It is Thanksgiving Day in America on Thursday which means that we have a triple header of action in the NFL 2023 season to get week 12 up and running. As is now tradition, the schedule begins at Ford Field where the Detroit Lions host the Green Bay Packers.
These two NFC North rivals are certainly no stranger to each other and the Lions have already downed the Packers at Lambeau Field this season and they will be looking for a repeat to keep up their march for the division title.
This has been an excellent campaign for the Detroit Lions so far. They made their intentions pretty clear when they went to the champions on the opening night of the campaign and came away with a victory. They have won eight of their 10 matches this season and have looked like a team who aren’t just going to win the NFC North this season but potentially bloody a few noses when they get to the playoffs. Matches in the spotlight like this one will only help them moving forward.
I think most expected the Lions to be competitive on defence this season. Any team who has an elite pass rusher like Aidan Hutchinson are going to be competent on defence but what has surprised plenty of people is the consistent output they have offered up on offense. Jared Goff has been hit or miss throughout his career but assisted by a very good running game he has regularly found the likes of Amon-Ra St Brown and Sam LaPorta and the Lions offense has to be taken seriously as a result.
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Green Bay Packers
This was always going to be a transitional season for the Green Bay Packers after the loss of Aaron Rodgers and a number of offensive weapons so there is a case to be made to suggest that their 4-6 record is pretty good all things being equal. The Packers have a quarterback in Jordan Love who is still getting used to the starting spot and a young receiving collective so to be in a position where should they win this they would only be one win from :500 has to be to their credit.
The Packers are generally getting the job done on defence this season I think it is fair to say. Their best offensive games have been when they have been able to run the ball but with Aaron Jones ruled out of this holiday outing you do wonder if they will be able to pound the ball as much as they would like. If they can’t then they are going to need Love to play well because he is likely to be under pressure throughout the game.
Usually we get some really close matches on Thanksgiving because all teams on show will want to showcase their stuff but if there is going to be a blowout it could be here because the Detroit Lions are looking so good on both sides of the ball. They are putting up plenty of points which bodes well because these Thankgiving Day games do tend to be higher scoring with the profile that is on them. Importantly though, the Lions defence is more than competent.
The big problem the Green Bay Packers have here is the loss of Aaron Jones which is going to take away plenty from their running game and the last thing they need is Jordan Love to be in pressure situations because he has already thrown 10 interceptions this season and doesn’t go well when the heat is on him. Detroit have already beaten Green Bay by 14 this season and have got better since then. I’m not convinced the Packers are any better so I expect a relatively comfortable home win here.
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