It's Do or Die For Green Bay

Can the Packers match the Lions' passion?

OK look, we’re all in the same boat. Frustrated, angry, disappointed and baffled how a team that looked so good on paper is underperforming so thoroughly on the field.
 
It’s like the feeling when you’ve been conned, and you aren’t sure which is worse: losing what was taken from you or realizing how foolish you were for getting taken.
 
The whys and wherefores of this state of affairs have been picked over for weeks now, from the paid analysts to the armchair quarterbacks and all the Twitterati in between. We’ve collectively suggested, implored and begged, but with a few minor exceptions, the Packers have steadfastly refused all of our prescriptions.
 
So let’s look at things from a different perspective and put ourselves in the shoes of the Detroit Lions. No, this is not some touchy-feely exercise to make us feel better (OK, maybe a little); it’s because if the Lions win Sunday the Packers season is over (if it isn’t already) and we are staring at months of cold, dark purgatory, not to mention 8,000 stories speculating about what Aaron Rodgers will do next. Understanding what the Lions might be thinking can only help the Packers.
 
The Lions are 1-6 and remain the soap opera known as the Dan Campbell show. The teary-eyed, kneecap-biting Hard Knocks star is in his second year of high expectations, emotional news conferences and a worse record than Matt Patricia. The way the Lions blow leads, you have to wonder what’s in the water in the Motor City, and whether they are trucking it in from Flint. They have one of the most prolific offenses in the league, and felt comfortable trading their top tight end to the Vikings (which is weird and might help Sunday but is not good news for the Packers going forward.)
 
But this is a dangerous, quick-strike team, and the Packers have shown little ability to come from behind. Campbell is no doubt scheming up a game plan to get an early lead with explosive plays and a steady diet of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, who will be pumped up to face his former team.
 
Detroit’s problem is its defense, one of the league’s worst, with a particularly awful secondary. Expect the Lions to prioritize keeping Rodgers off the field and Joe Barry’s underwhelming defense on its heels with a diversified attack. Look for Jared Goff, who has more passing yards on fewer attempts than Rodgers, to work the middle of the field and exploit the Packers’ woes covering crossers. This will be a game in which tackling, run fits and an aggressive pass rush are going to be especially critical. And the Packers must win the turnover battle.
 
Despite the proven effectiveness of the Packers’ run game, Detroit’s weaknesses are going to make it hard for Rodgers to resist taking shots when he sees anything resembling single coverage. Given his continuing injured thumb and sub-par accuracy, it will be interesting to see if he reverts back to pre-Buffalo penchant for deep, low-percentage passes. This is the one team against which that might work more often, if the O-line can keep him clean.
 
But the real x-factor in this game is going to be heart. And force of will. Campbell’s team plays hard and with juice, which the Packers inspire in all division rivals. Expect the Lions to come out flying, sensing a staggering Goliath that has whipped them like a rented mule since the Eisenhower administration.
 
The Packers, with the exception of some Jaire jawboning and Quay Walker stupidity, have been flat all season. What should be a walk in the park for Green Bay is now not even a trap game, but a dogfight.
 
Victory is there for the Packers, if they can muster the heart and play up to their capabilities, instead of down to the competition yet again.
 
 
 
 
 

__________________________
Jonathan Krim grew up in New York but got hooked on the Packers — and on hating the Cowboys — watching the Ice Bowl as a young child.  He blames bouts of unhappiness in his late teens on Dan Devine. A journalist for several decades who now lives in California, he enjoys trafficking in obscure cultural references, lame dad jokes and occasionally preposterous takes. Jonathan is a Packers shareholder, and insists on kraut with his brats. You can follow Jonathan on twitter at @Jkrim.

6 points

Comments (48)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
HarryHodag's picture

November 04, 2022 at 08:48 am

I have this suspicion that even if they do they're dead anyway.

