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Larrivee's look deep into the Lions' lair

Wayne Larrivee

Ndamukong Suh, Josh Sitton. Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Larrivee's look deep into the Lions' lair

Wayne Larrivee
CREATED Oct. 4, 2013

The Green Bay Packers are facing the Detroit Lions this Sunday in Lambeau Field. 

It is well documented; the Lions have lost 22 straight games over 21-plus years to the Packers on Wisconsin soil. 

You can look at that one of three ways:
- It will have no bearing on what happens in Lambeau Sunday
- You can surmise the law of averages is about to catch up to the Packers
- You can conclude the Lions have no chance - they haven’t won over here in more than two decades!

DEFENSIVE CATS

The Lions have the best defensive tackle combination in the league today with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
 
I really like DeAndre Levy at outside linebacker.  The Milwaukee Vincent and UW product has become a playmaker and now has 7 career interceptions.

Inside, former Tennessee Titan Stephen Tulloch mans the middle while Ashlee Palmer is the other outside linebacker.
 
With the addition of veteran safety Glover Quinn from Houston and the return to health of Pro Bowl caliber safety Louis Delmas, the Lions have the best tandem of safeties in the NFC North — bar none! 

In four games, Delmas and Quinn have combined for 31 tackles, 4 interceptions 9 pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
 
The corners are a work in progress.

Veteran Chris Houston is questionable with a leg injury.  Rashean Matthis should play, but did not finish the Bears game last week due to concussion-like symptoms.

Rookie second-round pick Darius Slay has started twice and been benched twice this season. 

He is obviously not ready to play an extended role but may have to due to the injuries to Matthis and Houston.
 
The key for the Packers' offense is to get this game into the corners of the Lions defense.  Easier said than done with Suh, Fairley and company collapsing the pocket.

OFFENSIVE LIONS

Offensively, the greatness of wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and a young gunslinger at quarterback Matthew Stafford is formidable.

Right now, the three-time Pro Bowler Johnson is simply the most physically gifted and dominant receiver in the game!

Stafford is one of its best young quarterbacks.  He is the most prolific passer through his first 50 games in NFL history, with 14,069 yards over that span.
But, Johnson is 1 and 10 against Green Bay while Stafford is 0-5.  

So if they get theirs (Johnson has caught 65 passes for 1,062 yards and 11 TDs in 11 career games against Green Bay while Stafford averages 307.8 passing yards per game), it still doesn’t mean the Packers can’t win Sunday.

DIFFERENCE MAKER

The Lions' newly acquired all-purpose running back, Reggie Bush, was the 2nd overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. 

He won the Heisman Trophy as a running back at USC and big things were expected of him in the pros.

He had a good, not great career at New Orleans, went to Miami where last year he learned how to run between the tackles, then came to the Lions as a free agent.
 
This season, he has been nothing short of the “big-time difference maker” everyone expected him to be out of college. 

Bush ranks second in the NFL, averaging 144.3 yards of offense per game — second only to Philly’s LeSean McCoy at 152 yards.

Bush has 59 touches (running and receiving) for 433 yards and 2 TDs; he gets 7.3 yards per touch in the 3 games he has played. 

Bush missed the game at Washington due to a knee injury, but returned with a vengeance against the Bears last week rushing for 139 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown while catching 4 passes for 34 yards.

The Lions haven’t had a difference maker like this at running back since the great Barry Sanders.
 
So if Megatron and the gunslinger get theirs, that’s one thing, but if Bush gets his? 

Then we have a problem - and I don’t care whose soil the game is being played on!
 

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