Records could fall in Detroit today as Capers’ unit gets gobbled up for the whole world to see
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider senior editor
~Calvin Johnson enters the Thanksgiving Day game versus the Packers as the NFL receiving leader. Matthew Stafford is third in the NFL in passing, trailing just the two MVP leaders Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
Earlier this season, Johnson had over 300 yards in one game, which was the second highest total in the history of the league.
Today, against a Packers defense that managed to make both Christian Ponder and backup running back Toby Gerhart look like legitimate Pro Bowl candidates last week in the tie game versus the Minnesota Vikings on the slow frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
Today, that same awful defense is on the fast track in Detroit, facing some serious firepower in Megatron and Reggie Bush.
The Packers got their Christmas present in week five this year against the Lions when Johnson was a surprising scratch from the game due to a knee issue. Facing the Lions without Calvin allowed the defense to key more closely on Bush, and they did a great job shutting him down with many eyes on him.
Look for the Lions to expose the Packers linebackers in coverage and utilize Bush out of the backfield for some big gains.
Megatron is a whole other can of worms. Even with good coverage, he can simply go above the defensive backs.
Often, if in position, they just knock the ball away from each other and into the arms of the wide receiver. DeSean Jackson was gifted the Eagles first touchdown like this three games ago, propelling the Eagles to that win.
I believe the Packers offense will have some success behind Matt Flynn.
But the Lions have a formidable front on defense and they do a good job against the run. Eddie Lacy won’t be very effective, and then the Lions will tee off on Flynn, exposing Marshall Newhouse time and time again on the right edge. That will cause more help to come towards Newhouse, which will allow some leaks up the middle, just like last week when the Vikings inside linebacker was able to come right through the middle and just plaster Flynn smack in the face as he was getting ready to pass.
It would be poetic justice for former Packer WR and KR Jeremy Ross to take one to the house today.
I was one of the few who thought releasing him earlier this year was a mistake, and they made him the scapegoat for the terrible blocking on returns. When I say blocking, I mean no blocking.