2022 Packers Season Preview: Know Your Enemy, Detroit Lions

August 24, 2022
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With less than three weeks left before the opening kickoff, it’s time to talk about the rivalry between the Honolulu blue and the Green and Gold regarding the 2022 season. Which team has the better player personnel, the Packers or the Lions?

The Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions have been playing each other since 1930. At that time, the Lions were going by Portsmouth Spartans until 1934 when the team moved to Detroit. The Packers currently hold a record of 105-73-7 against the Lions. As the Lions continue to rebuild and push for a competitive NFC North, how do they currently compare to the 2022 Packers?

Which Team Has The Better Quarterback, Packers Or Lions?

Comparing Aaron Rodgers to Jared Goff is like comparing apples to oranges, they are similar but not really. Rodgers is going on his 18th season with the Packers whereas Jared Goff is going into his seventh season in the NFL and only second with the Lions. If you went out to a city not located in Michigan or Wisconsin and you asked random people who the better QB is, at least 90 percent of the time the answer will be Aaron Rodgers.

The 2022 season will feel different for Rodgers as he will no longer have a future Hall of Famer at wide receiver to throw to. Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in the off-season. Instead, he will need to lean on a couple of rookies, a few veterans, and a pair of running backs. Jard Goff on the other hand went from a mediocre receiving core to a more experienced one. Both Offensive Lines have also improved so that should allow both quarterbacks more room in the pocket.

If you leave all biases at the door and just compare stats, Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback. Even though he has played longer, has more experience, and played in more games, the averages lean towards Rodgers. Excluding the postseason, Jared Goff has the following averages: 91.5 passer rating, 64.1 completion percentage, and 7.3 yards per pass attempt. Also excluding the postseason, Aaron Rodgers has the following averages: 104.5 passer rating, 65.3 completion percentage, and 7.8 yards per attempt. Rodgers also wins the touchdown to interception ratio and postseason stats as well.

How Do The Packers Running Backs Compare To The Lions?

For both teams, only the first two running backs on each squad are stat relevant. The Packers have a dynamic duo in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon that play 50 percent of the time each. The Lions have a familiar face on their squad, Jamaal Williams. Jamaal was the 1B to Aaron Jones before AJ Dillion was drafted. The 1A on the Lions is often injured D’Andre Swift who acts as the lead back until an injury happens. When comparing both squads, there are points for each side.

Since Swift gets most of the attention on the ground and through the air, he racks up more fantasy points and stats than Jones or Dillon. So in that aspect, Swift is the better option as he is eyeing a top ten fantasy running back this year. To fill the void left by Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers has called out both Jones and Dillon by saying that they can easily get 50+ catches each this season while also running the ball. If that does happen, Jones can easily beat Swift since, in my opinion, he is the more elusive back.

Just looking at Packers running backs versus Lions running backs, the Packers once again have the upper hand due to experience, offensive scheme, team, and stats. There’s a lot of buzz around Swift having a breakout year but he hasn’t lived up to his hype due to injuries. Jones and Dillon are able to have a timeshare on the field which helps them last longer on the field each season. It’s a lot easier to put up yards when you’re on the field versus sitting on the bench with an injury.

Packers Versus Lions: Wide Receiver Depth

This is where things get tricky. Both teams have a young wide receiver core when you exclude Randall Cobb for the Packers and he isn’t relevant in this discussion since he’ll post wide receiver three or four numbers. For the Packers, Allen Lazard will look to hold down the reigns as the top receiver and new addition Sammy Watkins.

The Packers and Lions looked at the draft as an opportunity to build their receiving corps. The Lions went for an injured Jameson Williams that will miss at least the first four games after he tore his ACL in January 2022. The Packers picked up three receivers but only two will be relevant as Samori Toure might not make the roster. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs were the other two Packers receivers selected in the draft.

Watson, similar to Williams, has been injured but he should be all set to start Week one of the regular season. Hard to tell how these rookies will play this season. Lazard posted career highs last year as the number two option behind Davante and has received praise from Rodgers several times. In the off-season, the Lions picked up DJ Chark from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and will lead the Lions as the top receiver. Number two on the Lions is second-year Amon-Ra St. Brown. Amon-Ra is the younger brother of former Packers wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown who is now with the Chicago Bears.

Based on relevant experience and stats, the Lions have the better wide receiver room but it’ll be up to Jared Goff to help feed them accurate passes. All eyes will be on the rookie receivers this year and how well they play in the NFL. Both teams have receiving backs in Swift, Jamaal, Jones, and Dillon which will hinder the stats of the wide receivers.

Packers

Who Has Better Tight End Depth? Packers Or Lions

Right off the bat, I give my hat to T.J. Hockenson for the Lions because Robert Tonyan had an explosive year in 2020 for the Packers but got injured early last year and ruined his stock. Josiah Deguara filled in well for Tonyan along with Marcedes Lewis but the tight ends weren’t used in the receiving game much as of late. Hockenson is a focal point in the Lions’ offense and should be again this year.

The Lions also have former Packers wide receiver Devin Funchess on the roster that was converted to tight end but he hasn’t played in a while due to Covid opt-out and injuries. This will be Hockenson’s fourth season in the league and it’ll be Tonyan’s fifth as he looks to rebound from his ACL injury in the middle of last season.

Which Offensive Line Is Better: Packers Versus Lions

Back in June 2022 PFF released their rankings for the top offensive lines in the league. At that time, the Lions were ranked number three and the Packers at five. Now that a couple of months have passed by, I’d view the Lions and Packers as second and third in the league due to some injuries to other teams. At this time, the Lions’ offensive line is all healthy which will help Goff in the pocket as well as helping to clear gaps for the running backs. The Packers’ offensive line is still recovering from injuries but all reports make it sound like they will be healthy by Week one.

As of this week, David Bakhtiari is the only question mark leading up to Week one as he is still recovering from his torn ACL in December 2020. The former pro bowl left tackle would be a boost to the line if he can get healthy. In the meantime, the Packers have a gem in Elgton Jenkins because he can play any position on the offensive line and he will be needed to cover for those that get injured or are still recovering from injuries. Based on health, the Lions have the better line.

Will The Packers Win The Series Or Will The Lions Fight Back?

The Packers and Lions will square off in Week nine and Week 18. Week nine will be at Ford Field and Week 18 will be at Lambeau field. Normally Week 18 is a mess because the Packers have usually punched their ticket to the postseason and won the NFC North so the Lions usually end up winning that game against the second-string players.

This year there will be three teams eyeing up that top spot, the Minnesota Vikings are also poised for a good year. The Chicago Bears should be the bottom team this year. The Packers will either win both games or they will split. Lions will most likely win their game at home and the Packers will win their game at home.