9 points
9
0
KenEllis's picture

November 04, 2022 at 10:55 am

RightyO Harry, the Pack would have to go 7-2 (with upcoming games against the Cowboys, Vikings, Titans, and at the 8-0 Eagles) to make the playoffs and that ain't happening with all the problems on this roster.

I know many of those who cover the Pack are in the business of selling hope, but no need for rational fans to delude themselves and keep polishing this turd of a season.

3 points
4
1
Since'61's picture

November 04, 2022 at 08:58 am

This game is basically the Lions Super Bowl. Beat the Packers at home before their own fans. It's all they have left. Unless of course they have sold their tickets to Packer fans since they can't stand to watch their home team any longer.

In any case the Packers need to play a full 60 minutes of football for once under MLF. Run the ball, protect the QB and yes take shots when the situation is right.
On defense stop the run and get after Geoff. Play aggressively and get off the field on 3rd down.

If the Packers can't take down the Lions I'm afraid that we will be in purgatory for the remainder of the season and maybe for a long time to come. Thanks, Since '61

7 points
10
3
Johnblood27's picture

November 04, 2022 at 10:21 am

rub some early draft pick salve on that gaping wound of losing...

5 points
6
1
CheesedDeadHead's picture

November 04, 2022 at 02:58 pm

60 minutes of good football requires a good game plan to start and making adjustments at the half. I think we're in Powerball territory expecting both can happen in the same game.

5 points
6
1
Starrbrite's picture

November 04, 2022 at 05:51 pm

Well said Since’61,
We Protestants don’t believe in purgatory, but it’s a great description of where we’re at if we don’t beat the Lions.
You can move forward from purgatory, but there’s no place to go from hell; although losing to the Lions will feel like hell.

1 points
1
0
Packers2020's picture

November 04, 2022 at 08:58 am

I have to be honest. I have no confidence this team will come out with more energy than the Lions. They have not shown it all season except last week.

Our D is inconsistent on big plays, cannot tackle well, and cannot stop the run. Our O is again inconsistent with penalties, bad o-line play, turnovers, and cannot get big plays downfield.

If the Packers do win on Sunday, IMO it will be a close game. I just do not see this team blowing out anyone.

11 points
11
0
T7Steve's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:05 am

I'm commenting on something that doesn't need a comment. Division games are hard and never a given. Injuries always seen to happen, and the worst special teams plays. It might be just because we play more division games but, I don't think so.

Would love to see a boat race for once.

0 points
1
1
barutanseijin's picture

November 04, 2022 at 05:27 pm

You mean like the America’s Cup yacht races or the Henley Regatta? Might be more interesting than what we’ve been seeing from the Packers lately.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:17 am

You say that this team looked so good on paper. I disagree. I’d say that the D looks good on paper, but that the O was generally baffling to most neutrals. Rodgers and a 3rd WR, an old Cobb and retread redemption candidate Watkins plus rookies. Only blind faith in Rodgers to a degree well beyond reasonable could make that look like a winning combination.

The way the rookies have been handled should have alarmed us in the summer. They had to be readied and used cleverly. We did very little to speed their ability to contribute or build a rapport with Rodgers and then ignored camp and preseason and went with a guy who missed all that and was the rawest as a key part of our game plan. Threw once to him deep, failed and gave up but kept him on the field consistently.

Just one example of how to make a bad situation worse. Another is the fact that we responded by going to a ridiculously cautions O design that trusted no one much suggests that we knew Cobb/Lazard/Watkins were not enough but we’re unwilling to put out more speed/quickness or to accept that long balls get dropped, rinse and repeat, but keep Ds stretched.

Overall, this was not a good roster in O but the coaching has made it much worse than it should have been. It still did not make sense, but it’s played well below where it could have been (the O line coaching is a big factor too but much discussed previously) A couple more plays like that of Toure this year and that alone might have changed a couple if games, yet Toure has sat while Winfree, Rodgers and I’d say Watkins and Watson (except as a gadget) took up space.

