Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) is tackled by Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) and defensive end Isaiah Buggs (96) on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Mjs Apc Packers Vs Lions 010823 023 Ttm

TNF Week 4: Lions-Packers Preview, Props, Prediction

The Detroit Lions travel to Green Bay to face the Packers on Thursday night in what shapes up to be a critical early-season showdown between the NFC North rivals.

Both teams enter the kickoff to Week 4 at 2-1 — the Packers coming from behind to win in New Orleans last Sunday while the Lions beat Atlanta by two touchdowns at home.

Detroit is a rare road favorite at Lambeau Field, with the Lions favored by 2.0 points.

The Lions are averaging 24 points per game and will keep the heat on Jordan Love and the Packers to continue to put points on the board. That’s something Green Bay was struggling to do against New Orleans’ stout defense until the Saints lost quarterback Derek Carr to an injury last Sunday.

This is a statement game for Detroit, which stamps its legitimacy in the NFC contender picture with a rare win at Lambeau. The Lions’ spread line has seen one-sided action at BetMGM, drawing 77 percent of the total bets and 74 percent of the money. Similarly, Detroit has been backed by 70 and 68 percent of the spread-line action, respectively, at BetRivers.

Prediction: Lions 27, Packers 23

The Lions have won five of their past six road games and have covered the spread in 10 consecutive games against NFC North opponents, according to BetRivers. Four of Detroit’s past five games have gone under the total points line, but we see that trend reversing Thursday night.

We like the Over on 45 points, which has drawn 73 percent of the money at the book.

The Packers last beat the Lions in Week 2 of the 2021 season, and Detroit ushered in the Love era by beating Aaron Rodgers in the regular-season finale at Lambeau Field last season (20-16).

Lions coach Dan Campbell started the week with a sleepover in his own office Sunday night, burying the idea of enjoying the win over the Falcons for 24 hours. But he gets goosebumps thinking about the atmosphere that awaits the Lions, whose season-ending win in January also was in prime time.

“I told the rookies yesterday, ‘Get ready to live, man. This is good stuff here. These are the things that you’ll never forget when you’re done playing,’” Campbell said.

Love rallied the Packers from a 17-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to beat the Saints, 18-17, in his first home start last week.

Lions running back David Montgomery and left tackle Taylor Decker are expected to play while cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (knee, hamstring) is not, according to the NFL Network. Montgomery, 26, sat out last week with a thigh injury, with rookie Jahmyr Gibbs rushing 17 times for 80 yards in his absence.

Decker, 30, has missed the last two games due to an ankle injury. If Decker holds up, right tackle Penei Sewell can return to his usual position. However, tackle Matt Nelson (ankle) and guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) were ruled out.

Even if the front five isn’t whole, Campbell expects pass protection in front of Jared Goff to be better and for the running game to make progress. After rushing for 2,179 yards last season, Detroit is averaging a full yard less per carry — 3.6 yards and 24th in the NFL — through three games in 2023.

For the Packers, running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Christian Watson are expected to play. Both were listed as questionable on Wednesday with hamstring injuries, though Watson said he plans to make his season debut this week.

Jones, 28, sustained his injury at the end of his 35-yard touchdown catch-and-run in Green Bay’s 38-20 season-opening victory and sat out the past two games.

Green Bay’s ground game is down as well (3.43 yards per carry ranks 26th), denting the Packers’ play-action passing attack.

Watson, 24, hasn’t played this season after collecting seven TDs as a rookie. He caught five passes for 104 yards in the Week 18 loss to the Lions last season. Jones had 21 total carries for 73 yards in two losses to the Lions in 2022.

“We’ve got a lot of ball in front of us and obviously we’ve got a great test in front of us. It would certainly help us if those two guys were available,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.

Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) and left guard Elgton Jenkins (knee) were ruled out.

Behind a makeshift line the past two weeks, Goff is consistently connecting with rookie Sam LaPorta, including a 45-yard touchdown in Week 3. LaPorta has 18 receptions in his first three games, an NFL record for a tight end. He’s second on the team to Amon-Ra St. Brown (21-275-1) in catches.

LaPorta has one touchdown through three games, but the rookie being the first player to score on Thursday night (+1500) has been the most popular player prop at BetMGM. St. Brown scoring at any point during the game has been the second most popular at far shorter +115 odds.

10 — The number of September games Jones has scored a touchdown in out of his past 13 played.

–“Certainly you want these more, because they’re for the division. These count. They have a significant impact on being a division winner.” –Campbell

–“I know what they’re all about. It’s a tough, gritty team.” –LaFleur

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Logo for Amazon Prime Thursday Night Football on television camera pictured at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon’s ‘TNF’ debut drives record audience, Prime sign-ups

The Nielsen ratings are not yet out for Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” debut, but the company is already seeing benefits after one game.

Amazon vice president Jay Marine, the head of Prime Video, told employees in an internal memo this week that the company’s internal numbers were promising.

Last Thursday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers produced more new sign-ups for Amazon Prime in one three-hour period than the company had ever seen.

It also set a company record for primetime audience in the U.S., according to Marine, though that figure was not released.

“Thursday Night Football” averaged 13.2 million viewers on Fox last year.

Amazon is the first streaming service to wrest exclusive broadcast rights for NFL games away from traditional TV networks. The company took pains to produce a TV-quality broadcast, with legendary play-by-play announcer Al Michaels teaming up with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit on the call.

The Chiefs beat the Chargers 27-24 in Amazon’s first game. Week 3’s Thursday game will see the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Cleveland Browns.

–Field Level Media

Jul 30, 2019; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib (21) during training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Aqib Talib stepping away from ‘TNF’ after brother’s arrest

Aqib Talib is stepping away from his role of analyst on Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” in the wake of his brother’s arrest on murder charges.

Talib, 36, told NFL Network on Sunday night that he’s planning to spend time with his family in the aftermath of last week’s shooting death of a youth football coach in Texas.

Talib’s older brother, Yaqub Salik Talib, has been charged with murder in the death of Michael Hickmon.

Aqib Talib, who retired after the 2019 season, was present at the youth game at Lancaster (Texas) Community Park and reportedly was involved in the altercation leading up to the shooting.

Witnesses told WFAA in Dallas that Aqib Talib confronted the game officials. One witness told WFAA that Aqib Talib started the brawl by throwing a punch at Hickmon. Aqib Talib has not been charged in the incident.

Aqib Talib was poised to be part of Amazon’s studio show for the “TNF” broadcasts this season.

Talib had previously worked as a booth analyst for FOX Sports.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Network television commentator Al Michaels before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit to call ‘TNF’ for Amazon

Al Michaels has signed a three-year deal with Amazon to be the tech giant’s play-by-play announcer for “Thursday Night Football,” the New York Post reported Monday.

His sidekick in the booth will be longtime ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, per the report.

A formal announcement is expected this week.

Michaels, 77, is expected to earn close to what Joe Buck just signed on for to call “Monday Night Football” on ESPN. Buck inked a five-year, $75 million deal.

Herbstreit, 52, who will continue in his role on ESPN’s “College GameDay” and lead college football announcer, will have a contract in the eight figures, per the report.

Mike Tirico takes over as NBC’s permanent play-by-play announcer for the network’s Sunday night NFL telecast with Cris Collinsworth. Michaels will still do a game or two for NBC, especially in the postseason, per the Post report.

Amazon paid billions to get the Thursday night package for the next 11 years.

–Field Level Media

Former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kirk Herbstreit sits on the set of ESPN College GameDay prior to the NCAA football game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.

Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan Wolverines

Report: Amazon set to name Kirk Herbstreit to ‘TNF’ broadcast

Amazon is finalizing a deal to make ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit the color analyst for its “Thursday Night Football” package beginning this season, NBC Sports reported Monday.

The impending deal for Herbstreit comes after Amazon was spurned by Troy Aikman, Sean McVay and John Lynch. Aikman jumped from Fox to ESPN to anchor their “Monday Night Football” coverage as lead analyst.

Herbstreit, 52, would continue his duties for ESPN/ABC on their college football broadcasts, per the report. He has called college football games for ESPN for two decades.

Next up for Amazon is snaring its play-by-play announcer. Al Michaels and Joe Buck are reportedly at the top of the retail giant’s wish list.

–Field Level Media