Mike McCarthy said this week that the media is too nit-picky, looking to find all the faults in a 10-0 Green Bay Packers football team.
That may be true, but it’s not the media’s responsibility to bring flowers to the coaches press conference every week. This team might be 10-0, but they do have some issues heading into today’s game with the Detroit Lions.
Starting with the Packers offensive line. They’ve been giving up some pressure to the opposition and the Detroit defensive line is as good as they get at bringing pressure without needing to have the assist of blitzing linebackers. Ndamukong Suh and former Packer Corey Williams are on the inside of this Lions front, joined by Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch on the outside. The Lions are loaded with backup talent as well, led by Sammie Hill and the team’s top pick this season (13th overall) Nick Fairley.
On offense, the Lions are loaded with receiving talent, led by superstar Calvin Johnson. He leads the NFL with 11 touchdown catches. But Johnson has plenty of help, especially from his tight ends, Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. The Lions also have backs that will catch it out of the backfield. Last week in a 49-35 win over the Panthers, Kevin Smith had 201 running-receiving yards and three touchdowns.
What makes this matchup intriguing is as good as the Lions offense is, the Packers are even better. Aaron Rodgers has thrown 31 touchdown passes already this season, against just 4 interceptions. His cast of receivers, led by Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and TE Jermichael Finley have been lights out all season.
With Detroit in the playoff hunt, it’s likely that they’ll control more of the ticket base and therefore there’s more Lion fans to make more noise. The Packers have handled noise fairly well this season, we’ll see how they do today at noisy Ford Field.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Packers lost once this season and if that’s going to happen, I look for it to come either today or next week at New York against the Giants. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if they ran the table.
This one is too close to call and on Thanksgiving Day, that’s the way it should be. Enjoy your day, your family, all the great food and hopefully a Packers team that will have improved their record to 11-0.