The Detroit Lions will travel to Lambeau Field on Monday night to take on the Green Bay Packers in what is shaping up to be a key NFC North matchup. While the Lions have not had much success at all versus the Packers during the Matt Stafford era, this is a game that Detroit absolutely cannot lose if they have aspirations of winning the division and making the postseason. Yes, this Week 9 regular season game is that important, and here is why.

No Aaron Rodgers, no worries?

Every game in the NFL is a tough battle, no matter what Las Vegas oddsmakers set the point spread at.

Obviously, if every team that was favored to win each game actually won, then why would people ever have to work? Everyone could simply gamble for a living! Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. While no game is a give me by any means, Detroit will not have to face one of their biggest arch-nemesis when they face the Packers this evening in Aaron Rodgers. Rogers has owned the Detroit Lions during his time as the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

The All-Pro Packers QB has compiled a 13-3 record against the Lions throughout his career beating them in almost any way imaginable, including an untimed down hail mary at Ford Field back on December 3, 2015. Oh by the way, just like tonight’s game, that was also a nationally televised game as well.

Stafford, offense must take control

So Aaron Rodgers is out, and Brett Hundley is in. The kid looks like he has a future in this league. He is big, strong and far from green when it comes to winning at the high school and college levels, but he is inexperienced, and Detroit has to take advantage of that by controlling the ball when they have possession and confusing him when they are on defense.

Ameer Abdullah, Golden Tate and Matt Stafford are going to have to score touchdowns in the red zone, not field goals. Stafford threw for over 400 yards against Pittsburgh last week, yet the Lions never hit paydirt. That won't work tonight against a tough Green Bay defense.

Both teams are playing well on defense so far in 2017.

The Lions currently rank fifth in the league overall for net yard defense, while the Packers are right behind them at No. 6.

For some reason for Detroit, the mystique of Lambeau Field is real. They just can't win there. If the Lions are a playoff caliber team, they must win tonight, period. Stafford cannot be outdueled by a rookie making his third career start.

A loss tonight would put Detroit at 3-5 on the season, and move them into a tie for last place in the NFC North - three full games behind the first place Minnesota Vikings.

How to watch live

Fans can catch every play of tonight's Lions vs Packers matchup nationally on ESPN. The game will also stream live online through Watch ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET. Las Vegas oddsmakers have the Lions listed as a 2.5 point favorite, with the over/under point total set at 43.