First of all, on Thursday morning three random people asked me if I was over the Bears game yet. Yes, you have to be. If this happened at the end of the year I'd be a lot more bothered. It was an embarrassing performance against an inferior opponent and the Pack had no business losing. But they lost their cool on the field and in the tunnel and they need to grow up before our eyes.
Now, Lions week: it's the 80th year of this rivalry, with meeting #162 coming up at noon Sunday at Lambeau...The Pack's nine game winning streak against the Lions is the longest in the series in 50 years...The Packers are favored by more than two touchdown to make it 20 straight wins in the land of cheese against the kitties.
Congrats to Clay Matthews for winning NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September--that's four straight months of Packer winners: Woodson won in October, November and December a year ago. Speaking if which, aren't we due to see #21 make some game-changing plays?
Looks like Frank Zombo will remain the starter at OLB opposite Matthews this week. The coaches liked his aggressiveness and speed. I'm guessing they didn't care for his helmet to helmet hit on Cutler that got him flagged and negated an interception. Keep an eye on the health of Nick Collins (knee) and Brandon Chillar (shoulder); neither practiced on Wednesday.
The Pack gets the Lions at an especially good time. QB Matthew Stafford will miss his third straight game, meaning journeyman Shaun Hill starts again. He's not bad and may get Burleson back at WR, but it looks like he'll be without any semblance of a running game. Explosive rookie Jahvid Best is expected to miss the game with turf toe suffered at the Metrodome, removing the biggest offensive weapon. Look for Woodson to lock down on Calvin Johnson.
The Lions' biggest improvement is on the defensive line, where Ndamukong Suh is turning heads and former Packer Corey Williams looks reborn. Throw in Kyle Vanden Bosch and the Lions have the makings of a top 10 defensive front. The problem is their secondary is about as bad as it gets in the NFL. Rodgers and McCarthy should be able to pick it apart. Teams have also been running easily on the Lions. Will the Pack be able to?
Three of the next four are at Lambeau. The Lions are the perfect team to meet, following a bitter loss. Get some swagger back and get ready for a rare appearance in the nation's capital, where the Pack gets a break meeting the Redskins one week after their emotional game against the Eagles.
Random thoughts appear every Thursday at The Head Cheese: The Place for Packer Fans : Head Cheese
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