The most perplexing losing streaks in the NFL is on the line Sunday at Lambeau as the Lions are looking for their first win in Wisconsin since 1991. The Packers are -11 NFL odds with a total of 47.5.
Nothing Positive To Say About Lions
Detroit (1-7) simply has to lose out and it will pick first in the 2016 NFL Draft as the Lions are the only one-win team in the NFL. This franchise is in the midst of a total overhaul. Coach Jim Caldwell fired a few offensive coaches, including coordinator Joe Lombardi, before a Week 8 trip to London to face the Chiefs. The Lions laid an egg there in a 45-10 embarrassment.
Many were surprised Caldwell was still the Detroit coach by the time the Lions landed back in the United States. He won't be as soon as this season ends, that's a guarantee. During last week's bye, owner Martha Ford fired team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew. Ford said she informed Caldwell there would be no changes to the coaching staff. Really, Ford couldn't fire any more coaches with so much turnover already on that staff. Mayhew deserved to go. The Lions have no players left on the roster from the 2010 or 2011 drafts -- including first-round selections Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, both of whom left for nothing as free agents this past offseason.
The Lions' problems are many. Franchise QB Matthew Stafford is on pace for his worst statistical season in passing yards (2,083), and his touchdown-to-interception ratio is on pace (13 touchdowns, 11 interceptions) to be his worst since 2012 (20 touchdown, 17 interceptions). Detroit also is last in the NFL in rushing yards with 557 (69.6 per game, more than 18.0 worst than the second-worst team). Detroit has a highly respected defensive coordinator in Teryl Austin but that unit also has taken a huge step back, ranking 24th overall in yards allowed and last in points (30.6 per game). Austin might have been a candidate to replace Caldwell, but he's not any longer. The new GM I'm sure will dump everyone. Detroit is 1-7 against the spread on NFL odds and 5-3 'over/under.'
Packers On Rare Losing Streak
Green Bay (6-2) remains the NFC favorite at +750 at at Bovada but those odds have risen quite a bit with the Packers on a two-game losing streak and now tied atop the North Division with Minnesota. But you have to consider the competition. The Broncos were unbeaten when Green Bay visited Denver in Week 8 and was dominated in a 29-10 loss.
Carolina also was unbeaten last week when the Pack visited and lost 37-29. Green Bay did nothing offensively in the first half but nearly staged an incredible rally from down 23 in the fourth quarter. Aaron Rodgers hit James Starks on a 29-yard TD pass with 7:54 left and the team converted a 2-point conversion. Then Rodgers hit tight end Richard Rodgers on a 3-yard score with 3:43 left to make it an eight point game. However, with Green Bay at the Carolina 4 right out of the two-minute warning, Rodgers was picked off by Thomas Davis. If Rodgers wasn't hurried on the throw, Randall Cobb was wide open for a likely touchdown. Rodgers threw for 396 yards and four scores but was sacked five times.
It's the first time since 2010 that Green Bay has lost consecutive games with Rodgers under center. One key offensive problem in the losses has been third-down conversions. The Pack are 5-for-22 over that two-game stretch and a disappointing 34.1 percent on the season. By comparison, the Packers converted 47.2 percent of their third downs last year when Rodgers won his second NFL MVP Award.
And what has happened to Eddie Lacy? He was projected to be a Top 5 back this season but has just 308 yards on 83 carries and has topped 50 yards in only two games -- none of the past four. He essentially has been passed on the depth chart now by James Starks.
Green Bay is 5-3 ATS on NFL picks and 3-5 O/U.
The teams split, each winning at home. In Week 3, the Packers had their worst offensive game of the season in a 19-7 defeat at Ford Field. Green Bay had 14 first downs and 223 total yards while holding the ball for less than 22 minutes. Rodgers was 16-for-27 for 162 yards and a TD. The Lions won despite three turnovers. Stafford was 22-for-34 for 246 yards and two picks. Calvin Johnson caught six balls for 82 yards. In Week 17 at Lambeau, the NFC North title was on the line and the Packers won 30-20. Rodgers was 17-for-22 for two touchdowns, both to Cobb. Lacy ran for 100 yards. Stafford was 20-for-41 for 217 yards and three scores, two to Johnson. The Lions have lost 24 straight road games in the series (one in 1994 playoffs).
NFL Wagering Advice
A return home should cure all for Green Bay, which has won 12 straight overall at Lambeau Field. Give the points, and go 'over' as the Pack might score 48 points themselves. The Lions are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 road games and 0-6 ATS in their past seven in the division. The 'over' is 4-0 in Detroit's past four overall. The 'over' is 5-1 in Green Bay's past six after a loss. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings.