Game between Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions can be a theatrical experience

Steve Brownlee

Normally I don’t advertise in this space. But when a business is doing us Packers and Lions fans a favor, hey, I’m happy to.

So the Thomas Theatre Group of Marquette is going to show tonight’s Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers game on one of their big screens. Like really big screens. And it’s free!

Technically the theater complex that opened nearly a decade ago is in Marquette Township at 1525 Commerce Drive, near the Marq-Tran-Greyhound bus station and Community Action Alger-Marquette agency, and maybe a half-mile off U.S. 41 north of the Westwood Mall.

I’ve heard a little bit that some bars and/or restaurants will also show the game, but Thomas Theatre is the only one I heard any details about this week.

All of this is important to us fans of our two local NFL teams because the game won’t be broadcast on “free” TV — not the real free over-the-air TV or even on our Spectrum cable systems.

Instead, as all Thursday games after the first week of the season are, this is only available on Amazon Prime TV. That’s something you have to subscribe to and I think you probably have to access over the Internet.

Either way, it’s not something I want to do, either for the hassle or expense.

While the game starts at 8:15 p.m., Thomas Theatres says on its Facebook page that its doors will open at 7 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-serve. One person — who I don’t know how well connected they are — said he heard they’d open a second screen if the first one fills. That’s only a rumor, though.

While there’s no admission charge, the theater will undoubtedly make their money off concessions, though the Facebook page also mentions “running in-house concessions specials (which involve alcoholic beverages for those over 21).”

Unfortunately, you won’t see me there as I have my sports page deadline that keeps me here at The Mining Journal almost always for the whole of any and all prime-time sporting events.

However, this week I think I’m going to watch the usual replay of this game at around midnight, not long after the game ends, on the NFL Network. Actually, a look online at the NFL Network schedule shows replays at 12:15 a.m. tonight — technically Friday morning — and immediately after at 3:15 a.m., then at 3 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and finally at 6 a.m. Sunday.

Well, I can’t say I’ll definitely watch late night tonight, especially because I’m pretty sure I’ll know the game’s outcome. Let’s just say I’ll start watching it and see if Mr. Sandman carries me away to slumberland.

I’m guessing this showing at the theater is a one-time occurrence because of it being the Packers and Lions, even though our Detroit team may be blacked out from local cable TV viewers up to another half-dozen times this season.

If I hear more on that front, I’ll pass it on in this column space.

Now onto this week’s games:


Thursday, 8:15 p.m.

Detroit at Green Bay — This game is close enough that I went to the Internet to check on injury reports for each team. I don’t think the revenge factor for the Packers after Detroit beat them at the end of last season should factor much as there’s been lots of turnover in Green Bay since, particularly at quarterback.

Injury-wise, what I’m seeing is Packer linemen David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, safety Zayne Anderson and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell didn’t practice Tuesday, with another half-dozen players limited at practice.

However, it’s sounding better — though not certain — about the return of running back Aaron Jones and receiver Christian Watson.

The Lions’ did-not-practice list includes fullback Jason Cabinda (they have a fullback?) and linemen Matt Nelson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. I’m assuming the last guy is Finnish since he has a double-A in his first name. OK, well maybe not.

A slight edge to Detroit. Thinking about these teams so far, they’ve been rather up and down, the Packers within games and the Lions from week to week.

Finally, on the “reverse momentum” theory I give the edge again to Detroit as they won fairly handily last week while the Pack pulled off a huge comeback after trailing 17-0 to start the fourth quarter. That’s bad in the reverse momentum world. So I’ll take the Lions, 27-24.


Sunday, 9:30 a.m.

