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Thursday Night Football picks and open thread: Lions at Packers

It’s not a game that will have an immediate impact on whether the Seahawks make the playoffs like the Week 18 matchup between these two teams did, but it could be important down the road.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The last time the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers met in primetime, it was Week 18 of the 2023 season with a playoff berth on the line. It was a win and in situation for the Pack, while Detroit had been eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the day when the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in overtime.

Most Seahawks fans will fondly remember the Lions coming away with a 20-16 victory at Lambeau Field, a loss which officially eliminated Green Bay from the playoffs and gave the Seahawks the right to get obliterated by play the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card Round. This time around it’s a different matchup, of course, as the Packers sent old man Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets for draft picks, finally giving Jordan Love a chance to show what he can do as a starter. For Detroit, it’s the third year of the Dan Campbell era, and after flirting with .500 in 2022, the Lions are off to a strong start and looking to take an early lead in what appears to be a weak NFC North this season with the Lions and Packers both 2-1 while the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears each sit at 0-3.

Lions @ Packers — 5:15 pm — Prime Video — O/U: 45

The winner of this matchup will hold an early advantage in the race for the NFC North, as they will move to 3-1 in September and hold an early head to head win over the only other member of the division to have recorded a win so far this season. Both teams sport a top eight scoring offense so far in 2023 that is paired with a defense that is average to above average in terms of points allowed. That this is true for the Lions in spite of the 37 points allowed to the Geno Smith-led Seahawks in Week 2 makes it even more impressive, and in spite of that performance against Seattle, the Lions enter this game as slight favorites.

In the first year of the post-Rodgers era, this will be just the fifth start of Jordan Love’s career, including the first in primetime and the second against a division rival after he started in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. On the flip side it will be Jared Goff under center, who has helped lead the Lions to victory over the Packers in three of four starts since being acquired prior to the 2021 season.

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