This week’s unsung hero is a little bit unusual in two ways. First of all, it has nothing to do with this past week’s game against the Denver Broncos—the Lions suck and I’m not going to torment you all with another special teams/Sam Martin appreciation post. Secondly, this has little to do with anyone on the Lions performing well. This time, it’s an appreciation of the league’s scheduling office putting the Lions in prime position to get pummeled in Week 17. This year, that’s a good thing.
Unsung hero of the week: the NFL’s scheduling office
The Lions aren’t often good. When they are, they inevitably have a brutal Week 17 matchup against the Green Bay Packers for the division title which they inevitably lose. This year, that matchup is a blessing.
The Lions are in a tight race this year, but for a high draft pick rather than the divisional crown. With a top-heavy NFC, the Packers are still trying to lock up the #1 seed in the NFC playoff race, which means they can’t rest their starters on Sunday when they travel to Detroit.
What does that mean for the Lions? In short, that they’re getting pummeled. Taking a closer look at this year’s Packers team makes things even more certain. Aaron Rodgers has been pretty bad, as evidenced Sunday against the Vikings. It certainly isn’t Matt LaFleur magic that has carried them to twelve wins thus far. Instead, it’s Mike Pettine’s defense.
In short, it means David Blough is going to get thrown around like a ragdoll in the pocket and Kenny Golladay, the team’s only viable receiver over six feet, is going to get all the attention of serviceable defensive backs while every other receiver the Lions have signed off the street is blanketed.
Assuming all goes as planned, Washington is the only thing standing between the Lions and the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.