The NFC North might be the best division in football. On Monday its two best teams, the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions, will go head-to-head.
The Packers have had one of the strongest starts in the NFL. With an impressive win against the Cowboys last week and just two losses, to the Chiefs and Eagles, they look like one of the league’s best teams. Then, the Lions sit just behind the Packers in the standings. They are one of the few remaining one-loss teams: They also lost to the Chiefs before their bye.
Green Bay’s Aaron Jones is coming off of a career game. The running back scored four touchdowns and was the team’s leading receiver and rusher with almost 200 total yards. While quarterback Aaron Rodgers started a little slow as he adjusted to a new offensive scheme, the attack is rounding into form in Green Bay.
The Packers have also been one of the league’s best defensive units. Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith continue to lead this strong D: Last week they combined for three sacks. Green Bay’s defense also picked off Dak Prescott three times.
However, Detroit is right there with Green Bay in terms defensive performance. The Lions and Packers were neck-and-neck in DVOA rankings at the end of Week 4. Even during a loss to the Chiefs, the Lions got to Patrick Mahomes four times.
Detroit’s running game has been hit and miss, despite Kerryon Johnson’s monster game in Week 4. While Kenny Golladay has emerged as a top receiving threat, there have also been up and down weeks in the passing game.
Similarly, there are pros and cons on the Lions defense. While the secondary has played very well, up front they have allowed over 100 yards rushing during every game so far.
Despite bright spots like Golladay’s continued development at receiver and the secondary’s stellar play, this Detroit team has been good but not great so far. The Packers have the personnel advantage during what could be a close game.
Yes, they are weak at receiver, but so far Rodgers has found a way to pile up yards and stack wins for the Pack.
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
- When: Monday, Oct. 14 at 8:15pm ET
- Where: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Streaming: Monday Night Football airs exclusively on ESPN. You can stream ESPN on a number of streaming platforms.
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions live stream: How to watch MNF online
- Cost: $44.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
2) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Both Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month) include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels and NBCSN—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
For $10 extra per month, you can get NFL RedZone via the Sling Blue Sports Extra package.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels. While select NFL and college football games (on Fox, FS1, and FS2) are no longer on Sling, you can still catch Fox games with AirTV.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
4) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
Fantasy football: Who should I start?
Aaron Jones, Running Back: It doesn’t take a genius to recommend you start the guy who had four touchdowns last week. But with a strong Detroit secondary, a weak Lions run defense, and an unreliable Packers receiving corps, this fantasy matchup is the one you want.
Kenny Golladay, Wide Receiver: When you take out an off game against the Eagles, Golladay has been good for 50 yards and a touchdown every week. He should do well here, even if this is a strong pass defense. While Kerryon Johnson had a monster game against the Chiefs, he hasn’t broken 50 yards on the ground previously, so Golladay remains the safe choice in Detroit.
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions: Why it matters
Every team in the NFC North is still in contention. The Vikings, who just dismantled the Giants, are currently last place in the division. Every division game is going to matter when it comes to the playoff picture. Wild-card berths are going to be hard to come by in this conference, so every game matters.
The Lions and Packers have some of the same strengths and weaknesses. Both teams have a nice pass defense and a quarterbacks who can sling the ball. Both squads have struggled to stop the run but have also been inconsistent on the ground themselves.
Overall, the edge goes to the Packers, who have a little stronger defense and Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball. That being said, this game could demonstrate just how competitive this NFC North division is, with four teams who could go out and win any game on their schedule.
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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