Here we are, Detroit Lions fans. The final bow of the 2021 season. One last Lions game and then it’s mock drafts and “what if the Lions signed this guy?” season until we can get back to football in Detroit in the summertime. I never thought I would say it, but I wish it wasn’t over. It’s a little bit insane that I’m here wishing a two-win season would go a little longer, but here we are.
The Lions will play the Packers at home this Sunday in the last game of the season for the sixth time in 10 years. The Packers are familiar opponents no doubt, but there a ton of questions surrounding the Packers immediate and long-term future right after this game. The top question is wondering if this is the last time Aaron Rodgers goes against the Lions as a member of the Packers?
1. Do you expect the Packers to rest their starters?
“I think we’ll see the Packers’ starters spend a lot of time on the sideline, but I expect Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and a few of the other notable players to get some time. Rodgers and Adams were both vocal about their desire to play, and Matt LaFleur seemed supportive of the idea, so that’s the direction this will probably go. Plus, Adams is just 22 yards from breaking the franchise record for receiving yards in a season, so I have to imagine that plays a small part in their desire to be on the field.”
2. What’s the Packers ceiling in the playoff?
“The ceiling is winning the whole thing. I don’t think that should be a surprise to anybody. But I think the floor is a divisional-round upset. The Packers have struggled with two big things on defense this year: power running teams and tight ends. As it so happens, there are a number of teams in the NFC that excel at those very things. If the right team catches the Packers on the right day, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an early exit, especially if the Packers start slow, as they so often do.”
3. Will this be Aaron Rodgers last regular season game as a Packer?
“I lean no, but honestly, nobody has any idea. I don’t truly think Rodgers himself knows. It makes the most sense for him to figure out a way to be happy staying in Green Bay; the Packers are committed to keeping Davante Adams, they have other pieces in place around him, and he’s very conscious of the legacy he leaves behind, especially since he had a front row seat to the ignominious end of the Favre era. I think all those add up to him staying, but nothing would surprise me.”
4. How much, if at all, has Jordan Love improved?
“Your guess is as good as mine. In his one start, he was basically as advertised: the arm talent was evident on some throws, but so were the accuracy problems and bad footwork that pushed him to the bottom of the first round. Given how aggressive Kansas City was with their blitz, it was hard to get a true read on what he was capable of, but that’s kind of the problem, too. If he can’t handle consistent NFL-level pressure, how good can he be? My overall read is that he’s made some strides, but still has a long way to go.”
5. Who’s winning this thing?
“No matter what the scoreboard says, it’s a win for the Packers if they get out of this game healthy. I think they probably still have an edge, but it’ll be close. Give me the Packers taking home the Week 18 win, 24-20.”