The Green Bay Packers host the Detroit Lions for an NFC North special edition of Monday Night Football to cap off a lively NFL Week 6 slate.
Green Bay leads the division with a record of 4-1, while Detroit is nestled in between Minnesota and Chicago in third place with a record of 2-1-1.
Looking ahead at this matchup, we have some questions. These are the most pressing among them.
Can the Lions tame Aaron Jones?
The last time we saw Aaron Jones, he racked up 182 yards and four touchdowns against a pretty good Dallas defense. Thanks to rookie head coach Matt LaFleur, this dynamic running back is finally being featured as a bell cow, and it’s paying off big time.
Jones has become more and more central to what Green Bay is doing offensively. So, shutting him down — especially with Davante Adams out of the lineup — is the most important thing the Lions have to do defensively. Whether that’s possible or not remains to be seen.
Will T.J. Hockenson be the X-factor?
Lions rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson suffered a scary-looking injury a couple weeks back trying to hurdle a couple of Kansas City Chiefs defenders. As of the time of this writing, he’s still questionable to play, having yet to be cleared of concussion symptoms. But all the reports leading up to the Monday Night Football clash against the Packers have been positive.
Assuming he does play, how much will Hockenson boost Detroit’s offense? He burst onto the scene in Week 1 with a six-catch performance that garnered 131 yards and a touchdown. In the two-plus games afterward, he caught just five passes for 35 yards and a score. Depending on which version of Hockenson shows up for this game, he really could be the biggest X-factor for the Lions.
Which Packers receiver will step up?
Top Packers receiver Davante Adams is out of Monday night’s game as he continues to rehabilitate a toe injury. That’s a huge loss, as he has caught 25 passes for 378 yards this year and is clearly Aaron Rodgers’ go-to receiver.
So with Adams out, which Packers receivers will step up and take point? In Green Bay’s huge road win against Dallas, it was the Aaron Jones show, and Geronimo Allison led all wide receivers with just 28 yards through the air. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has a prime opportunity to fill the void. Will he be able to stay healthy and take advantage?
How will Green Bay’s defense handle Detroit’s run game?
For the first time in a long time, the Lions can run the ball at will. Kerryon Johnson is a dynamic runner who can break off huge gains. He and a very good offensive line up front have spearheaded a rushing attack that’s averaged more than 120 yards per game. This unit should have success against a Packers defense that allows more than 138 yards per game.
If the Lions can run the ball, control the clock and keep Aaron Rodgers and Co. off the field, then it sets up nicely for a huge win for the road team. Easier said than done, of course.