First place in the NFC North is up for grabs in this week's edition of MNF
The NFL's "Black and Blue" division takes center stage in the Week 6 edition of "Monday Night Football." The Green Bay Packers host the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field with first-place implications in the NFC North Division at stake. A win for the Packers (4-1) gives them a stranglehold on the division, while a win for the Lions (2-1-1) would put them ahead by percentage points. The Lions have swept the Packers in each of the last two seasons.
Getting their first win in this series since 2016 won't be easy for the Packers. But they are eager to prove that the loss to Philadelphia last week was just a blip on the radar. As for the Lions, this is a must-win game for them as they are looking to return to the postseason. Both teams, however, come into this game with injury concerns.
Detroit at Green Bay
Kickoff: Monday, Oct. 14 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Spread: Packers -3.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Injury concerns on offense
Both teams are banged up on this side of the ball. The Packers are expecting to be without wide receiver Davante Adams (turf toe) again, which will be a huge blow to this offense. He is the team's leading pass catcher with 25 catches for 378 yards, and he's averaging 15 yards per reception. The team's second-leading receiver, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (17 receptions, 235 yards, 1 TD), is questionable with calf and hamstring injuries.
If both men are unable to go, then look for Aaron Rodgers to give more looks to tight end Jimmy Graham (12, 132, 2), and the team's No. 3 receiver, Geronimo Allison (10, 104, 2). They may also have to lean more on running back Aaron Jones (78 carries, 302 yards, 8 TDs). Rodgers continues to be lights out from the pocket, as he's completing 62 percent of his passes for 1,307 yards and six touchdowns. The Packers are averaging close to 25 points per game.
For the Lions, it's rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson (concussion) and wide receiver Danny Amendola (chest) who are listed as questionable. If both men are unable to go, then the Lions will lose a combined 22 receptions for 307 yards and three scores. If that's the case, then Matthew Stafford (62.4 completion percentage, 1,122 yards, 9 TDs) will throw extra passes to receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr., who have combined for 37 catches for 520 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Kerryon Johnson (74 carries, 251 yards, 1 TD) had his first 100-yard game of the season last week against Kansas City. If the Lions are shorthanded in the passing game, then they may need Johnson to reach the century mark again.
2. Defense could decide the game
The Packers are eighth in the league in points allowed per game (18.6), they're tied for sixth in sacks (15), and they're second in interceptions (7). And while the Lions are giving up over 400 yards per game, they have been able to generate a pass rush at times (9 sacks), and they're able to occasionally force turnovers (8 takeaways). This game may come down to a big stop in the end.
3. By the numbers
The Lions may currently own a four-game winning streak over the Packers, but since 2010 the Packers own a 10-8 series lead, with five of those wins coming at home. Before this current streak, the Lions hadn't swept the Packers since 1988.
Even with the injuries, the Packers still have more firepower than the Lions do, and they have a better defense. It'll be a close game, but Green Bay will find a way to break this losing streak against Detroit.
Prediction: Packers 27, 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.