Once upon a time in Las Vegas
With the NFL season returning to some semblance of normalcy, the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will battle it out in the final Sunday night game of the regular season in a game fraught with playoff implications. The Lions 8-8 will need help earlier in the day for this game to matter. A Seahawks loss will make this game a Lions win. For Green Bay, also 8-8, the math is much simpler: One win and they’re in the playoffs. Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 8:20 pm EST.
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no more shoving
After losing six of their first seven games, the Lions seemed to be the same goofy Lions as ever this season. Instead of packing things up, though, Dan Campbell’s team regrouped and won seven of their last nine games to put the team in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Lions have been led by an offensive which has featured the resurgence of quarterback Jarod Goff, a two-headed monster as a running back and an almost nameless receiving group that has torn the league apart. Last Sunday, the Lions closed out their home schedule with a 41-10 win over the Bears. Goff led the way with three touchdowns, including two to tight end Brock Wright. The running duo of Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift was dominant, with Williams rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown and Swift adding 78 yards and a score. Amon-Ra St. Brown led the receiving group with four catches for 62 yards.
“It’s where we want to be, playing in the last game of the season means something,” said Goff, who completed 21 of 29 passes for 255 yards and didn’t throw an interception for the eighth straight game.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 6, 2023
The Lions will need to perform in the tough conditions in Green Bay on Sunday, but they have a good running and passing combination that could get the job done. Detroit ranks fifth in scoring offense in the NFL this season. They have the running offense ranked 11th in the NFL and the passing offense ranked eighth. The Lions have been prominent in the red zone, ranked fourth in the league. The Lions have protected the ball well this season, ranking sixth in the league in turnover differential. On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions rank 29th in scoring defense. They also rank 29th against the run and 30th against the pass. However, the Lions have allowed an average of just 189 passing yards per game over the past three games. Defensively in the red zone, the Lions are ranked 27th.
Key injuries: C Frank Ragnow is listed as questionable, but I’d expect him to go Sunday night, while the Lions can get CB Chase Lewis (hamstring) back off injured reserve.
the package is back
The Packers’ season appeared to be over, barring the formalities after losing 40-33 in Philadelphia to fall to 4-8 on the season. There were even calls to sit out quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the rest of the season so the team could get a good look at backup Jordan Love. Rodgers insisted at the time that he would remain in the lineup as long as the Packers were mathematically alive for the playoffs. Don’t look now, but the Pack is 8-8 and needs a win over the Lions to earn another playoff trip. Last week, the Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 41-17 to put themselves in this position. Rodgers threw for a touchdown and ran for one as the Packers’ defense completely stifled Minnesota’s powerful offense. Darnell Savage had a pick-six and the Packers beat the Vikings four times on the day.
“I still believe in myself and felt like sometimes it only takes one,” said Rodgers, who was 15 of 24 passing for 159 yards. “It’s weird, but when we were sitting at 3-6 and looking at the next three, at the time Tennessee was playing very well, obviously the Cowboys were playing well and Philly was No. 1 in the league.
“I felt like if we get one of those, we can win the last five, and 9-8 was going to go in. I didn’t really go around saying that because you don’t really want to say, ‘Hey. , if we get just one of these three, you know, maybe we can make the playoffs. But in my head, that’s what I was thinking.”
As we prepare for another high-stakes regular-season finale against the Lions…
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 6, 2023
On the cusp of the playoffs, Green Bay will need both sides of the ball to take on the mighty Lions. The Packers currently rank 14th in scoring offense as they have been steadily moving up through the season. They have their running offense ranked 13th and their passing offense ranked 17th. The Packers’ offense hasn’t been efficient in the red zone, ranking just 23rd in the NFL. The Packers rank 17th in scoring defense this season. Green Bay ranks 26th in rushing defense, but has allowed just 85 yards per rushing game in the last three games. The Packers have been excellent against the pass, ranking fourth in the league. The team is in the middle of the pack in red zone defense, ranking 15th in the NFL. Green Bay, like Detroit, has been the football guard with the turnover differential at eighth.
Key injuries: WR Christian Watson and RB Aaron Jones were limited this week, but should be ready to play Sunday night.
The best bets for this game
Full Game Side Bet
I have great respect for Campbell’s ability to motivate his team and appreciate the run they’ve had to get back into playoff contention. However, there are two big issues at play here. The distinct possibility of a Seahawks win earlier in the day would certainly sink the Lions’ sails for sure. Second, I don’t have much confidence in Jarod Goff playing in front of a hostile crowd on the road in what will undoubtedly be less than ideal conditions. The Packers should be able to contain the Lions’ running game, based on the numbers they’ve put up over the past three games, forcing Goff to beat them. Goff has come a long way this season, but I don’t think he can beat the fourth-ranked Packers’ pass defense, sub-zero conditions, and possibly the real possibility that the Lions have already been blown out. . Rodgers and the Packers can hit the ball against the defense against the suspected Lions run to set up the pass. This will be a Packers party on Sunday night.
Take Green Bay -4.5
Prediction: Bahía Verde -4.5
Full Game Full Selection
The inclination would be to go over the top with the high-powered Lions offense involved, but this one should go under. The Packers have been great against the pass all season and have held the opposition to just 85 rushing yards per game over the past three games. Conditions will play a factor with freezing temperatures forecast in Green Bay and the ever-real threat of snow. The Packers have the type of running game that can chew up the clock and control time of possession. Expect this one to score low, albeit largely in Green Bay’s favour.
Take the bass.
Prediction: less than 49.5
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