Keep throwing to Doubs. Yes he dropped a difficult TD catch: so try it again a little later not a couple of games later. Catching a ton of passes within 5 yards is going to fail unless almost perfect in terms of completion rate. And Ds sit on them making them harder and more contested catches and after the catch. When we can run as well as we can it’s doubly defeating.

This season was a roster that only emotion could justify, but it’s highlighted the utter incompetence throughout the coaching unit. The only solution is a clear out off the field. The LaFleur era is Ray Rhodes with Rodgers. We have seen an exhibition of how not to coach in all phases of coaching and in both sides of the ball. Now we retreat into denial and still refuse to change things up. Neither LaFleur nor Murphy should hire a coach again. Let the new blood bring in a new team and work in attitudes and rosters.

11 points
13
2
canadapacker's picture

November 04, 2022 at 07:37 pm

I am going to give you the big old Ya But and I agree with most of what you said. Rookies are just that rookies and nobody thought that the rookies were going to be team savers. Especially if one had watched how Lafluer handled rookies - back to Deguara and even Dillon ( year 1). But our big expectations were predicated upon our run game and a run game needs a good Oline. What has been our demise is our run game. And while I hate to bring our season down to one play but dont you think that the air went out of our balloon as soon as Watson dropped that first pass. And preseason expectation that Walker was going to be the rookie of the year?? So everybody thought the D was going to be able to win us games - but the fall off of Stokes and Gary and it was hard to expect Douglas to repeat last year - but his poorer play and his dumb penalties has made things worse and the soft playcalling = bend and only break slowly defense - has not allowed the Offense to even get many plays in . I had said at the start of the season that Lafleur needed to revamp his offense and obviously he has done nothing and now we are getting we need to simplify?? I know simplify - Oline needs to pass block and run block. Receivers need to get open and open quickly and when the ball is thrown your way catch the fnnn ball. Dillon needs to break tackles - maybe too many leg lifts because he is getting very little yard after contact and that is not like him. But the whole thing has fallen apart because Lafleur never thought that the Oline would be this bad and there is not a team around that can survive without an Oline that is as porous as ours has been especially when the D is on the field for 7 or 8 minutes each time the other team gets the ball.

1 points
1
0
Dragon5's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:21 am

The negativity appears to have climaxed, albeit briefly, so I think we can pull this one out, but honestly I'm torn--torn between wishing the players have some pride in their performance for this storied franchise and get back to executing, yet also torn because it's now become painful to accept the incompetence at the coaching / executive level that has run our beloved Packers amok; emtions are high when the end is nigh.

4 points
5
1
Fubared's picture

November 04, 2022 at 05:44 pm

This team is a dumpster fire but they are playing a team that the fire was put out and there was nothing worth claiming from the ashes.
Packers lose this and the fans should consider selling there tickets because its going to be a long long long road back to being competitive.
Love is your guy? What a joke

-2 points
1
3
dobber's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:25 am

Detroit can't stop the run...can't stop the pass...give up more ppg than anyone else in the league by 5 points. They are in a stretch where they have played really poorly, declared as sellers at the trade deadline, and officially hung up their jockstraps on 2022. Their offensive line and defensive secondary are beat up. They don't pressure the QB. That said, Detroit is a much better team at home--where they've played everyone close--than they are on the road

IF--and I say if--the Packers have started to find some mojo in a loss against Buffalo, this should be a statement game. They should be able to come out and dictate play with the run game and force a Detroit team that loves to make mistakes to live true to their identity. Someone said they'd like to see a boat race...you just might, but I'm expecting a ground chuck affair, with home field keeping this one tight.

Packers 31, Lions 27

2 points
4
2
jlc1's picture

November 04, 2022 at 04:55 pm

How in this world do the Packers score 31? How? The D is in mutiny. So they do believe in something but not in this coaching staff. The Packers are not likely to finish 3-14 but for the life of me I don't who they can beat. Lions 27 Packers 13.

-1 points
1
2
Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:44 am

Let’s say we do beat the Lions. What does that prove? The Lions are a team in rebuild that just shipped out a leading offensive weapon to a division rival because they know they aren’t yet close to contention.

