But instead of a back-and-forth battle between NFC North foes, TNF delivered a first-half rout for the Lions and a failed second-half comeback for the Packers.
Detroit walked away with a 34-20 victory. The Packers walked away with their egos and bodies bruised. Who was at fault?
Packers to blame for loss to Lions: No. 3 Quay Walker
It wouldn't be a 2023 game between the Lions and Packers without a stupid and impactful penalty from Quay Walker.
Let's turn back the clock: It's Jan. 8, 2023. The Packers are hosting the Lions at Lambeau Field in the regular-season finale. Walker shoves a member of the Detroit medical staff and is ejected. The penalty he draws gives the visitors first-and-goal, resulting in a touchdown.
Fastforward back to Sept. 28 to watch history repeat itself.
The Lions were forced to kick a field goal while trying to run down the clock on a Packers comeback. But their drive was extended because, who else, Walker committed a personal foul by leaping over the snapper. The visitors got a first-and-goal, resulting in a touchdown.
Walker is a talented young player, but he has to pay smarter than that if he wants to give his team the chance to win.
The worst part? The Lions' field goal would have just made a 10-point two-possession game into a 13-point two-possession game. Leaping over the snapper was incredibly silly.
Packers to blame for loss to Lions: No. 2 Offensive line
Quay Walker's blunder was frustrating, but in the long run the bigger barrier to a Packers victory was on offense. Green Bay's offensive line was terrible all night. Whatever hopes they had of pulling off a thrilling comeback were always going to be slim considering how badly they were beaten in the trenches.
Quarterback Jordan Love was sacked five times and hit 11 times. He was pressured even more often than that. The performance was a prime example of how you can't always blame the quarterback for a two-interception performance. He wasn't given the chance to make the plays he needed to make.
NFL's Next Gen Stats gives us the clearest indication of how wrong the night went for the Packers: Love was pressued on half of his dropbacks in the first half even though the Lions didn't send a single blitz. That's an unforgivable stat.
The Lions defensive front is formidable, but they had zero sacks against the Chiefs and just one against the Seahawks. It's not impossible to keep the quarterback's jersey somewhat clean against them.
The Packers were overrun in the trenches and with David Bakhtiari out for at least the next four weeks and maybe longer, they need to figure this out.
Packers to blame for loss to Lions: No. 1 DC Joe Barry
The Lions had 284 yards and 27 points in the first half. Regardless of what was going on on the other side of the ball, the defense put the Packers in a hole they were always going to struggle to get out of.
Just as the Green Bay offensive line was outplayed, the defensive line also lost the battle in the trenches. Per Next Gen Stats, 121 of the Lions' 211 rushing yards came before contact. That's an astounding figure. It's hard to imagine any team winning a game while allowing the opposing offense to do that to them.
So who is to blame? It's got to be defensive coordinator Joe Barry. After all, the 11 men on the field are trying to execute the game plan of their DC and clearly that gameplan was lacking.
That's not to say the Packers defenders are off the hook the way many of them were beaten as individuals, but Barry invited the Lions to run down his defense's throat and got burned. He played his corners off and got burned. He was outcoached at every turn.
You cannot give up 401 yards in the NFL and expect to win the game. You cannot give up 34 points in the NFL and expecct to win the game. And you can't expect to keep your job for too long with performances like that.