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Lions Expected to Beat Packers on Thursday Night Football
Updated September 27, 2023
What: Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers – NFL Week 4
Where: Lambeau Field
When: Thursday, September 28th, 8:15 PM ET
Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season begins with an intriguing Thursday Night Football matchup between NFC North foes as the new and improved Detroit Lions head to Lambeau Field to face Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers. The kick-off is set for 8:15 PM ET. These two teams are tied for first place in the division with 2-1 records. Detroit just beat up the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 by a score of 20-6, while Green Bay rallied after the New Orleans Saints lost Derek Carr to injury, winning 18-7 in a thriller at home. Keep reading for the Lions vs Packers prediction.
While it’s rarely been the case in previous years, the tables have turned in 2023. The Lions are the favorite on Thursday with -125 odds, while the Packers come back at +105. As for the spread, Detroit is laying just 1.5 points. The total is set at 46 points. The Lions have actually had the upper hand over their divisional foes in recent memory, winning three in a row. That included a big win last season where they prevented the Cheeseheads from making the playoffs.
Lions Are For Real
We saw the potential Detroit had in 2022. After adding a few pieces through the draft and free agency, Dan Campbell’s squad is even better in 2023 and the favorite to win the NFC North. They started off their campaign with a statement win over the Kansas City Chiefs at the always-loud Arrowhead Stadium before losing in OT to the Seattle Seahawks. But the Lions responded Sunday, wiping the floor with the Falcons.
Quarterback Jared Goff completed 22 of 33 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown, and one interception to lead the charge, with Amon-Ra St. Brown reeling in a team-high nine catches for 102 yards. Tight end Sam LaPorta also had eight receptions for 84 yards. Detroit had 243 passing yards to just 139 for Atlanta while also rushing for 115 yards on the ground. With David Montgomery injured, rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs stepped up in a big way, running for 4.7 yards per carry for a total of 80 yards. He’ll have a big role again on Thursday.
Campbell said Tuesday that he expects Montgomery and offensive tackle Taylor Decker to both return from injury for TNF, which is huge. The 1-2 punch of Montgomery and Gibbs in the Lions backfield is lethal and both guys are targets out wide for Goff as well. Decker meanwhile is an important pass-rusher. On both sides of the ball, Detroit is looking very fundamentally sound, ranking 10th in total yards (384.7), 12th in points scored (24) and 15th in points allowed (21). This is also probably their most important game yet considering the Packers are also looking to fight for a divisional title. The Lions must bring their best.
Packers Exceeding Expectations
It’s probably safe to say the Packers are performing better than most expected, right? I mean, Aaron Rodgers left town along with Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard. And I don’t think anyone expected much out of Jordan Love, who sat behind Rodgers for the last two years and learned. But, the quarterback has actually held his own, despite a sub-par 53.1 completion percentage.
Love has thrown for 655 yards, seven touchdowns, and just one INT in three games thus far while also rushing for 5.3 yards per carry on 14 attempts. He led the comeback on Sunday, going 22 for 44 for 259 yards, one score, and one pick. Keep in mind, Green Bay was down by 17 points in the fourth quarter and ultimately scored 18 points in the final 11 minutes. Love found Romeo Doubs in the end zone with an eight-yard dart at the 2:56 mark of the final period. Rookie TE Luke Musgrave was the busiest pass-catcher, reeling in six grabs for 49 yards. Doubs also had five catches for 73 yards.
Christian Watson, arguably the Packers’ best wide receiver, is set to make his season debut on Thursday, providing Love with another proven weapon downfield. Aaron Jones is also expected to return from injury. That’s a big boost for the Green Bay running back room. Without Jones, the backfield has struggled, ranking 23rd in the league with just 90.3 rushing yards per contest. Defensively, the Packers will need to try and slow down the Lions’ potent running game. They’ve allowed 136.7 yards on the ground per game, which is going to be good enough here. There could be some defensive absences too as Jaire Alexander and De’Vondre Campbell have been limited in practice.
Lions vs Packers Picks
The Lions beat up a Falcons team that ran riot all over the Packers in Week 2. I honestly expect Detroit to thrive on the ground and really do some damage at Lambeau. This is Green Bay’s stiffest test yet and it will prove to be daunting. Take the Lions moneyline.