September 20, 2014

Arman Three Pack Preview: Detroit Lions

In advance of the Packers' first of three consecutive division matchups in 17 days, the Packer head to Ford Field to challenge the Detroit Lions. Last time Green Bay visited the unfriendly confines, they got thrashed 40-10, with Matt Flynn at the helm. Can the green and gold avenge the 30-point loss and get to 2-1? Or will they fall to 1-2 and a game behind the Lions? The three Arman brothers give their perspectives on the biggest issues in advance of tomorrow's game:

Biggest disappointment through the first two games of the season?

Adam: The biggest disappointment thus has been our commitment and execution of the run game. McCarthy addressed this early in the week that he regretted not getting Eddie Lacy more touches. Lacy has shown the ability to carry an offense and with the question marks on defense the Packers can only gain from a successful run game. It's going to require McCarthy's coaching awareness to not lose track of Lacy's usage and an offensive line that has performed below average two games in. Packer fans can be hopeful for improvement based on McCarthy acknowledging the need to involve Lacy more, Bulaga getting back into the lineup and recognizing their first two defensive opponents were among the best in the NFL.

Green Bay Packers Eddie LacyShane: Lack of balance on offense. Why isn't there any production from the TEs? Because they need to block to keep our QB upright, but even that isn't working. The Packers need a TE who can stretch the middle of the field and give Aaron Rodgers a dump off option when he gets pressured. Balance also means giving our RBs a chance to impact the game. But I blame that on our defense who can't get off the field and puts the offense in a hole almost all the time.

Mitch: The effort to run the ball. I know the Jets D line is tops in the league, but the offensive game plan from the get go seemed to involve little to no run game. Gotta get it going this week to open things up for #12.

Detroit Lions are up next. Who is the one player the Packers must contain on that team, who has the best chance to disrupt Green Bay's game plan?

Adam: The Packers have always done well stopping the run and forcing the Lions into difficult down and distance situations that allow the Packers to bracket coverages over Calvin Johnson. Joique Bell is the best chance for the Lions running and Packers have to start their focus on controlling the line of scrimmage. The Packers don't have the personnel to stop teams without the benefit of favorable down and distance situations. Stopping the run on early downs will dictate our defenses ability to keep the Lions in check. The Packers need to continue focusing on getting the ball out of Rodger's hands quickly. If Sherrod gets another start at tackle the biggest disruption potential lies with edge rushers matched up on Sherrod's side. The Packers can neutralize this matchup problem with draws and screens to that side and obvious RB/TE double teams.

Shane: Ndamukong Suh. The Packers offensive line is suspect at best and Suh is a top-5 pass rusher in the NFL. If he's not double teamed, chip blocked and dealt with, he will terrorize Aaron Rodgers in loud environment that is Ford Field.

Mitch: Calvin Johnson. Plain and simple. He could single handedly terrorize us.

The Packers face another great run defense in Detroit. Will their approach change and will they have success running the ball in Detroit?

Adam: I think there needs to be a concerted effort to run ball. Ball security and control is huge on the road and especially with the performance issues of our offensive line. I hope that McCarthy comes out setting the tone and has a game plan to pound the rock right out of the gate. I would still expect a 60/40 pass first approach, but with the right play calling I expect Lacy to put up 90 yards and TD. The Packers have played catch up seemingly all season limiting their ability to develop run/pass equity. The key is to start fast in all three phases. Playing with the lead will make the run/pass mix much more unpredictable and effective.

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy

Shane: Mike McCarthy needs to show a better dedication to the run game. Yes, I know it's difficult when the team is down 21-3, but feed Lacy the ball. He rarely runs for negative yards and frankly, I don't care if the Packers go 3 and out a few possessions; they do best setting up the pass with the run, using play action and throwing 80-yard bombs to Jordy Nelson. And there will be many more bombs if only the Packers could establish a little more balance.

Mitch: It has to change for us to win in my opinion. Just the presence will open things up in the passing game and make it that much easier for Rodgers to do his thing. Even a mediocre secondary can play well when the offense passes EVERY single play. Lacy gets 80 yds and a touchdown.

Game score prediction and game MVP:

Adam: Aaron Rodgers is 9-1 lifetime against Detroit. Difficult game, crucial road division game. I'm sorry Detroit, but the Packers are still your daddy and daddy's hungry for a win. Packers 31-24.

Shane: I just don't think the Packers are physically stout enough to win the battle on either side of the line. The Lions defensive front will cause havoc, pressure Rodgers and stuff the run game. On defense, the Lions are great at protecting the QB and I think you'll see Golden Tate especially have a huge game. And Calvin will have at least one 50+ yard TD catch, obviously. Packers lose 34-24. MVP for the Packers is Randall Cobb with 125 yards and another TD.

Mitch: 30-28 Packers.
Randall Cobb 7 Rec, 90 Yds 1 TD


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