LIONS INSIDER

Despite slew of injuries, Packers have continued to win games

Posted Nov 15, 2012

The Lions have been hit with their fair share of injuries this year, especially in the secondary.

But try being a Packers fan.

The Packers have been without their best receiver in Greg Jennings virtually all season because of a groin injury.

Charles Woodson, one of their best players on defense, has missed the last two games with a broken collarbone.

Linebacker Clay Matthews injured a hamstring in a Week 9 win over Arizona and will not play Sunday at Ford Field. Matthews is fourth in the league with nine sacks.

They won’t have right tackle Bryan Bulaga, either. He’s been lost for the season with a hip injury that’s caused a domino effect along their offensive line that leaves them one injury away from having to start an undrafted rookie free agent.

Through it all, the Packers (6-3) have continued to win games and are on a four-game win streak heading into Sunday.

“I mean, you know, it’s part of the game,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said of the injuries.

“You don’t gain anything spending a whole lot of time talking about it. Our team understands that. We’ve unfortunately had to deal with it in the past so we do have experience in these situations. We’re just trying to get our guys ready to do what we need to do to win this football game.”

Matthews might be the biggest loss for the Packers on Sunday. The 3-4 zone blitzing scheme they run is a perfect fit for Matthews. The Packers have 28 sacks through nine games, second most in the NFL (Broncos, 31). They had 29 sacks all of last season.

Undrafted rookie Dezman Moses has played some snaps already this season and is most likely to replace Matthews, though third-year pro Frank Zombo came off the physically unable to perform list two weeks ago and could get some playing too, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette..

“They’ve always been a good interception team but they’ve gotten back to sacking the quarterback,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of the Packers. “A lot of that has been Clay Matthews, but sacks and tackles for losses, they run a 3-4 Pittsburgh-style zone blitz type scheme.

“They rely on making or creating negative plays and our offense’s ability to stay away from those - stay away from sacks, stay away from tackles for losses, interceptions, will be a big key to this game.”

And the Packers won’t have their best sack artist.

The Packers do have quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his 25 touchdowns to only five interceptions has helped the Packers overcome a lot of their injury woes.

They’re also getting key contributions from backup players.

Take second-year receiver Randall Cobb for example. Cobb has had an opportunity with Jennings being out and is the only player in NFL with 500-plus kick-return yards (556), 500-plus receiving yards (500), 200-plus punt return yards (211) and 50-plus rush (96) yards.

He also has five touchdown catches in his last three games.

“I mean, we feel you get to a point in the season where you identify who you are and it starts with your record," McCarthy said. "We’re a 6-3-football team that’s had some adversity whether it’s medically or some games probably got away from us. So you’ve got to learn from those situations and apply it.”