NFL 2015 Week 13 Thursday Game Preview: Packers at Lions

December 2, 2015

Week 13 begins on Thursday night on the NFL Network (8:25 PM ET) with a classic NFC North Division rivalry, as the Green Bay Packers (7-4) will go on the road to face the surging Detroit Lions (4-7) at Ford Field.

Detroit aims for their fourth consecutive win following a 45-14 victory over Philadelphia on Thanksgiving. The Lions already defeated the Packers this season in Week 10 at Green Bay.

“It’s really fun to play on Thanksgiving and it’s a blast when you win,” said Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. “Our team never wavered after the slow start and it’s a lot of fun when you get on a streak like we’re on.”

Stafford completed 27 of 38 passes (71.1 percent) for 337 yards and five touchdowns for a 137.8 passer rating last week. Stafford has passed for 1,498 yards (374.5 per game) with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions for a 107.7 passer rating in his past four games on Thursday.​​

Detroit has won three of its past four games against the Packers. Stafford aims for his third consecutive win at home against Green Bay.

“Our guys have been battling and getting better every week and that’s what we have to do again this week,” said Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. “We have to find a way to get better because we have a big challenge ahead of us on Thursday.”

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has 14 touchdowns in 15 career games against the Packers. In his past seven against Green Bay, Johnson has 48 catches for 808 yards and five touchdowns.

After catching three touchdowns last Thursday against Philadelphia, Johnson aims for his eighth Thursday game in a row with a touchdown catch. Since 2011, Johnson leads the NFL with 7,135 receiving yards, averaging 101.9 receiving yards per game.

On defense, Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah enters Week 13 with 11.5 sacks, the most in the NFC, and is tied for the league lead with four forced fumbles. Ansah has 9.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in his past eight games.

The Lions also have performed well on special teams lately, as punter Sam Martin was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.  He averaged 46.0 yards per punt with a 45.3-yard net average in the Lions’ 45-14 win over Philadelphia. He also registered a career-high eight touchbacks on eight kickoffs (100 percent). All four of his punts traveled at least 45 yards and the Lions allowed only two returns for three total yards (1.5 average).

Meanwhile, Green Bay aims to rebound from a 17-13 loss against Chicago on Thanksgiving. The Packers enter December one game behind Minnesota in the NFC North.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 202 yards and a touchdown versus Chicago. Rodgers has 24 touchdown passes this season, the second-most in the NFC.

“We had a tough loss at home and it’s very disappointing because we had a lot of opportunities in the game,” said Rodgers. “Detroit has been playing well. They beat us a few weeks ago and we are going to have to go in there and get a win.”

Entering Thursday’s game, Rodgers has compiled a 10-3 record against Detroit as a starter with 24 touchdowns for a 106.8 passer rating. In eight career Thursday games, Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdowns with three interceptions for a 104.1 passer rating. Rodgers aims for his ninth consecutive Thursday game with at least one touchdown pass.

Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 105 yards on 17 carries (6.2 yards per rush) against Chicago, his second consecutive game with at least 100 rushing yards. Lacy also had a 25-yard touchdown reception in last week’s game.

Green Bay wide receiver Randall Cobb looks to continue his impressive play against NFC North opponents. Cobb has 10 touchdown receptions in his past 11 games against divisional opponents. Since 2014, Cobb’s eight touchdown receptions against the NFC North ranks third in the league for players against their own division.



WR Ty Montgomery (ankle)

T Bryan Bulaga (ankle), G T.J. Lang (shoulder), C Corey Linsley (ankle), CB Damarious Randall (knee, hamstring), C J.C. Tretter (ankle)

WR Jared Abbrederis (rib, chest), CB Demetri Goodson (illness), S Micah Hyde (hip), LB Nate Palmer (foot), G Josh Sitton (back)


WR Lance Moore (ankle)

WR Calvin Johnson (ankle), K Matt Prater (illness), S Glover Quin (ankle), DT Caraun Reid (ankle), C Travis Swanson (ankle), G Larry Warford (concussion)

S James Ihedigbo (hamstring), WR Golden Tate (calf), DT Gabe Wright (ankle)

By Staff of and news services

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