The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will close out the 2022 NFL regular season, as the NFL announced on Monday that they’ve been flexed to the “Sunday Night Football” game.
The Lions are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, having won seven of their last nine games. But they lost their opportunity to be in the driver’s seat for the final Wild Card spot when they lost to the Carolina Panthers in Week 16. The Packers capitalized on that opportunity by winning four in a row, and now Green Bay is in control of their own destiny.
The Lions may not have anything to play for on Sunday night, as they will need the Seattle Seahawks to either lose or tie to the Los Angeles Rams prior to kickoff for Detroit’s playoffs hopes to remain. But now they will know before their game begins, as the Seahawks and Rams kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET.
“I can’t worry about that. We can’t worry about it,” Campbell said. “For us, it’s got to be a win, win either way. Either we’re playing to get in or we’re playing to be spoiler and that’s it. So, either way we (have to) win.”
Back in Week 9, the Lions defeated the Packers in a narrow 15-9 victory in Detroit. But Campbell acknowledged that this is a different Green Bay team than the one they faced a couple months ago.
“This is a better football team than we played the first time,” Campbell said. “And so, you’ve got Aaron Rodgers who’s – we all know, I mean he’s one of the best, man. One of the best to ever play the game and whenever you’ve got that at the quarterback position with that running back and the offensive line. And they’ve got some young receivers that are coming on, so it’s potent man. But I think more than anything to get where they’re at, they are. All three phases are clicking together and they’re all just kind of boosting each other up and that’s why they’re a dangerous team right now.”
But Detroit is also a very different team than they were back then. Detroit went into that game as a 1-6 team, and they’ve since improved on both sides of the ball. They’re healthier at the receiver position, which has led to one of Jared Goff’s best two-month stretches of his career. The defense has finally clicked, improving in just about every aspect of the game.
Regardless of what’s at stake, the Lions will be treating this like a playoff game.
“This is big, and it’s going to be fun, and let’s go,” Campbell said. “I mean the intensity is up, now. This is a playoff game, and they’re going to know that. And so that’s how we’re going into it.”
The game will kick off at 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, January 8, and will be televised nationally on NBC.