Raise your hand if you predicted, last week, that the Atlanta Falcons would punish the Lions with 318 yards rushing. Anyone? Me neither.
Atlanta's offensive line is not nearly of pro-bowl caliber, either. The only position on their O-Line with more than 3 years of experience is their Center, Todd McClure, with 10. Of their other Offensive Linemen, one is a Rookie, one is in his 2nd Year, one has been out of College 4 Years, but only has 6 Games of NFL Experience, and the other has only 22 Games of NFL Experience.
You'd figure with that type of inexperience, there would be no way a team could rush for 318 yards on 42 carries, but somehow, the Falcons managed to pull it off. I believe it wasn't a fluke, and we'll see Detroit's defensive line exposed again. The Packers have already demonstrated their interest in using a much more balanced approach on offense than last year's approach. Thus, they'll be thanking the Falcons while they're running all over the Detroit D-Line, again, in Week 2.
Green Bay is going to want to assess Detroit's D-Line, simply to see how resilient they are, both physically and mentally, and also to determine what adjustments the coaching staff has made to close all the gaps that seemed a mile-wide last week. I'm sure they'll come out running the ball (the majority of their plays) in the 1st Quarter, and possibly the 1st half, before beginning to consistently use that play action that Aaron Rodgers was so effective with last week in defeating Minnesota. That should, then, open up some deep passes downfield, and lead to a nice score or two for Green Bay.
Detroit will most likely be predicting such a strategy; however, they won't be ready for Green Bay's passing attack, as I'm sure the coaching staff had to do a bit of damage control with the D-Line and Linebackers this week in practice. Detroit, conversely, will be testing Green Bay's secondary, which looked strong last week vs. Minnesota, when they gave up a mere 168 yards through the air.
This game should see plenty of action on Offense, and I see the Packers pulling away after halftime. I don't think Detroit has the D-Line to stop Ryan Grant or Brandon Jackson, and I think we'll see Green Bay factor in the Play Action, and begin to pull away while Detroit struggles to pass on their Secondary.
My Prediction: Green Bay 27, Detroit 17