Boom or Bust Candidates: Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions

Week 8 boom: Aaron Rodgers – MEH
Week 8 bust: Jaire Alexander – MISS

No one expected the Green Bay Packers to enter Week 9 at 3-5, but here they are as one of the most disappointing teams in 2022. Luckily, they play a team they have historically dominated this week in the Detroit Lions. The Lions only have one win but have competed in a majority of their games. They have become a predictable opponent and should allow for easier boom and bust selections.

Boom: Aaron Jones
Nearly midway through the season, Aaron Jones sits as a top five rusher in the NFL, leading this Packers’ offense the best he can. The Lions’ defense has been the worst in the league, and one of the worst in recent history, so the Packers’ best offensive weapon is bound to go off this week. Even in the passing game, Jones is likely to play a key role, particularly with the Packers having to dig deep into the wide receiver depth chart as of late. At this point in the season, this week feels like a must-win for Green Bay if they want to compete in an odd NFC. Their best chance at a victory is to allow Jones enough opportunities to take over the game. The rest of the Packers’ offense lacks an explosive element which Jones brings, which will be necessary against a defense who has given up the highest yards per attempt and the fifth highest yards per carry. It is almost certain Jones has a fantastic game this week, especially if Matt LaFleur creates a game plan which gives the Packers the best chance to win.

Bust: Rashan Gary
While the Packers’ defense has largely disappointed this season, Rashan Gary has had a very solid first half of the year. However, this week he faces one of the most refined combinations of offensive tackles in the league in Penei Sewell and Taylor Decker. The Lions’ well-established offensive line has allowed the seventh fewest sacks of any team in the league. This is an impressive mark considering that the Lions lack elite receivers and separation creators. Gary will have to bring his best on Sunday to affect Jared Goff the way the Packers need him to. The Lions may rely heavily on their running game against a weak Packers’ run defense, which will limit Gary’s pass rushing opportunities. Gary’s counterpart Preston Smith excels in the run game far more than Gary, which could encourage the Lions to run towards his side more often. The Lions’ stellar tackles and minimal opportunities could result in Gary having one of his worst games of the season.
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