Let the stretch run begin. The Packers return from the bye and dive headlong into the NFC North with five of their last seven games coming against division rivals beginning with the Detroit Lions Sunday at Ford Field. It would be easy to ponder what life might be like with stars like these on any team's lineup. On offense, Greg Jennings at receiver, Bryan Bulaga at tackle and Cedric Benson in the backfield. Over on defense, Clay Matthews coming after quarterbacks, Charles Woodson at safety, Desmond Bishop, D.J. Smith and number one pick Nick Perry at linebacker. That's quite a collection of talented players who can only watch. At least Jennings, Benson, Matthews and Woodson are expected back sometime in December. The task at hand is the contentious and inconsistent Lions at 4-5. Looking nowhere near their playoff form of a season ago, it's desperation time in the Motor City, another loss would force them to run the table to just have a shot at returning to the post-season. It's not like they don't have the horses, be it Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson on offense or Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril on defense. They have been a notriously slow starting team in games this year but may be the most furious finishers, scoring 118 of their 216 points in the 4th quarter. Johnson has played through a nagging knee injury but Megatron has still put up 60 catches for a league leading 974 yards but he's only found the end zone twice after scoring 16 TD's last season. Detroit throws the ball more than any team in the league, averaging over 44 attempts a game. They seem to love being one dimensional although Mikel Leshoure has gained over 400 yards on the ground. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew and young Titus Young offer alternative targets for Stafford who works behind a veteran offensive line. Dominic Raiola and Jeff Backus are both 12 year guys. With Matthews out, Dezmon Moses will get the start but expect to see Frank Zombo make his season debut. Keeping Leshoure in check will allow Dom Capers to get crazy with pressure packages to give Stafford little time to find Calvin. On offense, job one for the Pack is to protect Aaron Rodgers. Detroit's front four is a nasty lot, beyond Suh's penchant for attracting yellow flags. His behavior has been better this year, but not neccessarily his play. Still, the deep D-line can be very disruptive. Watch for Rodgers to get the ball out quickly to his outside playmakers like James Jones, Randall Cobb and for the first time in a couple of weeks, Jordy Nelson. Green Bay receivers have riddled the patched up Lion secondary for years, I'm expecting more of the same. Justin Durant is turning into a very nice linebacker for Detroit, keep an eye on him. Green Bay has dominated this series, having won 20 of the last 23 meetings dating back to 2000. All three of those wins for the Lions have come in Detroit, Thanksgiving in 2003, the season opener in 2005, and two years ago when Rodgers got knocked out of the game with a concussion, Mike McCarthy's only loss to Detroit since he got here. Will that beat go on? It won't be easy with a problematic number of second teamers playing, but I'll reluctantly pick the Pack 24-20. On the link below, quotes from the coach and the boys about the showdown in Motown.