Skip to main content

O'HARA'S WEEK 17 CHECKLIST: Lions vs. Packers

The Detroit Lions can play spoilers and block what the Green Bay Packers want to accomplish, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is acutely aware of it.

Rodgers looked ahead to Sunday's season-ending game at Ford Field after the Packers had celebrated clinching the NFC North title in Monday night's win over the Minnesota Vikings.

"There's really nothing like checking that first box on the goal list," Rodgers said in his postgame press conference. "To win your division secures a home playoff game.

"Now we're playing for even more coming up next week."

With a win over the Lions the Packers can clinch a first-round bye and begin the playoffs at home in the division round.

The incentive for the Lions is to win, period, no matter what's at stake for the Packers.

View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.

The Lions have been carrying a weight from an eight-game losing streak that has gotten heavier by the week. So be it if the spoiler role is all that is left in a season that began with high hopes when they had a 2-0-1 record after three games.

"Every game I play in, I want to win," said linebacker Devon Kennard. "There's only one left. Green Bay's had a great year, but the loss we took (23-22 in Week 6) that one still stings.

"I think about it. Being able to beat them would be a good thing for us. It would make this year feel a little better – at least walking out of here at the end of the week.

"So, yeah ... I'm looking forward to it."

Series history: The Packers have a 99-72 lead with seven ties in the regular season. They are 2-0 in the postseason. The Lions' four-game winning streak over the Packers was broken by a 23-22 loss at Lambeau Field in the first meeting in Week 6.

2019 Game I rewind: Controversial penalties against the Lions contributed heavily to the Packers' rally from a 22-13 deficit with 12:17 left to win the game on a field goal as time expired.

Lions, rematch reduction: Five starters on offense and three on defense who played in the Lions-Packers game in Week 6 are on injured reserve. Offense: QB Matthew Stafford, WR Marvin Jones Jr., TE T.J. Hockenson, G Joe Dahl, FB Nick Bawden. Defense: LB Jarrad Davis, LB Jahlani Tavai, LB Christian Jones. Among others on injured reserve is backup WR Marvin Hall, who had a 58-yard catch in the first game.

Packers, rematch addition: Wide receiver Davante Adams missed the first Lions-Packers game because of a toe injury. He had 10 catches for 180 yards in the previous game against the Eagles. Adams missed four games in all. Adams leads the Packers with 76 catches for 904 yards and four TDs in 11 games.

Rodgers, role change: Rodgers' statistics have declined in most areas compared to other seasons when he has played all 16 games, but it isn't something he is complaining about.

"I've always tried to do what the team needed," Rodgers said after the win over the Vikings. "There have been times over the years when I needed to do some of those things I've done over the years. This year is different, based on the personnel we have and the scheme we're running.

"We've got a pretty good running game going. We really run the ball well."

Aaron Jones leads the Packers with 984 yards and a league-high 16 rushing TDs. Jamaal Williams has 460 yards. He had 14 carries for 104 yards in the first game against the Lions.

The Packers were 7-9 and 6-9-1 the last two seasons. Long-time head coach Mike McCarthy was fired midway through last season.

Rodgers, who had clashed in recent seasons with McCarthy, has enjoyed his first season under new head coach Matt LaFleur.

"He brought in his own style and his own guys," Rodgers said. "People bought in. He needed the leadership to believe in him and spread that message to the squad. He did a good job of selling the vision and allowing the players to be themselves."

Related Content