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5 things to watch: Lions vs. Packers

The Detroit Lions wrap up their 2019 season later today with a chance to play the role of spoiler. The Lions (3-11-1) host the 12-3 Green Bay Packers, who can clinch a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs with a victory and potentially the No. 1 overall seed.

Here are five things to watch out for today in the final game of the season for the Lions:


Last week in Denver we saw Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough share Detroit's backfield for the first time this season. Johnson rushed 10 times for 42 yards in his first game back from IR. Scarbrough rushed eight times for 34 yards. That amounted to a 4.2-yard-per-carry average for Johnson, while Scarbrough averaged 4.3 yards per carry. As a team, the Lions had an efficient afternoon running the football, rushing 21 times for 96 yards (4.6).

Green Bay ranks 23rd against the run, allowing on average 116.7 yards per game. Johnson and Scarbrough are also competing today for the Lions' rushing lead. Johnson has 350 rushing yards on the season. Scarbrough has 335.


It's been a breakout third season for wide receiver Kenny Golladay, the former third-round pick out of Northern Illinois. Golladay's been one of the real bright spots for the Lions this season, leading the team in receptions (62), yards (1,118) and touchdowns (11). His 11 touchdown grabs are currently the most in the NFL.

With 82 receiving yards today, Golladay would join Calvin Johnson and Herman Moore as the only players in franchise history to reach 1,200 receiving yards with at least 10 touchdowns in a single season. He would join Johnson as the only players to accomplish the feat in their first three seasons in the NFL.


It hasn't been all bad for Detroit's 29th ranked defense this season.

Defensive end Trey Flowers was a big acquisition for them this offseason, and he's played pretty well over the last couple months of the season. Since Week 8, Flowers' 16 quarterback hits are second most in the NFL behind only Joey Bosa (17).

Flowers needs just 1.0 sack today to record a new season high of 8.0. He needs one tackle for loss to match his season high of nine from last season.

Flowers has 50 tackles, 7.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games on the year. He and J.J. Watt are the only players in the NFL with that stat line since the start of 2018.


David Blough is expected to start his fifth straight game at quarterback for the Lions today. It's unclear if we'll see backup Kyle Sloter in any capacity.

For Blough, it's his last opportunity to win a game as the starter and head to the 2020 offseason on a good note. He's 0-4 filling in for Jeff Driskel (IR, hamstring), who was 0-3 filling in for Matthew Stafford (IR, back). That makes Lions quarterbacks other than Stafford 0-for-7 on the year.

Driskel is a free agent this offseason, but Blough and Sloter are under contract next year. Lions general manager Bob Quinn will likely be on the lookout to bolster the quarterback position this offseason, either through free agency or the draft. Can Blough make a case in his last start to be a candidate for a backup role next season?


Detroit's defense enters today's game last in the NFL against the pass, allowing on average 282.6 yards per game. The 31 passing touchdowns they've given up are the fourth most in the NFL, and they rank second worst in 20-plus-yard passes allowed (67) and eighth worst in 40-plus passes allowed (10).

Green Bay's passing offense hasn't been as dominant as we've seen in years past, they rank just 19th, but Aaron Rodgers has always seemed to find a way to make plays against the Lions.

Detroit's defense has struggled with consistency all year and has one more opportunity to rise up, play well and spoil the day of a division foe. Does this defense come out fighting, or will Rodgers and Co. have their way?

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