Hunters or hunted?

Green Bay faces a Detroit team that figures to be hungry after being demolished at Atlanta in Week 1.

Some folks in the media are saying the Green Bay Packers are heading into a "trap" game on Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night 24-19 in an emotionally charged game, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings came into the game talking some trash, were a chic pick to win the NFC North by some experts and were stinging from the tampering accusation the Packers leveled at them earlier this summer during the Brett Favre soap opera.

The Lions, meanwhile, were thrashed by the Falcons in Atlanta 34-21 behind Michael Turner's 220 rushing yards and a solid performance by rookie quarterback Matt Ryan.

The Lions usually play well at home, but the Packers won at Ford Field the last two seasons. Plus, Rodgers proved at Dallas last year he can handle a loud crowd on the road. Still, the Lions could be dangerous.

But you wouldn't know it from the statistics from Week 1. The Lions rank 30th in defense after giving up a whopping 474 yards to the Falcons and are 21st in offense.

The Lions' offense is led by Jon Kitna, and he has two big weapons in receivers Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson, along with solid third and fourth receivers in pesky in Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey.

The running attack is led by rookie Kevin Smith from Central Florida, where Packers rookie Josh Sitton was one of his top blockers. Smith is backed up by newly acquired Rudi Johnson. The Packers need to be as effective against the run vs. the Lions as they were in the second half against the Vikings' Adrian Peterson.

Defensively is where the Lions are hurting, which is a surprise considering coach Rod Marinelli came from Tampa Bay with a defensive pedigree. It was so bad last week, Marinelli is replacing three starters.

Still, the Packers expect a fired-up Lions team on Sunday. Like always, turnovers have to be kept to a minimum and mistakes — like last week's 12 penalties — have to be corrected. If they can withstand the Lions' early emotion in Rodgers' first road start, the Packers should be fine. The Packers' running game has to help out and take advantage of a run defense that yielded more than 300 yards to Atlanta. The defense has to force mistakes from Kitna. The special teams have to continue their strong play. If that happens, the Packers will be the hunters, not the hunted.

Bob Fox is a frequent contributor to E-mail him at

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