Attaining goal #1 for the Packers is easy, beat the Detroit Lions. Goal #2 will require some assistance from the Seattle Seahawks. Last week we cheered for the Arizona Cardinals to upset the Seahawks, and our wish was granted by an unlikely hero, ex-Packer and ex-Seahawk QB Brett Hundley. Hundley entered the game versus Seattle after starting QB Kyler Murray suffered an injury and preserved the upset. Tonight however, we must become Seahawk fans and cheer for them to defeat the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks previously defeated the 49ers at Santa Clara earlier this season 27-24, on November 11.
This Week 17 matchup between the Matt Patricia led Lions vs Matt LaFleur’s Packers is the 181st meeting between the two clubs. The Packers hold the edge in the rivalry 101-72 with 7 ties. During a Week 6 matchup on MNF, the Packers defeated the Lions at Lambeau, snapping a 4 game losing streak to the Lions, with a narrow 23-22 victory. Much has changed since then for each team. The Packers arrow continually moved upward, while with a season ending injury to QB Matt Stafford, the Lions arrow has spiraled down. The Packers record is 12-3, while the Lions record is 3-11-1. The Packers are ranked 3rd in TO margin, 3rd in Red Zone Offense, 4th in Red Zone Defense and 9th in Points Allowed, the Lions highest ranking is 15th in Red Zone Offense.
Packer’s Head Coach Matt LaFleur said he took the approach this week as if this was a playoff game. He wanted to keep the team focused, while allowing them time with their families during the holiday week. Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine, whom I believe coached his best game of the season against Minnesota, said he was taking those positive points and carrying them forward to this week. I do not see a let down coming from the Packers, they understand what’s at stake. Lions Coach Matt Patricia will have his team prepared, playing for pride and ready to defend their home turf against a division rival. I just don’t believe the Lions have enough weapons or depth to defeat the Packers.
Packers’ RB Jamaal is listed as “Out” for the game with a shoulder injury he sustained versus the Vikings. Most likely the Packers’ run game will rest with RB Aaron Jones and FB Danny Vitale. We might see LaFleur leaning on his passing game more this week to evaluate which of the young WR’s will see increased playing time during the playoffs. I see the Packers shining in this game, allowing some starters to rest in the 4th quarter and win going away 35-10. There will be no Rodgers to Rodgers “Miracle in Motown Hail Mary” needed in this one to secure a victory.
As Always Go Pack Go!
PackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter