Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- Both Christian Watson and Allen Lazard have returned to limited practices after Lazard missed last week with a shoulder injury and Watson was forced from the game with a concussion after just six offensive snaps.
- Josh Reynolds got the dreaded mid-week downgrade on Thursday, going from limited on Wednesday to DNP on Thursday. D’Andre Swift returned to a limited practice Thursday after a DNP on Wednesday.
- Amon-Ra St. Brown was excellent against zone coverage last season, which the Packers primarily base their defense off of.
- The Packers are likely to succeed offensively here, leaving the primary driving force for the game environment in the hands of the Lions.
How green bay Will Try To Win ::
Brian Gutekunst watched yet another trading window pass him by without a major move. Add it to the list of head-scratching non-moves since 2018 as Packers fans everywhere grow increasingly tired of the organization’s malpractice (I say that as a diehard Packers fan). It feels as if the rebuild began in 2018 with his hiring, seemingly stretching a three-year plan into one that could take longer than a decade now. I digress. The current National Football League Packers have taken a keep away, game managing game plan to the extreme this season, playing at the league’s fifth slowest situation neutral pace of play, 29th-ranked overall pace of play, and 26th-ranked pace of play in the first half of games. They have paired that with the 12th lowest pass rate over expectation (PROE) and a middle of the pack overall pass rate (16th-ranked 60.12%). That has come together to have the Packers averaging just 62.4 offensive plays run per game. Green Bay allows 21.6 points per game defensively, which if you haven’t caught onto by now, ranks in the middle of the league (16th). Suffice it to say, Aaron Rodgers is basically the only thing holding this team together right now as most metrics paint the Packers as an average team across the board.
Aaron Jones continues to see 60-75% of the offensive snaps for the Packers but has scored just four total touchdowns this season with the offense struggling to sustain drives (19th in drive success rate and 26th in points scored per drive this season after being near the top of the league in those categories for the better part of the past decade). That said, this will stand as one of the top rushing matchups the Packers will see all season, with a net-adjusted line yards metric sitting at an elite 4.96 against a Lions defense allowing a robust 5.24 yards per running back carry to opposing backfields. AJ Dillon should mix in for 10-12 carries of his own behind Jones but has struggled to a 4.08 yards per carry mark this year.
The Packers appear to be getting healthier at wide receiver heading into Week 9, with both Christian Watson and Allen Lazard returning to limited sessions this week. Lazard is the clear top dog amongst pass-catchers, but he has yet to see double-digit targets in a game this season and has broken 100 yards only once. His red zone role remains elite, but the lack of volume is a tough sell at $6,000. The truth of the matter with this matchup is the Packers should be able to win in any way they choose, but volume is expected to be low for everyone not named Aaron Jones, and even then, Jones has just two games all season with 20 or more running back opportunities. Expect electric rookie Romeo Doubs to line up opposite Lazard, with Sammy Watkins and Amari Rodgers mixing in out of the slot in 11-personnel alignments. The Packers run above average 12-personnel rates, meaning any pass-catcher outside of Lazard, Jones, and Doubs should be expected to see minimal volume. This brings us to Robert Tonyan. Tonyan saw his highest snap rate of the season in Week 8, which is likely a combination of the dearth of available pass-catchers in that game and a continuing return to health following a lost season. His 25.5% targets per route run rate rank eighth at the tight end position this season, with the low 58.3% route participation rate holding down his fantasy value. As in, once he starts seeing more regular snaps, his upside should come more fully into play (which we might be seeing). Still a lot of uncertainty there, but it’s at least worth considering his lofty targets per route run rate as something that could bring upside to the table once his snaps increase.