The final game of the regular season is upon us. For our beloved Lions, it’s simple. Simply beat the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field, and you win the division. Lose to the Pack, and you need the Washington Redskins to fall to the New York Giants to qualify for the playoffs.
The Lions and Packers are two teams that have been heading in different directions for the past few weeks. Green Bay has charged back into the race with five consecutive victories, while the Lions have lost their last two.
Offensively, the Packers have been quite potent. Led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay has averaged 26.7 points per game (sixth-best in the league), while allowing 24.3 points per game (22nd). Detroit, on the other hand, has averaged 21.5 points per game (23rd), while allowing 21.8 per game (13th).
Green Bay has had more success than Detroit on the ground (as most teams have) this season. The Packers, led by Ty Montgomery (413 yards), average 103 rushing yards per game. As for Detroit, the run game hasn’t been where they do much of their damage. Led by Theo Riddick (who is out with an injury), the Lions average just 82.3 rushing yards per game. Although Zach Zenner has shown a bit of a spark while playing for the injured Riddick, the Lions are not a dangerous rushing team overall.
Through the air, Matthew Stafford has had an incredible season, although he has fallen off a bit of late. He’s thrown for 3,980 yards with 22 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. Golden Tate leads the way for the Lions’ wide receivers, with 85 catches for exactly 1,000 yards and three touchdowns. Anquan Boldin is the team leader in touchdowns, with seven.
On the other side, Rodgers has had another Aaron Rodgers-like season. 4,128 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. Wideouts Jordy Nelson (91 catches, 1,191 yards, 14 TD) and Davante Adams (69 catches, 966 yards, 10 TD) have been nightmares for opposing teams.
Defensively, the Packers have sacked opposing quarterbacks 38 times (fifth best in the league), while allowing 34 sacks (19th fewest). Detroit has just 25 sacks on the season (29th most) while allowing 35 sacks (13th most). The Lions have not had much success against the pass, allowing 3,680 yards and 29 touchdowns. Green Bay, on the other hand, has had even less success. The Packers have allowed 3,976 yards and 30 touchdowns.
All things considered, to be in a winner-takes-all position for the final game of the regular season provides all the thrill that you could ask for. When it’s all said and done, will the Lions have risen to the task? If not, will they get the help they need from Washington? All this and more coming your way, tomorrow night!