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Lions vs. Packers Week 18 preview: What can Detroit accomplish in season finale?

Here’s what we’re going to be watching for in the Lions’ 2021 regular season finale.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions close out the inaugural season of Dan Campbell and company on Sunday against the division rival Green Bay Packers. To be quite honest, there is very little on the line for either team. The Packers say they want to stay fresh, but they have a first-round bye in the playoffs already wrapped up; it would be a surprise to see their starters on the field for all four quarters. The Lions have a top-two draft pick wrapped up. While they’re not about to try and tank their way to the top pick, it’s unlikely they would catch the Jaguars even if they tried.

But that doesn’t rule out interesting things Lions fans can watch for in the team’s 2021 season finale. It could be their final opportunity to evaluate Tim Boyle as a viable backup or build more confidence in Jared Goff and the improving offense. It’s the last chance for rookies like Levi Onwuzurike, Derrick Barnes and Ifeatu Melifonwu to get some valuable reps before next September. It’s also an opportunity for the Lions team to end the season on a higher note than last week’s blowout game.

On this week’s First Byte podcast, we forego a Packers writer guest and focus inward. Ryan Mathews and I go through the matchup and point out the things we’ll be watching for in the final game of the season. Which players have the most on the line? Who has a last chance to make a good impression on the coaching staff? Plus, we make some predictions for Sunday.

Listen here:

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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.