Starter Pack: Predictions are in

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

This might be the one of the best teams the Detroit Lions have brought to Wisconsin during their 22-game losing streak in this state.

The Lions, at 3-1, already have NFC North wins against the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.

But our ESPN panel of experts apparently isn’t sold on them yet.

Not one of them picked the Lions to beat the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

You can read a breakdown of the matchup with Lions reporter Michael Rothstein and me in our “Double Coverage” segment, where we also make our game predictions.

Speaking of Mr. Rothstein and the streak, here is his latest installment in a look at some of the close calls during the 22-game run: the 2004 game in which the Lions led for all but two seconds of the game, when Ryan Longwell kicked the game-winning field goal on a windy, wet December day.


  • In our ESPN.com coverage, linebacker Clay Matthews has dealt with hamstring injuries his entire career, but at least now he’s being smarter about it, which might limit how much time he has to miss. Matthews expects to play Sunday against the Lions, although he admitted he probably could not have played last week had the Packers not had their bye. In our daily Injury Report, there is news of progress for injured cornerback Casey Hayward, and finally Packers running backs coach Alex Van Pelt, who was former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman’s position coach in 2010 and 2011, believes Freeman can be a starter again in the NFL despite the bad ending in Tampa.

  • At ESPNMilwaukee.com, Jason Wilde noted that an old -- if unhealthy -- tradition has returned to the locker room, where the defensive linemen partake in a feast of fried chicken every Wednesday or at least until someone from the Packers’ nutrition staff talks some sense into them.

  • In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Mike Vandermause’s column says any talk of this being a must-win game for the Packers is premature.

  • In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tyler Dunne checked in on the progress of backup quarterback Seneca Wallace.