The Detroit Lions Week 4 matchup will be one against familiar NFC North opponent, the Green Bay Packers in a Thursday Night Football contest. Both teams are now setting at 2-1 on the season, with both coming off victories over NFC South division opponents. The Lions made it look relatively easy against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, beating them 20-6, while the Packers needed a late game comeback to beat the New Orleans Saints, 18-17.
The Lions needed a game like the one they gave the Falcons last Sunday. After surprising the world in the NFL season opener against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, the Lions let the Seattle Seahawks come back and beat them the following week. It seemed very unlike the gritty, disciplined football that head coach Dan Campbell had been emphasizing since he got to Detroit. The Lions changed that against the Falcons, not allowing Atlanta a single touchdown, completely shutting down their run-heavy offense, allowing only 44 yards on the ground for 2.2 yards-per-carry.
For insight on the Lions' Week 4 matchup against the Packers, listen below:
The Lions Week 4 matchup will pose a different sort of challenge. After two games at home, Detroit will be on the road, at the Packers historic Lambeau Field on primetime television on Thursday Night Football. Can the Lions gain the advantage in the NFC North division by beating the Packers? Let's get into some Lions Week 4 predictions.
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4. Lions struggle to get sacks again
Before the Falcons game, the Lions defense only had one sack on the season. Against the Falcons, they had seven. That's partly because the Falcons were forced to attempt to throw the ball after the Lions shut down the run, which left second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder vulnerable most of the day. The Lions will face a much more disciplined offensive line that has helped protect Jordan Love pretty well to this point, which in turn has him helped become fairly productive. Love has been sacked three times this season. Look for that number to stay that way.
3. Sam LaPorta scores again
Somehow, the Falcons forgot all about Sam LaPorta on Sunday. He was left wide-open for his first career touchdown after Jared Goff threw him a 45-yard bomb. It shouldn't be surprising that Campbell, a former tight end himself, is utilizing the rookie tight end out of Iowa like he has been thus far. LaPorta has the second most targets, receptions and receiving yardage on the team behind Amon-Ra St. Brown. LaPorta's strong performance against the Falcons earned him Rookie of the Week honors, where he caught eight balls for 84 yards and a touchdown.
The Packers have allowed only 135 yards and a touchdown so far against tight ends this season. But LaPorta will be the best tight end they've faced this season on Thursday Night Football. LaPorta gets his second career touchdown.
2. Jared Goff continues his hot streak, throws for 230 yards and two touchdowns and no picks
Jared Goff has a 70-percent completion percentage this season through four games. He's also been minimizing his usual mistakes, throwing five touchdowns to two interceptions. While the hope is that he continues to decrease throwing the ball to the other team, it has to noted how well Goff has been since he left Los Angeles for Detroit. Goff has been a big reason for the Lions' success this season.
The Packers have only allowed three passing touchdowns all season, according to StatMuse. However, they also haven't faced a formidable passing attack. In Week 1, they faced the Chicago Bears' Justin Fields, followed by the Falcons' Desmond Ridder, and then New Orleans Saints' Derek Carr, who was injured during their contest on Sunday. Goff will be the best quarterback they've faced to date.
1. Lions win by a field goal
The current line on this game is the Lions -1.5, leaving those in Vegas believing this could be a tight matchup. Both teams are playing well, but one team will have to move to .500 while the other takes top bill in the NFC North for the time being.
What makes this game a bit more interesting is that now running back Aaron Jones is said to be back for the Packers. But even then, that shouldn't matter too much as the Lions are fifth in the league in yards allowed on the ground. It could be, however, the Lions running game with David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs that makes some crucial runs to help eat the clock.
Oddsmakers expect it close, and so do I: the Lions win by a field goal in what will hopefully be a better Thursday Night Football game.