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Lions vs. Packers quick thoughts: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 17 win.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

This one was for the hail mary. This one was for all the Week 17 heartbreakers. This game that meant absolutely nothing is for all the Packers fan out there that rode Lions fans for years. The Lions just went to Lambeau Field and embarrassed the Packers in beautiful fashion. 31-0. This was the payback until a much better payback later.

Thank god it’s over

I’m not saying thank god the game is over for the sake of Packers fans whose faces are melting off like Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I mean thank god this season is over. Despite the awesome finish, this has been just horrible all year long.

Now it’s time to really get to work. This game didn’t save anyone’s jobs. I would continue to fully expect the Lions to fire Jim Bob Cooter on Monday, and he might not be alone. After that, it’s the annual Bob Quinn press conference, free agency and then the draft. Then we’ll do it all over again.

Give it up for the young guys

The Lions have been pretty neutered since trading Golden Tate and losing Marvin Jones and Kerryon Johnson to injuries. So, naturally, when the Lions announced that Kenny Golladay wouldn’t play against the Packers, there was reason to believe this was going to be a very bad game for the Lions offensively.

But it wasn’t. Zach Zenner looked good again. He ran for 93 yards and a touchdown, Brandon Powell caught six passes for 103 yards, Andy Jones caught six passes too and TJ Jones caught two touchdowns passes. Everyone stepped up. It’s just a shame it happened so late in the year. But it also has to be expected against the Packers, because they’re really bad.

Matt Prater QB1

This play makes me happy, but it also upsets me for a couple reasons. The first is that the Lions waited until Week 17 to pull out the trick plays. They were still in the playoff hunt three weeks ago and could have used something like this.

The other is that when the Eagles or someone else does it in the playoffs, the Lions won’t get the credit for doing it first. “Philly Special” 2.0 coming up.

The Lions defense is going to be great in 2019

The Lions have been losing games, but the Lions defense has been a bright spot since the offense dove off a cliff. It has to make you wonder how good this defense would be if they had a pass rusher, a secondary and a few other things. The Lions have the ability to add all of that in the offseason if they have a much better offseason than they did last summer.

This shutout, although against a bad team, really has to give Lions fans a lot of hope for the future.

It’s time to say goodbye

Glover Quin has yet to confirm that he’ll be retiring or not, but he’s been doing a lot of things lately that would suggest he’s walking away from the game or will be moving on from Detroit in 2019. I just want to say thank you to Glover for being a consummate professional during his time in Detroit. He’ll be missed by all Lions fans.

Until next year...

This is the last What Just Happened of the year. I truly enjoy writing these pieces, and I always enjoy talking with Lions fans—even the annoying ones. Stick around though, guys. We’ll have a ton of stuff for you during the offseason. Until then, let me leave you with this knowledge. Sometimes times are tough. Sometimes you might think you can’t get by and you just want to quit. In those times, it’s important to remember that there is absolutely no parking on the dance floor.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.