In a matter of hours, the Detroit Lions will take the field against the Green Bay Packers in what will be a battle for first place in the NFC North. In fact, if the Lions win, they will take over first place in the division while a loss would send them into the basement of the North.
When facing the Packers, it’s no mystery that stopping quarterback Aaron Rodgers is almost always priority No. 1. After all, Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL and he has dismantled teams with his right arm on too many occasions to count.
But when the Lions face the Packers on Monday Night Football, stopping Rodgers will not be No. 1 on the list for head coach Matt Patricia.
You see, the Packers’ biggest offensive threat, wide receiver Davante Adams, has already been ruled out of Monday’s game as he continues to deal with a turf toe injury.
Rodgers and the Packers’ passing game could still pose a threat but you can bet Patricia will be focused on stopping the Green Bay rushing attack, which features Aaron Jones. Now, Jones has not exactly lit the NFL on fire through his first five games (302 rushing yards, 3.9 ypc) but his nose for the end zone has been impressive as he has scored 8 touchdowns already.
Now, in order to shut down the Packers’ rushing attack, the Lions defensive line will have to look much more like they did last year than they have through four games in 2019. Yes, I am looking at you, Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison.
Over the past handful of seasons, Harrison has been regarded as the best run-stopping defensive lineman in the league but through four games, he has looked like a shell of his former self.
That being said, I truly believe that Harrison will get it going and Patricia will put the rest of his defensive players in position to get the job done against the Packers’ running game on Monday Night Football.
If not, it will be a very long night for the Lions and their fans.