Detroit Lions (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0)
The Lions held a 23-6 lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter last week against the Bears last week, but ended up giving up three straight touchdowns to lose by a score of 27-23. It was an impressive comeback by the Bears, who did nothing on offense for the first three quarters of the game, but it’s worth noting it came against a Lions defense that was missing its top three cornerbacks, with Jeff Okudah inactive with injury and Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman suffering injuries of their own mid-game.
Okudah, the 3rd overall pick in April’s draft, will make his debut in this game, but both Trufant and Coleman are out, leaving Okudah with a tough assignment as the top cornerback in his first career game. The Lions will likely start 2019 5th round pick Amani Oruwariye opposite him and he’s shown promise in limited action in his career, but even if their young cornerbacks hold up outside, the Lions’ depth at cornerback is very questionable. The Lions will also be short-handed on offense, without a pair of starters on the offensive line (left guard Joe Dahl and right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai) and top receiver Kenny Golladay.
The Packers will be without top defensive lineman Kenny Clark in this one and he was clearly missed down the stretch against the Vikings, but overall the Packers are in much better injury shape. This line is right around where it should be though, favoring the Packers by 6.5 points at Lambeau with minimal homefield advantage. This is one of the toughest calls of the week, but I’m taking the Lions only because these teams both tend to play a lot of close games. The Packers won 8 of their 13 games last year by one score or less, while the Lions had 8 of their 12 losses come by one score or less, blowing a league leading four 4th quarterback leads. Even if the Lions can’t keep it close throughout, they have a good chance to get a backdoor cover late.
Green Bay Packers 30 Detroit Lions 24
Pick against the spread: Detroit +6.5