Can the visiting side to Ford Field snap out of their slump?
Where: Ford Field
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Exit Aaron Rodgers for three weeks, and the NFC North has suddenly overtaken the NFC East as football’s most up-for-grabs division.
Two of its three five-loss teams will try to further establish themselves Thursday when Matt Flynn leads the visiting Green Bay Packers against the Detroit Lions with much more than a drumstick at stake.
The Packers’ quarterback situation has mirrored the division’s uncertainty since Rodgers went down with a broken left collarbone Nov. 4 against Chicago. Rodgers has been ruled out for a third straight game despite returning to practice this week, leaving Green Bay’s hopes of matching the Lions and Bears for a division-best six wins in the hands of its fourth starting signal-caller this season.
Coach Mike McCarthy waited until Wednesday to announce Flynn would be his new starter. Though Scott Tolzien started the last two games, it was Flynn who took over midway through the third quarter Sunday and led the team back from a 16-point, second-half deficit in a 26-26 tie with Minnesota.
The Packers (5-5-1) are 0-3-1 since Rodgers got hurt.
Green Bay has averaged 18.0 points in the last four weeks, tied for 25th in the league. Through Week 8, the Packers were third in the league with Rodgers at 30.3 points per game.
A win would vault the Packers past the Lions (6-5), who haven’t been able to take advantage of their division foe’s misfortune or their own seemingly soft schedule.
Detroit has lost consecutive games for the first time this year, and they’ve come against Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, which have a combined 8-14 record. But both of those teams have won three in a row.
The Lions now face a Green Bay team that has gone winless in four straight for the first time since a five-game losing streak in 2008. Detroit, however, has lost nine straight Thanksgiving Day games since a win over the Packers in 2003.