The Detroit Lions will attempt to make it three straight wins over the Green Bay Packers under coach Matt Patricia on Monday night.
The Lions have beaten the Packers four straight times over the past two years, with Aaron Rodgers starting and finishing just one of those tilts. Technically, Detroit beat Rodgers twice in Patricia’s first season, but the quarterback played just nine snaps before getting hurt in Week 17.
Regardless, it’s a matchup that will keep Patricia on edge this week.
"I think for us, it’s all about this year," Patricia said, via the Detroit Free Press. "Probably makes me more nervous than anything, to be honest with you, just knowing what a competitor he is.
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"So from my standpoint it’s all about trying to prepare and get ready this year and the things that they’re doing this year. Certainly they’re in a really good spot and they’re operating at a very high level, so we’ve got a big task in front of us."
Excluding Week 17 last season, Patricia has faced Rodgers twice as either a coach or defensive coordinator (Week 5, 2018 with Detroit; Week 13, 2014 as New England’s DC). Rodgers has five touchdowns, zero INTs and has averaged 405.0 pass yards per game in those two contests.
How Patricia attacks Rodgers Monday night with Matt LaFleur now calling plays will be interesting to track. Detroit uses man coverage on 62.4 percent of its coverage snaps this season (second-most in the NFL), per Pro Football Focus. Against man coverage this season, Rodgers is completing 60 percent of his passes for 7.0 yards per attempt with two TD, no INTs and a passer rating of 93.4.
Detroit’s defense has been a bend but don’t break crew, giving up the 30th most passing yards per game this season (280.8) but allowing just four TDs (T-third) and a passer rating of 80.3 (fifth).
The Packers have relied on running back Aaron Jones heavily to start this season, with Rodgers throwing for less than 250 yards in four of five games in 2019 (4-0 in those games).
Patricia knows that despite a less-than-prolific start for Rodgers this season, he’s capable of exploding at any moment.
"I think you guys know me well enough to know that I’m extremely competitive," he said. "I want to win and everything I do I try to make sure I do it to the best of my abilities.
"But when you’re staring across the line of scrimmage at Aaron Rodgers, you know you’ve got a long day of work in front of you."
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