(14-1) - vs. Lions on Jan. 1 - beat Bears at home, 35-21
Only one team remains on the Detroit Lions schedule: the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. They are fresh off of a win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night that allowed them to wrap up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Considering that homefield is clinched and 16-0 is not on the line, the question has to be asked: How much will the Packers' starters play next Sunday against the Detroit Lions?
On the one hand, the Packers probably don't want to keep everybody important off the field for an entire game since they do have a first-round bye. If the starters sit, they will go three weeks in between appearing in games. Sure, it's important to prevent injuries in a game that has no effect on where the Packers are in the standings or the record books, for that matter, but rust could be an issue in the playoffs with a three-week break in between appearances.
The other side of the coin is that you don't want Aaron Rodgers getting banged up against the Lions in a game that won't change anything in terms of seeding for the Packers. I'm sure the Packers don't want to concede a game and their home winning streak against the Lions, but if Rodgers played and got hurt, Mike McCarthy would never hear the end of it.
I really don't know what Green Bay will do in Week 17. Some have said that the Packers starters will play a quarter or two before making their exit. Others think they should treat Sunday like a normal game, but that can't be easy to do with everything wrapped up for the playoffs. If you were in McCarthy's shoes, what would you do?