If we lose to the Lions it should shock us, had we not lost so pathetically to other equally challenged teams. Will it hammer reality home? Maybe to some, but the organization already shows signs of retreating into the denial bunker and their are already signs that the coaches and players aren’t in line. There is more chance that this pot boils over than a return to contention for anything.

The one exception is that the team comes out, makes some bold changes, goes with youth, Wyatt over Lowry and elevate Heflin. Rotate Reed/Clark/Slaton with Wyatt/Heflin early and Lowry in passing downs. Sit Rodgers, Sit Watkins, use Watson as a gadget and have him go deep with Toure or Doubs at times, let Kazard settle underneath as they do. Use Toure over virtually anyone save Doubs and Lazard and with a game plan that treats them as capable and is aggressive. On D, play the man. Sit on St Brown tight.

Get after the QB, rush the run lanes, use Savage in coverage only or change up personnel. This QB isn’t mobile. Limit the run with a heavier, fresher line attacking the middle and then have the OLBs focus on setting the edge. Make him move then play close to his receivers. In short, go for it, show some belief in our players and aggression on both sides of the ball.

If it fails, so what? Beating the Lions unspectacularly means little or nothing. If it works, we might have a template to escape ourselves and see shoots of promise for the future. Sadly, I think we see more of essentially the same from both LaFleur and Barry. If Jones gets going, he will just ride that and we learn nothing . Against this D that’s not impossible. It’s also not going to move any needle except his personal value.

6 points
8
2
T7Steve's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:55 am

I see the DC in denial that they can move Savage to the slot. Even says he excels there. He says he has no one to ready take his place in back. So, he's just ignoring Ford and Douglas. What does that tell us about where we are with coaching?

7 points
7
0
JerseyAl's picture

November 04, 2022 at 10:53 am

100% in the "have the balls to make some bold moves" camp. Some excellent suggestions in here.

4 points
4
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:45 am

OnceUponATime.......this site had numerous people who didn't think the regular season meant anything if it ended up with the Packers coming up short in the playoffs. I guess now things have changed.

4 points
5
1
T7Steve's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:55 am

I guess this game is our Super Bowl?

1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2022 at 10:03 am

This game is our Battle of Saratoga and not just for this season.

1 points
2
1
Johnblood27's picture

November 05, 2022 at 07:34 am

I didn't know you were a History major!

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:56 am

When you are on the rise, the season is important. When you are a mess with the QB deal we did in the winter to win it all and the end of an era fast approaching, then no, not really. It’s a question of overall context. Barring a miracle, the future is rebuilding, handicapped by what we did to get where we are this season. Only once we step out into the new era will that change. Then the regular season will matter again.

-2 points
2
4
Dragon5's picture

November 04, 2022 at 10:22 am

Post Halloween humor: What are the odds that not 2, but 3 NFC North teams will have a top 10 pick?

1 points
1
0
Johnblood27's picture

November 04, 2022 at 10:24 am

the packers havent regularly beaten the lolions by out-emoting them.

emotion be damned the packers should and can win without stooping to play the lolions game.

get right in your own head. bring the best effort you have within yourself. that is a blueprint for victory. this team never won by being all rah-rah. ...never.

just begin doing your job effectively beginning with the OL. EACH member of the OL. It all starts there. get that right and everything turns for the better.
run game - check
pass game - check
TOP - check
fresh defense - check
better results - check

git 'er done1

4 points
4
0
canadapacker's picture

November 05, 2022 at 11:25 am

Dont forget there have been many BS Wins - just remember the Hail Mary - and did they not beat us last game last year? They have enough power to beat us because even if we say score 28 points they can just as easy put up 35 on our D - the way that it is playing. So this is definitely a make it or break it game. We need to at the minimum win within our Division the lasr 4 games and then get at least 3 of the 5 games that remain to get to 10 wins and a tie for the wildcard. Almost impossible but doable.

2 points
2
0
PatrickGB's picture

November 04, 2022 at 10:52 am

I believe that it’s a bit of a misconception that our losses are due to lack of effort. Effort without discipline is wasted energy. Many fans scream about effort while the coaches and players talk about execution. To (sorta) quote Yoda, “there is no try, there is only do”.

2 points
2
0
canadapacker's picture

November 05, 2022 at 06:11 pm

But I do see a lot of loafs out there = and I do not see a concerted effort to get to the ball or whatever they call gang tackling and hustle plays. If have seen Gary coasting a lot after his lack of contain. I see others from our team running by him to get to the tackle. That is what is called effort. The lack of discipline has been obvious from some of the dumb penalties and nobody can say that penalties didnt cost us last game - Douglas' one for sure cost us a TD.

0 points
0
0
TarynsEyes's picture

November 04, 2022 at 11:19 am

“OK, look, we’re all in the same boat. Frustrated, angry, disappointed and baffled how a team that looked so good on paper is underperforming so thoroughly on the field.”

Whoa, there!!!
I'm on record of NEVER buying the 'on paper' prognostications. I make it a point to never be aboard a paper ship of foolishness that is always overcrowded. I've witnessed many an 'on paper' ship sink from dry land, and this year was no different. Proof is the 1000s of no 'welcome aboard' I endured, because of my failure to buy the 'on paper' mentality, for most of the last 12 seasons.

Yes, this may be an over reaction to a simple sentence, and I don't, now, and never did like being so casually lumped into groups, cliques etc. I have recently been less blunt in my assessments, but still remain ashore and away from boarding 'on paper' boats.

Probably a tad over board with this, but I've been accused of such before, and didn't want to disappoint the many of having something to focus on. Other than the sinking 'on paper' ship, they put themselves aboard, once again.

2 points
3
1
jhtobias's picture

November 04, 2022 at 02:05 pm

I'm not as doom or gloom on the packers future as most. This season it kind of is two fold. I truly believe the worst defensive and offensive coaching staff In the league ha e doomed the packers.

Their is alot of talent but we have two burger king chefs mixing the ingredients.

I almost think the only way things will change is we go 3 and 14 or whatever but i truly believe a top notch coordinator especially on defense can turn this team around in no time.

2 points
3
1
fangirl's picture

November 04, 2022 at 03:25 pm

Agree-this defense would not be playing poorly for Belichick, Saleh nor Vrabel.

1 points
1
0
Packerlifer's picture

November 05, 2022 at 01:34 pm

The Packers have been saying that about defensive coordinators since Ed Donatelle

0 points
0
0
Roadrunner23's picture

November 04, 2022 at 02:17 pm

Hopefully at season’s end the Packers FO has the guts to move on from any of the old guard.
Rodgers
Cobb
Lewis
Bakhtiari
Watkins
Amos
These guys are not the future

Hopefully at season’s end MLF has the guts to move on from his whole defensive coaching staff from Barry on down as well as his under qualified Offensive Coordinator and receivers coach.

Time to build boys and give Love his chance.

-3 points
1
4
fangirl's picture

November 04, 2022 at 03:26 pm

Rodgers will still get paid 59 mill.

2 points
2
0
vin0770's picture

November 04, 2022 at 02:21 pm

Great they are favored by 3.5 so the should win but frankly will it matter? They will be dogs in the next three games and I think substantially the lesser team. So what does 4-8 then get you? A non-playoff very boring team to watch and no longer must watch tv on Sunday…especially with this weather we’ve been having 👍🏼

0 points
2
2
Qoojo's picture

November 04, 2022 at 02:24 pm

They're not a good football team. Don't have the OL or play makers on offense. Don't have D coordinator or whatever the issue is on defense. Just too many issues that cannot be compensated by AR elevating them.

Next year, the offense can be better because of more familiarity between AR and WRs, then perhaps they get more help on offense. The defense will still be the same bucket of shit that talks a great game.

2 points
2
0
Fubared's picture

November 04, 2022 at 02:56 pm

Sorry for laughing but the title Do or DIe? Really? Its over folks. There is no do. This team cannot is all reality unless they run the table against some very very very good teams coming up, make the playoffs.
And they shouldn't. This is not a playoff team. Rodgers is not a playoff QB.
Just watch the rest of the games and ask, just how many draft picks is it going to take and how many years to get this team back on the tracks.

0 points
2
2
fangirl's picture

November 04, 2022 at 03:19 pm

I wonder how the front office and coaches would respond to a fan 'no-show' for a couple games?

Why should fans pay to watch a guaranteed, slow-motion car crash?

I don't think the FO nor coaches will change a thing until revenue . ie., (seat sales/merch.) starts dropping precipitously.

2 points
2
0
jlc1's picture

November 04, 2022 at 04:58 pm

Why should we pay? Why should we watch? Because, by definition, we're fans.

2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2022 at 05:22 pm

Expect a lot more tickets available on the market.

1 points
1
0
fangirl's picture

November 05, 2022 at 12:34 am

I watched the 49ers deteriorate for 20+ years. I won't go through that again.

-1 points
0
1
Fubared's picture

November 04, 2022 at 05:41 pm

I had friends here in Minny who had packer tickets for the two or them. 25k for 5 years. You can bet they are going to the games for that kind of money

0 points
0
0
fangirl's picture

November 05, 2022 at 12:38 am

I hear a lot of complaining about the front office/coaches, etc. I agree there are problems that will likely not be fixed for 1-2 years when they should be addressed in 2-3 months.
Fans have more power than they realize-boycotting a few games speeds up solutions.

0 points
0
0
fangirl's picture

November 05, 2022 at 12:39 am

I feel sorry for them. The next 3-4 years will be very stressful-just being truthful.

0 points
0
0
Ritzy's picture

November 04, 2022 at 09:41 pm

Win or lose, this game could be really entertaining. But I'm afraid the Packers will lose the little mojo they obtained against the Bills, and instead, play down to the level of the competition, the Lions. I do hope Christian Watson is available, for he could be the key piece in a Packers victory. I say the Packers win 31-24. Bring on the McCarthy Cowboys!!!

0 points
0
0
wildbill's picture

November 05, 2022 at 01:36 am

Ok I watched five championships, in the 60s, and then suffered through the 70s/80s. This season is child’s play lol. To go from excellence to incompetence was a heck of a drop off and quite a shock. Still watched every minute of every game I could watch and will continue to do so.
Was at the Jets game, go every year except Covid year, and still had a good time.
It’s just entertainment people, get a grip and just enjoy….

3 points
3
0
Packerlifer's picture

November 05, 2022 at 04:40 pm

For all the frustration, disappointment and angst of the past month the Packers are not necessarily out of the playoff picture altogether. https://www.nfl.com/standings/playoff-picture.

Excluding tie-breakers, they are just one game out of the 7th and final Wild Card spot. And it was as a team that just squeezed in on the season's final day as the final Wild Card that they won the Super Bowl in 2010. They were 4-6 and in a 3 game losing streak in 2016 when they went on a run to the NFC Championship Game.

I don't see much in this year's team that matches what those two had and did but things have happened...

We may assume 10 wins will be the necessary total for a chance although the Eagles got in at 9-8 last year.

To have any chance the Packers have to win all 4 of their remaining games in the Division. That gets them to 7 wins. From there they would have to scratch out 3 of 5 from the remaining schedule. They do get Dallas, Tennessee and the Rams at Lambeau, so home field is there for them. As unlikely as winning at Philly or Miami looks now we can't know yet how the Pack or they will be looking in a few weeks.

The season is now hanging in the balance with no margin for error. So in that regard this Sunday's game does have to be a "do or die" affair for Green Bay.

0 points
0
0
wildbill's picture

November 05, 2022 at 06:26 pm

Good point but in 2010 the Pack had a top 5 defense, nuff said

0 points
0
0