The NFC North continues its early-season showcase this week when the Green Bay Packers host the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. The Packers (1-0) won their sixth straight season-opening game last week as they scored 43 points against the Vikings in Minnesota. The Lions (0-1), however, blew a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a home loss to the Bears.
Depending on what happens with both the Bears (vs. Giants) and Vikings (at Colts) this week, the Packers could have first place to themselves by Sunday night. But a victory by the Lions will keep the standings closer. Green Bay leads this all-time series 102-72-7, and the Packers won both meetings last year after dropping four straight. It was the first time that they swept a season series against Detroit since 2016. Here's how this one breaks down.
Detroit at Green Bay
Kickoff: Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. ET
Spread: Lions +6.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Quarterbacks in the spotlight
Both signal-callers had strong games in Week 1. Aaron Rodgers completed 32-of-44 passes for 364 yards, four touchdowns, no sacks, and had a 92.9 passer rating. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford completed 24-of-42 attempts for 297 yards, one touchdown, and averaged 7.1 yards per attempt. Rodgers was lights-out as usual, and Stafford took advantage of a sluggish Chicago pass rush. Both men will look to light up the box scores once again this week, especially Rodgers, who will get to face a unit that finished last in the NFL in pass defense last year (294.4 ypg).
2. Fourth-quarter defensive woes
Both teams struggled on this side of the ball during the final 15 minutes last week. The Lions gave up a 17-point lead, in which they allowed Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky to throw for 89 yards and three touchdowns during the final quarter of play. Two of those touchdown passes came within the final three minutes. The Lions were also shutout 21-0 in that last frame.
The Packers also had a late-game scare in Minneapolis. The Vikings outscored them 24-14 in the fourth quarter and had cut Green Bay's lead to nine points inside of the two-minute warning. The Packers' saving grace was Minnesota's failure to recover an onside kick afterward. In the end, both teams surrendered a combined 45 fourth-quarter points in Week 1, but they'll need to play a full 60 minutes of defense to have success moving forward.
3. Recent history
The Packers may have won both of last year's meetings, but the series is a 5-5 draw since 2015. The Lions are 3-2 in their last five trips to Lambeau, while also outscoring the Packers 128-90 in those games. Green Bay, however, has a 12-3-1 record on their home field over the last two seasons.
Expect another fast-paced game between these two teams with plenty of points scored. But the Packers will pick up the win at home, as they have a little more firepower to work with on both sides of the ball.
Prediction: Packers 30, Lions 24
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.