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Monday Night Football: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction and Preview

Monday Night Football: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction and Preview

Packers host the Lions on MNF looking for a fifth straight win over their NFC North rival

A pair of 0-1 teams take the field for "Monday Night Football" as the Packers host the Lions. Green Bay has won four straight in the series, including a 42-21 home win last September and a 31-24 road meeting in mid-December. Aaron Rodgers has had two or more touchdown passes against his division rival in five of the last six meetings.

The Lions made things very interesting last week in their 41-33 loss to the 49ers. The team scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes and had the ball with a chance to tie after recovering a pair of onside kicks. They racked up 430 yards of offense with Jared Goff throwing three touchdown passes and two two-point conversions. Still, for as close as the final score was, the 49ers were able to do whatever they wanted to on offense as they outgained the Lions.

Meanwhile, the Packers were downright embarrassing in their 38-3 loss to the Saints in Jacksonville, Florida. The game was moved out of New Orleans after Hurricane Ida went through the city. Rodgers was just 15-for-28 for 133 yards and two interceptions. He got nothing from his run game, and the whole team looked lackluster on both sides of the ball. New Orleans outgained them by almost 100 yards, and Jameis Winston threw five touchdown passes as well.

Monday Night Football: Detroit at Green Bay

Kickoff: Monday, Sept. 20 at 8:25 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Spread: Green Bay -11

Three Things to Watch

1. Intangibles
With it being Week 2, there aren't a ton of scheduling spots to be aware of. Green Bay is in San Francisco next week for "Sunday Night Football" while the Lions host the Ravens. Weather will not be as much of an issue in Green Bay, as it's projected to be around 68 degrees with a small chance for precipitation. The Lions have not played on a Monday night since Oct. 14, 2019, when they lost 23-22 to Green Bay in Lambeau Field.

2. Week 1 mirage?
Both of these teams are eager to prove their Week 1 results were a mirage and not a foretelling of how the season will go. Obviously, the Packers have a lot more expectations for where their year is supposed to head. All signs are pointing to this being Rodgers' last season in Green Bay, so it's really playoffs or bust for them. The offense won't always be that bad, and they figure to find their footing and a lot more success on Monday. Last year Rodgers threw for fewer than 200 yards twice and followed those efforts up with eight combined touchdowns in two double-digit victories.

3. Week 1 mirage, part two?
When the Lions traded franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford away and brought in Goff, not a lot was expected from the former Rams quarterback who was leaving Sean McVay. Last year, Goff threw for over 300 yards six times and had only two contests in which he had 50 attempts or more. He's already done both of those things once this season, and I don't know how sustainable that is. It feels like a broken record, but the Lions need to establish a run game to keep teams honest and to keep the ball away from them. D'Andre Swift had just 11 carries for 39 yards, while former Packer Jamaal Williams put up 54 yards on nine carries. If they hope to pull off an upset, the run game has to work.

Final Analysis

Let's not take too long to think about this. Green Bay was embarrassed this week and returns home for MNF to a full crowd and the TV spotlight. Detroit acquitted itself well last week, but the Lions won't this week. Rodgers throws for four touchdown passes in an easy victory and all will be good in Green Bay for one week. As Rodgers has said in the past, "R-E-L-A-X relax."

Prediction: Packers 35, Lions 20

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— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.