news for the Lions is that the Packers are not coming into Detroit with a clean bill of health. Green Bay lost Muhammad Wilkerson on the defensive line last week and brought in a couple of free agents this week in an effort to fill out the back end of their roster. According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Packers hosted linebackers Aaron Wallace and Josh Carraway for workouts on Tuesday. The Wilkerson loss is a big one to note because of his impact on the run game and how much it could help the Lions efforts at pounding the rock inside.
Matthew Stafford Needs to Victimize Young Packers Secondary
I’m not satisfied with the Lions 3-4 record at home against Green Bay since 2011. Even more upsetting is that with Aaron Rodgers starting the Lions are only 1-4 in that timeframe (should be 2-3 but we won’t go into detail about that). In those five starts the Packers average 23.2 ppg and that’s solid, but it’s certainly not insurmountable. At this point, Rodgers’ injury looks pretty bogus (just ask Matt Patricia) so don’t expect that to limit the Packer offense.
Matthew Stafford will have his work cut out for him because, despite losing Wilkerson, the Packers still have Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, and Clay Matthews up front. Kevin King along with early draft picks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson will need to be taken advantage of in the secondary. Matthew Stafford and his trio of top receivers should expect to have at least one good one-on-one matchup while they’re all on the field.
Lions Should Win Against Teams Without High-Profile RBs
I don’t think that Matt Brieda is the slouch that we thought he was in week two. Zeke Elliott tore up the Lions defense. It feels like Lions should win games this year against teams that don’t have solid rushing attacks though. The Lions currently own the league’s number two pass defense. The run defense is atrocious, but Green Bay comes in with the league’s 19th best rushing attack and their workhorse to this point, Jamaal Williams, is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry. If the Lions are able to just keep the running game in check, I like their chances.