I was going to write this great write-up of the last time the Packers and Lions hooked up on Thanksgiving with the Packers undefeated and the Lions with a winning record...
But then ESPN beat me to it...and SI's Peter King did it too...
So now, you probably already know that the last time the Lions and Packers played a game of this magnitude on Thanksgiving was 1962...and the Lions won.
Now, I'm a big proponent of history...in that I'm always terrified it's going to repeat itself...because I'm dealing with Lions history and none of it has been all that good for more than 50 years. So who wants any of that stuff repeating itself?
Heck, the Lions are currently 7-3...which, in my book, means they can still match that 7-9 record that preceded 0-24.
But this history...this is GOOD history...even though they didn't win a championship in 1962. It was the second year in a row they won something called the "Runners Up Game." And really, that says a lot about what kind of ancient history this 1962 game is. Can you imagine the NFL having a "Runners Up Game" now? The week before the Super Bowl?
Hmm...now that I think about it, that'd be a heck of a lot better than getting stuck watching the ProBowl.
But, the game would have absolutely no meaning as there is no special prize for third place...and I'm sure the NFLPA would go crazy if anybody even suggested it.
But the Lions DID win that game in 1962 and then the Packers won the championship...which may very well happen again this season.
I am still very, very scared of Aaron Rodgers. Sadly, he has become everything that I hoped he wouldn't become. He's a little like Anakin Skywalker...you kind of thought, "Yeah, that kids good, but he's got a pretty bad attitude...eh, don't worry about him. He probably won't ever amount to anything...." And then BAM! Darth Vader...was that too geeky of a tangent....sorry.
But Aaron Rodgers is the Darth Vader of the NFL these days. He is slicing everybody up and the Lions are the next team on his target list for destruction.
Green Bay Offense vs Detroit Defense
Seriously? The Packers have the number one offense in the NFL...perhaps the best NFL offense in a number of years. Aaron Rodgers is almost unstoppable.
This is where the butter meats the bread....where the rubber meets the road...where the gravy covers the gibblets? The Detroit Lions are built to play in the NFC North. They have built an imposing defensive line designed to quickly disrupt the throwing prowess of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler. Suh and Avril and VandenBosch need to be in Rodgers' face at all times. In the 1962 game, the Lions sacked Bart Starr 11 times....this year, Rodgers is playing so well, the Lions may have to do that every quarter.
The Packers already questionable run attack has taken another hit as starting RB James Starks came out of last weeks game injured and will probably play this week at less than a hundred percent.
In the end, it probably doesn't matter. Rodgers is the soul and engine of that team...only if the Lions can bury him in the turf can the Lions hope to win. They need to break his ribs into dust, so that some time in the third or fourth quarter the world will be able to see his beating heart...glowing like ET just trying to go home...trying to get away...
Green Bay Defense vs Detroit Offense
The Pack has one of the worst rated defenses in the league...which, in my book, means jack squat. The reason the Packers are giving up so many yards is that they are blowing everybody out. Teams are desperately throwing the ball in hail mary attempts to get back into these games.
Charles Woodson, BJ Raji, Tramon Williams and Clay Matthews are studs on that defense. I just don't see the Lions offensive line being able to contain Williams and Raji for an entire game...just as much as I'd be shocked if Woodson doesn't get a pick six at some point in this game.
The Lions offense can score with the Packers...but this is still a very young team going up against the defending Super Bowl champs. I really worry about Stafford throwing against those two corners. If Kevin Smith can get a ground game going and keep the Packers honest...things might get very interesting.
Packers 35, Lions 21
This game will be close for a while, but then I see the Lions faltering late (if they don't falter early too as they have been apt to do) and Stafford throwing a pick six to Woodson to end it. Don't get me wrong, I want the Lions to win. I'm pretty much certain that they will have to win at least one of their two games against the Packers in order to make the playoffs. I will be cheering my head off all day...and I hope you will be too, because it's been a long time since we could do that on Thanksgiving.