Thoughts From the Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (11/23/2023)
My thoughts from today's 29-22 Green Bay Packers' win at the Detroit Lions.
This felt like David defeating Goliath. Or maybe a better description would be it was like watching a sports movie, the kind where a team gets their asses handed to them early on then faces the same team later and wins. At minimum, this was a completely different game than the Packers 34-20 loss earlier in the season and brought and brought an end to a recent losing streak against the Lions.
Another great thing about this win was there wasn't a "but." The Packers beat the Los Angeles Rams, "but" Matt Stafford wasn't playing. The Packers beat the New Orleans Saints, "but" they lost David Carr. This time they beat one of the best teams in the league with no excuses.
Jordan Love just might be the real deal. Not that I had much doubt about that. Two not perfect but solid games in a row and he seems to be feeling comfortable in the pocket. Just as important, the Packers seem to be willing to put the ball in his hands and let him win.
Oh, and let's not forget about those receivers. The narrative about them being talented but inexperienced is gradually shifting to just the former. Christian Watson is starting to show the late season magic he had last year and the trifecta of him, Jayden Reed and Romeo Doubs is only going to get better the longer they play together. And that's even before you throw in Dontayvion Wicks and the tight end pairing of Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft. Green Bay may not win the NFC North this year, but the rest of the division should be concerned.
How about that Joe Barry defense? I will admit I've been on the fence a bit about the Packers' oft-criticized defensive coordinator. However, he had a solid game plan against the NFL's number 2 offense and the defense did just enough despite having quite a few injuries. The numerous fourth down stops and takeaways were game changers.
I'll say the same about Matt LaFleur's offense. The team was thin on running backs and he offset that shortage by being aggressive in the passing game. I don't think there's any doubt about his job being safe, regardless of the final record.
Don't look now but Green Bay is a legit playoff contender. They are a game behind the Minnesota Vikings for the 7th seed with a rematch against their division rival still on the calendar. There is more than enough season to gain on the Seattle Seahawks, currently the 6th seed.