ALLEN PARK — Playing the Green Bay Packers without Aaron Rodgers does not mean an automatic win for the Lions on Monday night.
Rodgers broke his right collarbone on Oct. 15 so Brett Hundley has taken over starting quarterback role.
“We’re not getting a break we have to play better,’’ defensive coordinator Teryl Austin (in photo) said on Friday. “So, I don’t think we’re in any position to say, ‘Hey, well because Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing, things are going to be easy.’ We haven’t had it easy right now, and we’ve got to play better football than we’ve been playing.’’
Don’t forget when the Lions played against the Packers on Jan. 1, 2012, with Rodgers out, Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn had a career day with 480 passing yards and six touchdowns. Stafford threw for 520 passing yards and five touchdowns but Detroit lost 45-41.
Rodgers is 13-3 playing against the Lions.
Five concerns about playing against Brett Hundley:
1. Jim Caldwell said most people who have watched Hundley can see that he’s fast.In his only start (the loss to the Saints), Hundley had three carries for 44 yards and a rushing touchdown. “Not just — he can run, really run. So, he’s not one of those guys that are easy to get down on the ground because he’s going to be able to avoid and certainly give ground to gain ground in times with some extraordinary ability to run with speed to get outside and that kind of thing,’’ Caldwell said on Friday. “So, we’ll have to do a good job at containing him and do a good job of when we have an opportunity, get him on the ground.”
2. Hundley took over in the Oct. 15 game after Rodgers was carted off and threw three interceptions against one touchdown in the loss to the Vikings. The next game — after a full week of practice with the starters — Hundley was 12-25 for 87 yards and one interception in the loss to New Orleans.
3. Caldwell said there’s no blueprint for going up against an inexperienced quarterback like Hundley. “I think everybody has, you have to look at them and see what they do well, what they don’t do well, where you think your advantages are, and adjust your game plan accordingly,’’ Caldwell said. “This guy, he plays with a lot of poise — and I don’t anticipate — and he’s got a supporting cast.’’ It’s not like Hundley is the only guy on the Packers’ offense.
4.R Hundley is unlike Rodgers since he’s younger and more mobile. “I think you look at (Hundley) and you say he’s a very athletic young man, moves around well. He has good arm strength but I think the biggest thing is when Aaron Rodgers gets out of the pocket, his eyes are scanning down field all the time, like most of the times he runs when he absolutely has to,’’ Austin said. “This guy can take off, and he’ll take off maybe a little bit sooner, and he can really run and get down the field. So, that’s really going to be a big challenge for us.”
5. Matthew Stafford said for him it’s not a different feeling playing the Packers without Rodgers. “We’re going to their place. We’re playing in their house. We know it’s going to be a tough environment. They play well at home. I’m going up against their defense. No question that each game unfolds differently, and you got to kind of figure out how to play that game to give yourself the best chance to win it. But we’re playing against their defense,’’ Stafford said. “They’re a talented defense with a bunch of young guys in the secondary that are really physically talented, and guys up front that can get after the passer.”