Atlanta at Jacksonville — The NFL’s first game of the season on the other side of the pond — this one at Wembley Stadium in London. This is truly a Jaguars home game as I remember hearing last year that Jacksonville has played more games in London that the next three or four or five teams combined. And they’ve won there even when they were at their worst and couldn’t win at their Florida home. Good enough for me. Jaguars, 30-25.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Miami at Buffalo — So would a 60-point output be a letdown for the Dolphins after last weekend’s 70-20 thumping of Denver? While 700-plus yards of offense sure sounds impressive, I think the key for Miami was getting lots of big turnovers that either were turned into touchdowns directly or at least into short fields. That seems like a bit of a fluke, but enough for me to take the Dolphins, 34-29.


Minnesota at Carolina — There’s a lot of reverse momentum as half of the league’s 0-3 teams are meeting here. Remember the old saw about the “immovable object meets the irresistible force” for high-quality defenses and offenses clashing? Well, this will be the Vikings’ movable defense and Carolina’s resistible offense. Even if QB Bryce Young is out, and that’s in question, I have to take the team with a decent defense. Panthers, 24-20.


Denver at Chicago — Wow, the stinkers just keep coming. The good thing is that these four teams (including Vikings-Panthers) are playing each other and not good teams, meaning four fewer lopsided matchups. Based on the Bears’ worst-ranked defense in the entire league, I’ll take the Broncos, 27-23.


Baltimore at Cleveland — The Ravens are already a M*A*S*H unit (do I need the asterisks if I’m not talking about the movie or TV series?) and while top running back Nick Chubb’s season-ending injury hurts Cleveland, I’ll take the Browns, 20-16.


Pittsburgh at Houston — The Texans are the surprise team of the AFC, even at a modest 1-2, as they’ve been competitive each week. Pittsburgh is 2-1 but has been outscored by 14 points. To me that means they know how to win close games. Steelers, 19-17.


Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis — Reverse momentum would favor the Rams, but I don’t like the circumstances for this L.A. team — on the road, coming off a short week and playing a game that starts at 10 a.m. their local (Pacific) time. Colts, 26-21.


Tampa Bay at New Orleans — Baker Mayfield and the entire Bucs team committed their first turnover of the season on Monday against Philly — I think it was a blueberry turnover — and lost. New Orleans has a good enough defense to force at least a few more of those baked treats. Saints, 29-24.


Washington at Philadelphia — The Eagles hae been winning, though rather ugly, while the Commanders are another surprise team at 2-1. But I like Philly’s versatility, especially at home and against a division opponent. Eagles, 31-24.


Cincinnati at Tennessee — Cincy showed some moxie with an injured QB Joe Burrow getting them through for the win vs. the Rams on Monday night. But like the Rams’ matchup with Indy, we have a road team coming off a short week — and it doesn’t seem that Burrow should get better this fast. Titans, 27-26.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Las Vegas at Los Angeles Chargers — I think the Chargers have met their match. But that’s a good thing as I’m talking about how this L.A. team knows how to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory. The Raiders seem to have their own corner of that market. Plus, the Chargers aren’t bad enough to be in the running for the first overall draft pick, so they’ve got to win sometime. No time like the present. Chargers, 35-33.


New England at Dallas — Bad timing for Bill Belichick and his no-frills offense. Dallas was embarrassed last week vs. Arizona, so that talented defense should be ready to put on another fireworks display. Cowboys, 37-12.


Arizona at San Francisco — On the opposite side of that Cowboys’ loss is Arizona, which should feel like it already has accomplished all of its season goals in Week 3. At least they might feel that way this week. 49ers, 29-16.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Kansas City at New York Jets — No, the Jets don’t have the kind of defense that Chicago has and that the Chiefs took advantage of last week to score 41 points. But this New York team does have just as bad an offense as the Bears, which might start making some think that the KC “D” is holding up Patrick Mahomes. Isn’t that rich? Chiefs, 35-19.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Seattle at New York Giants — Seattle’s win at Detroit was so, so, so much more impressive than the Giants’ lone victory, the big comeback they had to pull off to edge past Arizona. We won’t even bring up New York’s other two games. Seahawks, 38-23.


Last week — 10-6, 63 percent. Season — 29-19, 60 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 552. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today