So, Green Bay’s revamped, takeaway-centric defense needs to bring its best. The unit already looks starkly different compared to last year in defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s second season, let alone 2017 before Pettine arrived and Detroit started this streak on, ahem, a Monday night at Lambeau.
The implications in the here and now are significant, too. With the Packers at 4-1, the Lions 2-1-1, the Vikings 4-2 and the Bears 3-2, the winner will be the only team in the NFC North with just one loss.
Furthermore, for the Packers, following up the Weeks 1-2 wins over Chicago and Minnesota and getting to 3-0 against division opponents would be invaluable.
After Monday, Green Bay doesn’t play another NFC North game until facing all three foes over the final three weeks of the regular season, including road trips to Minnesota and Detroit to finish the slate. The Packers have a gap of seven games, plus the bye week, without a division game before the concluding gauntlet.
In contrast, this is the Lions’ first division game of 2019, and it begins a stretch of five NFC North clashes over their next nine contests. This starts the meat of Detroit’s schedule, and the Lions have enjoyed their bye week to get ready for it.