The Detroit Lions will have their hands full when they visit Lambeau Field to take on the NFC-North leading Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football next week.
But one member of the team is especially thinking about the upcoming matchup, especially given the fact that Detroit beat them twice last year. That would be head coach Matt Patricia. And he's worried about facing superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“I think for us, it’s all about this year,” Patricia said. “It probably makes me more nervous than anything, to be honest with you, just knowing what a competitor he is.
“From my standpoint, it’s all about trying to prepare and get ready this year, and the things that they’re doing this year. Certainly, they’re in a really good spot and they’re operating at a very high level. We have a big task in front of us.”
The Lions were able to take both games from the Packers last season and four in a row against them overall, which hasn't happened since 1982-83. While Rodgers isn't exactly putting up elite stats so far this season, the overall balance the Packers are demonstrating under first year head coach Matt LaFleur hasn't required him to.
But that doesn't mean that Patricia isn't downplaying how good Rodgers is.
“Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is a phenomenal player,” Patricia said. “This guy has been doing it at a high level for a long time, and some of that can just take over a ballgame and completely ruin everything you’re trying to do defensively. We know how great he is. We know what a great player he is. I think the added element for him this year is the run game.”