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by Mark Metzler

 

The Lions didn’t look like a team that had won only two games, and the Packers didn’t look like a team that had won 13 as the Lions beat the Packers 37-30.

But it didn’t matter because the Packers had already locked up a first-round playoff bye, and the team was resting people, especially in the second half. That meant some of the Packers who don’t normally play had a chance to shine.

With the Lions leading 27-22 and just over six minutes to play, Jordan Love got a chance to show the Packers just what he could do. And he did show a little as he hit Josiah Deguara with 62-yard touchdown on a tight end screen. Most of the credit should go to a good play call. The touchdown and nifty two-point conversion made it 30-27.

The Lions came back to take the lead at 34-30, and then Love got another chance. Unfortunately, Amari Rodgers bobbled a pass and the Lions intercepted. The Lions converted to make it 37-30. The Lions kicked into the end zone and Rodgers ran it out. Stupid. Then Love threw an interception as the game ended.

So, what does that tell you about Love? Eh, who knows. The best hope is the Packers won’t need him in the playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers was his usual outstanding self in the first half, throwing for two touchdowns, both to Allen Lazard. Davante Adams set the Packers record for most receiving yards in a season. Good for him. The Lions played well and were able to take a 17-13 lead. To keep things in perspective, the Lions utilized two trick plays for touchdowns, the first a 75-yard pass from wide receiver Tom Kennedy and a nice flea flicker to their tight end.

Unfortunately, Mason Crosby missed an extra point that would have given the Packers a few more options down the stretch.

It was nice to see David Bakhtiari and Josh Myers back in and playing in the first half. They looked pretty good, and it was good to see Lucas Patrick move over to right guard to take the place of Royce Newman. Patrick moved back to center, where he has played well all year, in the second half and Newman came back to play.

The Packers had a few people out, who would have played if the game was important. Aaron Jones was one of them, which meant more carries for A.J. Dillon, who is just a beast. It also meant some play for Patrick Taylor, who looked good and also scored a touchdown.

You’ve got to say a lot for the Lions. They played hard from the beginning to end. Jared Goff played well as quarterback, and I think he will be OK for them in the future. They have some other nice players, too, including wide receiver Amon-ra St. Brown, the brother of the Packer’s Equanimeous St. Brown. Our St. Brown is getting better, but the better St. Brown is playing with the Lions. The Lions will be better next year. 

It was a crazy week for potential playoff teams. I couldn’t believe the Colts lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC. That meant that the Pittsburgh Steelers made the playoffs. In the NFC, I thought the 49ers would beat the Rams, but it looked like they were going to get creamed until they turned it around. 

The best part of all is the Packers have a week off and two key pieces are back. There is a good chance that cornerback Jaire Alexander and receiver Randall Cobb will be back as well. Who will they play? My best guess is the 49ers. I think they will upset the Cowboys in Dallas and be the lowest remaining seed. They’ll be tough because they run the ball well.